Swiss city of Lugano embraces bitcoin as a means of payment

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The Swiss city of Lugano is going to embrace bitcoin as a means of payment – announced at the Plan B conference.

Lugano residents will be able to use it to pay taxes, parking fees, school fees and other municipal charges. Retailers will also be connected to the bitcoin network and there will be a “blockchain hub. Lugano is partnering with Tether for this effort.

The news was announced during the Plan B conference in Lugano. There, it was announced that Lugano plans to embrace bitcoin, tether (USDT) and a proprietary LVGA token as a means of payment.

This will allow the roughly 62,000 residents of Lugano to pay their taxes, parking fees, school fees or other municipal services with bitcoin in the future.

It is also planned to connect all shopkeepers in Lugano to the bitcoin network so that everyday goods and services can also be paid for with it. More than 200 retailers are said to have already signed up.

Swiss city of Lugano embraces bitcoin as a means of payment
Aerial photo of Lugano, Switzerland. Source: Wikipedia

There will also be a “blockchain hub” business park where companies can set up shop, and training courses will be set up in cooperation with local universities. A Bitcoin World Forum conference will also be held in October.

“Lugano once again wants to be home to a revolutionary innovation, namely the one that started when Satoshi Nakamoto shared his celebrated Bitcoin Whitepaper,” said Lugano Mayor Michele Foletti.

“Bitcoin, crypto, blockchain … are terms that frighten many, especially in institutional and conservative circles. But Lugano is not intimidated, it does not believe these technologies should be reserved for insiders, it believes they should be spread and accessible to all.”


Lugano appears to be competing with Zug, another Swiss city that introduced favorable regulations in the past and renamed itself “Crypto Valley. Several large and wealthy companies have since settled in the city.

The main inspiration, however, would be El Salvador. The country recognized bitcoin as legal tender last year and saw an increase in tourism, gross national product and in the use of green energy, according to the promoters.

The move also attracted new investment from the bitcoin sector. Lugano hopes to benefit in a similar way and create new high-paying jobs.

Unlike El Salvador, Lugano does not involve the recognition of bitcoin as legal tender, but rather a municipal initiative that, according to its initiators, is in a practical sense a “de facto recognition of bitcoin as a means of payment”.


In the plans, the city is partnering with Tether, the company behind the eponymous stablecoin tether (USDT). Tether is providing expertise and funding the initiatives along with other companies with millions of euros.

Some three million is being used to adapt the infrastructure of local businesses to support bitcoin payments. In addition, some €100 million is available for new projects and initiatives or to entice existing businesses to locate in the city. 500 scholarships will also be provided to students.

Tether is also helping the city explore opportunities to engage in bitcoin mining with renewable energy surpluses. Lugano is already currently one of the larger producers of renewable energy in the region, and bitcoin mining would help balance the power grid by gobbling up energy surpluses. The proceeds would flow into the municipal coffers.

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