The city of Lugano, Switzerland, will make bitcoin legal tender to allow citizens to pay for public service fees or taxes in cryptocurrency.
Lugano, which has a population of just over 62,000, has partnered with stablecoin issuer Tether to push the move through, making it possible to buy goods and services using bitcoin, USDT and Lugano’s own LVGA Points token.
The move was announced by Pietro Poretti (Director Economic Development Division of Lugano), Michele Foletti (Mayor of Lugano) and Paolo Ardoino (CTO of Tether) in a live-streamed event “Lugano’s Plan B”.
“Lugano is investing in its future. In recent years, the city has already implemented blockchain-based solutions including the MyLugano app and its LVGA Points payment token, the Lugano digital franc and the 3Achain blockchain infrastructure,” said Mayor Foletti. “We strongly believe in this technology, the potential to scale the technology – and our integrated collaboration with Tether – will build a better and more open, transparent and smart city.”
The introduction of bitcoin as a legal form of tender follows a similar move last year by El Salvador, which became the first country in the world to officially adopt bitcoin as a currency.
“El Salvador’s GDP increased by 10% and its tourism by 30% after declaring bitcoin a legal tender,” said CTO of Tether Paolo Ardoino. “Imagine what we can do in a city at the center of Europe.”