Lugano, a picturesque city in the southern part of Switzerland, has made significant strides in the adoption of cryptocurrencies since it embraced Bitcoin and Tether as its de facto tender within its jurisdiction last year. The move dubbed as “Plan B” has paid off, and Lugano is now positioning itself as the emerging blockchain capital of Europe.
The Lugano City Council’s decision to adopt cryptocurrencies as a means of payment was initially met with skepticism. However, it has proven to be a smart move as the city has seen increased adoption and usage of digital currencies as well as higher investor interest in the area.
In the past year, Lugano has attracted the attention of several cryptocurrency-related businesses, including exchanges, wallets, and trading platforms. Additionally, the city’s merchants have started accepting Bitcoin and Tether, which has helped to boost the adoption of cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange.
The adoption of cryptocurrencies has not only benefited Lugano’s economy, but it has also helped to improve the city’s infrastructure. For example, the city has installed several Bitcoin and Tether ATMs, making it easier for residents and tourists to access cryptocurrencies.
Moreover, Lugano has established itself as a quintessential destination when it comes to crypto tourism. The city has hosted several cryptocurrency-related events and conferences, attracting experts and enthusiasts from all over the world. These events have helped to raise awareness of cryptocurrencies and their potential benefits.
Furthermore, the Lugano City Council’s decision to adopt cryptocurrencies posed a positive impact on the local government and it served as a testament to the utility of Bitcoin and Tether within the framework of a circular economy for cryptos. The city is now the blueprint that will serve as a reference point for other jurisdictions that may want to adopt the same crypto governance standard.
Despite the long crypto winter we have been experiencing, Lugano has been doing well so far. Through its efforts, it has achieved the following milestones according to Tether:
- There are now over 150 merchants accepting Bitcoin, Tether, and the Swiss-franc pegged LVGA stablecoin. Lugano is looking to increase the figures to 2,500 by year-end.
- The city was able to issue the first-ever blockchain-based municipal bond. The bond which can be traded directly on the SDX has a six-year debt issuance valued at 100 million CHF (107 million USD).
- The city has already implemented the acceptance of service fees and taxes in Bitcoin, Tether, and LVGA. The full adoption of this would benefit 62,000 of its citizens.
- Lugano successfully conducted the Plan B Forum in October 2022. The convention centered on promoting Bitcoin adoption played host to 1,000 Bitcoin transactions via the lightning network, 130 USDT transactions, and 200 LVGA transactions.
- The Plan B job fair was able to link job seekers with crypto firms.
- The city was the venue of the event held by Tether for crypto education, which was participated by 86 students from 26 countries. The same forum provided 500 grants for their more advanced learning.
Lugano’s adoption of cryptocurrencies has been a success, and the city is now reaping the benefits of its decision. Lugano’s leadership and foresight in adopting cryptocurrencies as a means of payment have positioned the city as a trailblazer in the cryptocurrency space and a burgeoning leader in the global financial industry.
Giancarlo is an economist by profession with a career spanning nearly two decades. His professional journey has seen him assume vital roles in various government and private organizations such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Megaworld Corporation, and the China Banking Corporation in the Republic of the Philippines.
In addition to his civic and corporate pursuits, his forward-thinking approach has led him to manage several prominent websites in the banking and finance sector, notably the Australia-based RateChoice, where he immersed himself in the world of emerging financial technologies and where he found particular interest in Bitcoin all the way back to 2013.
Prior to his addition to Blockzeit’s dynamic team, he held an essential role as Project Manager for initiatives encompassing blockchain, stablecoin, mining, special economic zone development, and iGaming. This noteworthy chapter in his career unfolded under the auspices of InPlan Consultancy Services, Inc., the think-tank of IMPERO Consortium Management Corporation headquartered in Manila, Philippines, and Tokyo, Japan. InPlan, led by a distinguished retired Cabinet member of the Philippines, collaborates directly with IMPERO’s core management team, contributing to strategic planning and business development endeavors.