You Can Now Buy Your Big Mac With Crypto in Lugano, Switzerland

Plan ₿ wants to scale bitcoin and stablecoin adoption in the city

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key takeaways

  • Lugano citizens will be able to pay merchants in bitcoin, tether and LVGA
  • The city wants to onboard over 2,000 businesses before the end of October

Asset-backed cryptocurrency stablecoin, Tether, is collaborating with GoCrypto to bring bitcoin, tether and LVGA to the Swiss city of Lugano.

The initiative, dubbed Plan ₿, is designed to scale bitcoin and stablecoin adoption in Lugano and accelerate the use of cryptocurrencies.

A memorandum of understanding was signed earlier this year between Lugano and Tether to integrate existing payment services with bitcoin and vetted stablecoins, Tether Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino said in a statement.

“We have been working together to ensure the technological infrastructure is in place to support this and today we watch all of that hard work come to fruition,” Ardoino said.

Merchants participating in the initiative so far include fast food giant McDonald’s, a handful of art galleries and others. 

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Over the course of the next month, the city plans to onboard more businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments and has plans to service over 2,000 customers prior to the Bitcoin World Forum conference taking place in the city from Oct. 28 to 29. 

Tether has been working closely with the Lugano government to transform the city into a major European blockchain hub — and use the city as an example to exhibit blockchain capabilities, with the hope of eventually expanding global cryptocurrency adoption.

Apart from onboarding merchants, the initiative wants to extend crypto payments to later include parking tickets, public services and student tuition. Residents of Lugano will also be allowed to pay taxes using cryptocurrencies. 

To support the rollout, Tether created multimillion-dollar funds to help finance blockchain startups in the region and collaborate with local universities and research institutions to educate younger generations on cryptocurrencies.

Switzerland was early to construct a regulatory framework for cryptoassets. The Canton of Zug, also known as Crypto Valley, is home to 433 out of 960 crypto startups in the country, albeit with many operating as shell companies

Regardless, Switzerland remains a global leader in blockchain technology adoption, and Lugano’s latest moves to roll out large scale crypto payments will likely keep the country ahead of the crowd.


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