Bitcoin (BTC) and tether (USDT) will become “de facto legal tender” in the southern Swiss city of Lugano, as the city partners with Tether to become the “Bitcoin Capital of Europe,” Tether’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Paolo Ardoino said during an event hosted with Lugano city officials on Thursday.
In addition to BTC and USDT, the local payment token luga (LVGA) will also be accepted by businesses and the public sector in the city, Ardoino added. Both USDT and LVGA will be used on the Polygon (MATIC) blockchain, while the Lightning Network is expected to play a key role in bitcoin adoption, the CTO added.
Among the new crypto-focused initiatives announced during the event was also the establishment of a new physical office facility for more than 25 companies in the bitcoin and blockchain space.
“We are going to roll out the red carpet for companies to be established in Lugano,” the city’s Director for Economic Development, Pietro Poretti, said during today’s presentation. He added that the city will also help with things such as obtaining residence permits for foreign entrepreneurs, employees, and their families who wish to relocate to Lugano and Switzerland.
For the same purpose, Tether’s Ardoino said his company is setting up a pool of CHF 100m (USD 109m) to help startups from other countries that want to establish a presence in Lugano and bring their own people to the city.
Further, Ardoino said Tether is setting up a fund dedicated to “fostering the adoption of bitcoin, tether, and luga (the city’s stablecoin) across all businesses in the city.”
The CTO added that the company is in active discussions with the city about development of a Bitcoin mining facility that will be run on “100% green renewable energy.”
Among the products and services highlighted during the event that will be covered by the push to make BTC, USDT, and LVGA “de facto legal tender” are:
- All personal and corporate municipal taxes
- All public services
- ID and passport issuance fees
- Naturalization fees
- Tuition fees at public schools
- Rent for event spaces
- 200+ businesses and shops will accept it
Crypto adoption is “a big opportunity for the retail sector,” and ignoring it would like refusing to accept credit card terminals in shops 20 years ago, Pietro Poretti said as he concluded the event.
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