Bitcoin Hits Massive Milestone In Europe

Swiss city Lugano is set to introduce Bitcoin, Tether and its own digital currency, LVGA as legal tender in the coming months.

The Italian-speaking city of Lugano, Switzerland is set to adopt a variety of cryptocurrencies as legal tender, where citizens will be able to use Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT) and Lugano’s own LVGA token to pay for goods and services.

Lugano’s city director Pietro Poretti announced the news alongside Mayor Michele Foletti and the CTO of Tether, Paolo Ardoino during an event that livestreamed on YouTube, titled ‘Lugano’s Plan B’. 

In the days following the announcement, Ardoino sent out a tweet listing “all the things that you can pay for [with crypto]” to his 114,000 thousand followers.

According to the details shared at the “Plan B” event, citizens and companies that reside in Lugano will be able to use Bitcoin, Tether and LVGA to pay for all goods, services and even their taxes “in the near future.”

Mayor Foletti described the move to adopt cryptocurrency as a “de facto” legalisation, seeing as the Swiss franc will obviously remain the primary legal currency in Lugano and across Switzerland.

City director Poretti added that the partnership with Tether would bring Lugano into the spotlight of innovation: 

“Collaborating with a company the caliber of Tether is a magnet that will attract more companies to come to Lugano.”

Tether has partnered with the city to create a US$100 million ($135 million AUD) incentive fund to motivate startups to relocate their headquarters and staff to Lugano. Ardoino pointed out that Tether will work alongside the city to create a ‘startup hub’ in the centre of Lugano that will draw in tech startups from around the globe.

In a move to establish an educated workforce that’s proficient in blockchain technology, Ardoino said that Tether and the affiliated crypto-exchange, Bitfinex have started work with Lugano’s major universities to promote crypto-oriented courses. As a result, it is expected that over 500 students that choose to study cryptocurrency, blockchain technology and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) will receive scholarships to Lugano’s universities.

“This isn’t a marketing ploy… It’s a set of concrete steps to make Lugano the blockchain capital of the world.”

Paolo Ardoino

The city also announced that it would host an event called the Bitcoin World Forum in October later this year.

Tether & LVGA Explained:

For those reading who are unfamiliar with the ever-changing world of crypto, Tether (USDT) is a US Dollar backed stablecoin, which means its value stays pegged to the value of USD at all times; one Tether token = one US Dollar. 

The LVGA token will be Lugano’s very own stablecoin which is a slight variation of the Swiss franc-backed stablecoin; 1 LVGA token = one Swiss franc (read more about stablecoins here).

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