The city of Lugano, Switzerland, will make bitcoin legal tender and allow citizens to pay for public service fees or taxes in bitcoin, city director Pietro Poretti co-announced in an event livestreamed on Thursday alongside mayor Michele Foletti and CTO of Tether Paolo Ardoino. The city has already worked with over 200 merchants to propel the adoption of bitcoin and Lightning payments.
“This is probably the most important thing of this project,” Ardoino said, referring to “Plan ₿,” a city initiative being sketched and worked in collaboration with Tether to attract wealth, smart minds, and opportunities. Tether’s stablecoin USDT will also become a legal tender in the city.
Plan ₿ involves the creation of a physical venue in the heart of the city to function as a hub for Bitcoin and blockchain startups interested in making the city their new home, as well as the go-to place for networking events and hosting Bitcoin meetups and workshops.
“El Salvador’s GDP increased by 10% and its tourism by 30% after declaring bitcoin a legal tender,” Ardoino said. “Imagine what we can do in a city at the center of Europe.”