May 19, 2022 · less than 3 min read
The Swiss city wants to be Europe’s crypto capital – and it might succeed.
The crypto city
Not all crypto cities are made equal. A far cry from the all-or-nothing Bitcoin City in El Salvador, Lugano’s crypto-adoption strategy has a bit more of a plan. The city’s Plan B initiative will slowly phase in Bitcoin, Tether, and the city’s own LVGA currency as a way to pay for just about every form of public payment: taxes, public transport, museum passes, and even parking permits. A pipe dream? No chance – it’s set up a multi-million fund to help traders adapt.
The city administration has partnered with Tether to encourage local businesses to adopt ways of taking crypto payments. It’s hoped that the move will encourage tech firms, innovators and specialists to relocate to the canton. Well, that and the taxes thing.
Anything you can do…
Switzerland is divided into small cantons, or regions, that all have a huge amount of power in how their region operates. They can set their own tax rates, and have their own constitutions, parliaments, police forces and courts. Often, cantons can actually be in low-level competition against each other to win foreign investors and businesses. So while Lugano is bidding to become the country’s crypto hub, it’s no surprise to see another canton doing the same thing.
Zug, on the German-speaking side of Switzerland, has a reputation as Europe’s ‘crypto valley’ and already counts more than 1,000 crypto start-ups within its borders. If Lugano’s plans go ahead though, it could quickly become Switzerland’s – and Europe’s – crypto ground zero.
The city has partnered with big crypto firms and heavyweights to become a major node in the global crypto network. While digital currencies might be considered more of an American thing, Lugano could be leading the charge to change that.
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