On Wednesday (October 26), crypto influencer Stacy Herbert, who is the co-host of YouTube series “MAX & STACY REPORT” (formerly known as “Orange Pill”), said that Bitcoin is currently widely accepted as a means of payment in Lugano, Switzerland.
Lugano is “a city and municipality in Switzerland, part of the Lugano District in the canton of Ticino.” It is “the largest city of both Ticino and the Italian-speaking southern Switzerland.” Lugano has a population of around 62,000, and it is the ninth largest city in Switzerland.
Yesterday, Herbert said on Twitter that Bitcoin, which became legal tender in El Salvador on 7 September 2021, is now “accepted everywhere in Lugano.”
Salvadoran money is accepted everywhere in Lugano#Bitcoin 🇸🇻🇨🇭 pic.twitter.com/v9Pd9ybich
— Stacy Herbert 🇸🇻 (@stacyherbert) October 26, 2022
On 3 March 2022, CoinDesk reported that “aiming to become Europe’s Bitcoin capital, Lugano, Switzerland, has formed a partnership with stablecoin issuer Tether to establish bitcoin, Tether and Lugano’s own LVGA Points token as essentially legal tender in the city.”
Mayor @MicheleLugano is one of us!#lugano #planb see you tomorrow!!
Let’s make history 🇨🇭🍫#bitcoin pic.twitter.com/Gnurn4SNwK
— Paolo Ardoino 🕳🥊 (@paoloardoino) March 2, 2022
BREAKING NEWS: #Bitcoin , #Tether & the City’s LVGA token will become de facto LEGAL TENDER in Lugano #LuganoPlanB pic.twitter.com/gvZKKRveOI
— Tether (@Tether_to) March 3, 2022
The report went on to point out that this decision is more significant than the move by some cantons (such as Zug) to accept tax payments in crypto.
This step forward for crypto adoption has been enabled by the pioneering work from the Zug cantonal tax office using the Bitcoin Suisse Crypto Payments solution. It is yet another sign of innovation in Blockchain Nation CH! 🇨🇭@zugeconomy @thecryptovalley @BCFederationCH
— Bitcoin Suisse (@BitcoinSuisseAG) February 17, 2021
What Lugano seems to want to do is similar to what El Salvador is trying to achieve, i.e. having all local businesses routinely accept crypto as a means of payment, but not as far making Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency legal tender (since that is a decision that can only be taken at the federal level and therefore highly unlikely in the near to medium term future).
On 22 September 2022, Tether Operations Limited (“Tether”) and the City of Lugano announced that “they will be giving away 1 Bitcoin to Plan B Forum ticket holders at the upcoming conference,” which is taking place 28-29 October 2022, and that “three lucky ticket holders at the Forum will have the opportunity to win up to 1 Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain ballot prize.”
The Tether CTO had this to say:
“We are excited to introduce yet another way for attendees to experience the power and potential of Bitcoin while creating an engaging moment during the conference. By giving away one Bitcoin we hope to inspire more people to join the digital economy. Introduction and education are key pillars of participation and we believe that we can be a catalyst for the long term and mainstream adoption for cryptocurrency.“
On 3 October 2022, Bitcoin Magazine sent out a tweet with an embedded video that showed how easy it was to pay at McDonald’s in Lugano with either Bitcoin or Tether.
🇨🇭 Paying at McDonald’s with #Bitcoin in Lugano, Switzerlandhttps://t.co/Htbap5jjrk
— Bitcoin Magazine (@BitcoinMagazine) October 3, 2022
On 4 October 2022, the Tether CTO tweeted about the upcoming Plan B Forum event in Lugano:
Right on the lake in #lugano 🇨🇭
“All your euros are going to zero”
“The world has never needed #bitcoin more than it does today”
“#bitcoin is freedom”
28/29 Octoberhttps://t.co/sWOkSY1PgX pic.twitter.com/VNTeubEGlP
— Paolo Ardoino 🕳🥊 (@paoloardoino) October 4, 2022
And on 15 October 2022, Ardoino paid for his coffee at a McDonald’s restaurant in Lugano with Bitcoin via the Lightning Network.
Sorry to miss you Paolo. I was making cheeseburgers in the back. Would have given you a free espresso. Next time! 😆🚀 Joke aside, very cool that McDonald’s is accepting Bitcoin and Tether payments in Lugano! https://t.co/3W8JjeMylR
— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) October 15, 2022
Two other well-known people in the crypto space who are also currently visiting Lugano are Samson Mow and Adam Back:
On the way to #LuganoPlanB to talk about #Bitcoin and eat Swiss chocolate, and we’re all out of chocolate.🇨🇭🍊💊 @paoloardoino pic.twitter.com/CrRWj4hUV3
— Samson Mow (@Excellion) October 27, 2022