Lugano links its crypto city dreams with Tether

Monday night, Dozens of shopkeepers and businessmen gathered in the blue-carpeted lobby of a convention center in the Italian-speaking Swiss city of Lugano to learn how to start accepting cryptocurrency payments. Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether, the world’s most popular stablecoin (a cryptocurrency whose price is comparable to realities such as the U.S. dollar), was joined by numerous accountants, entrepreneurs and municipal officials such as Mayor Michele Foletti. world currency). Lugano’s secretary general, Robert Bregy, said merchants at the meeting had “much more interest in these new payment methods than we expected”.

meetings are part of it Plan B initiative in Luganolaunching in March 2022 Partner with Tether, aiming to make the city a hub for crypto innovation. Aside from the substantial investment in business and educational programs related to blockchain technology and the organization of industry events, the most notable element of the plan is that the city will begin accepting Bitcoin, Tether and its own LVGA cryptocurrency as municipal Taxes and access to some public services and activities.The city is also working to encourage and help local businesses voluntarily include these cryptocurrencies as payment methods it accepts (a tough sell, in The current huge crash in bitcoin prices).

The move is very expressly aimed at attracting tech talent, companies and wealthy cryptocurrency owners to a city — despite its stunning landscape and relatively mild climate — that still lags the rest of Switzerland in terms of economic growth . So far, the plan appears to be working, Bregy said, as the city has been “besieged” by cryptocurrency companies, entrepreneurs and students looking to move there. Lars Schlichting, a lawyer specializing in crypto at Swiss law firm Kellerhals-Carrard, said he is currently working with “at least 10 companies, which is much higher than usual,” all looking to move to Lugano.

Ardoino said Plan B is a way to roll out a “red carpet” for companies and cryptocurrency enthusiasts looking to flock to Lugano.But Tether itself will be front and center: Since the plan was announced, the company has become Actually Project Manager of Lugano’s Crypto Capability, with a significant influence in shaping the city’s digital wealth.

Lugano is now competing with the German-speaking canton (or canton) of Zug, a Swiss region known for its crypto activities, which over time has earned the nickname “Crypto Valley”.Although small and sleepy, Zug has some Minimum corporate income tax rate In the country, this factor has helped it attract several prominent organizations in the crypto space, notably the Ethereum Foundation.Zug also Allow state tax Pay in Bitcoin or Ethereum (Ethereum’s cryptocurrency).

Lugano’s plan appears to go a step further, expanding the acceptance of crypto payments to a wider range of public services and integrating crypto more deeply into its economic fabric in general. While Zug’s appeal is largely based on tax reasons, Lugano’s pitch is “an ideal place to live, do a cryptocurrency business, and thrive,” Bregy said. He added that the city’s tax rate will never fall to Zug’s level for the foreseeable future.

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