Lugano’s Plan B – building the next Bitcoin City

The Swiss city of Lugano is becoming a European cryptocurrency hub where cryptocurrency payments will have equal status with other major payment methods.

The Municipality of Lugano is realizing its vision through the highly anticipated project called Plan ₿.

Crypto in stores

The initiative behind Plan ₿ is to create a user-friendly blockchain-based infrastructure that will support cryptocurrency payments at all city levels, from small and medium-sized merchants to larger companies and even public services. The Mid-September Plan ₿ Foundation, a joint initiative between the City of Lugano and Tether, the technology company behind the blockchain-powered platform that powers the largest stablecoin by market capitalization (USD₮), has announced a partnership with GoCrypto to officially bring Bitcoin. Tether and LVGA payments to the city of Lugano.

“Earlier this year, Lugano and Tether signed a memorandum of understanding to begin a strategic collaboration on several initiatives, including helping local businesses integrate existing payment services with permissioned stablecoins and Bitcoin”Tether’s CTO Paolo Ardoino said. “We’ve been working together to ensure the technology infrastructure is in place to support this, and today we’re watching all that hard work come to fruition.”.

This will open up the city to new local and foreign visitors and attract crypto investors and innovative crypto projects, while giving local merchants access to a vast new customer base of over 300 million cryptocurrency users from around the world.

Europe’s newest Bitcoin city will stand out from other crypto-friendly zones in Switzerland as it seeks to achieve a significantly higher level of cryptocurrency adoption among its citizens. The city of Lugano aims to educate students and workers about the possibilities that cryptocurrencies bring, not only as an investment tool, but as a real-life means of payment. This is their plan B – an alternative to the current financial system and a perfect opportunity to follow the hottest trend in the world, attract new customers, tourists and innovative business ideas. To help its citizens and all like-minded visitors reach new potential in this ever-changing world.

One device, multiple wallets

The Swiss Municipality is initially promoting Plan ₿ among merchants participating in the city’s “My Lugano Circle” program.

GoCrypto payments are now available at over a hundred merchants across the city, including McDonald’s, art galleries, casinos and more. Citizens can easily make payments with USD₮, Bitcoin Lightning and LVGA using their wallets. The solution is designed not only for micro-payments, but also for larger transactions such as the purchase of luxury items over CHF 10,000. The city is trying to enable more businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments. By the end of 2023, the Plan ₿ Foundation aims to enable more than 2,500 merchants to accept Bitcoin, Tether and LVGA.

According to GoCrypto founder Dejan Roljić, “Crypto usage is growing in interest every day, and our solution allows crypto-acceptors to use the currencies as they were intended – as a highly practical means of payment. We are building a global cryptocurrency payment infrastructure, and we want to make it as simple and straightforward as possible for businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments in their everyday lives.”. He also added that “We are very happy to participate in any project focused on cryptocurrency payments and the whole GoCrypto team is really enthusiastic about the Plan ₿ initiative”.

Customers will be able to pay with any crypto wallet that supports the listed currencies. The POS device will also support the MyLugano App, where both residents and tourists can get 5%-10% cash back in LVGA tokens for every purchase.

Each Plan ₿ participant will be able to test and use the crypto payment infrastructure without any contractual obligations. Because they can join or leave the project at any time, which gives them complete business freedom.

Event of the season

The highlight of the Swiss cryptocurrency project was undoubtedly the Plan ₿ Forum, which took place on the last weekend of October 2022.

The venue was packed, with over 2,000 attendees experiencing real-time cryptocurrency payments. GoCrypto POS terminals were spread throughout the event, allowing visitors to pay for their goods, food and drinks with crypto. The system handled over 20,000 CHF (Swiss Franc) worth of cryptocurrency transactions, including over 1,000 transactions in Bitcoin Lightning, nearly 130 transactions in USD₮, and 200 LVGA transactions.

Following the success, the second annual Plan ₿ forum is now scheduled to take place on Friday, October 20, Saturday, October 21, 2023.

Simple and safe

The entire cryptocurrency payment process is extremely simple, similar to card payments. Merchants do not require any crypto knowledge to use a crypto compatible POS terminal. Moreover, they can choose to settle in one of the supported cryptocurrencies or in Swiss francs. While cryptocurrency settlements are instant and allow the trader to manage their crypto portfolio as they wish, local currency settlements protect the trader’s income from the risks of cryptocurrency volatility. The GoCrypto gateway is fully regulated and equipped with the highest security standards in the market, making the merchant’s payment experience reliable and completely secure.

The Lugano cryptocurrency experience has proven to be extremely positive so far. Both merchants and their customers have welcomed the new payment option with an open mind, excited about the potential it brings to the city. The initiative will attract many crypto-enthusiasts and projects that will further develop cryptocurrency and make crypto payments a daily reality in Lugano.

For more information about Plan ₿ in Lugano, visit:

This editorial was originally published in our Crypto Payments and Web 3.0 Report for Banks, Merchants and PSPs. The first edition of our report aims to provide a basic payment resource of cryptocurrency terms and concepts for those seeking to understand the basics of cryptocurrency payments and their long-term impact. In addition, it shares practical examples of cryptocurrency-enabled e-commerce and banking services and presents the latest developments in the regulatory landscape. It also reveals which are the most innovative companies building crypto rails in the field.

About GoCrypto

GoCrypto is a global payments tool that enables events, businesses, cities and countries to integrate cryptocurrency payments at any scale. From pure crypto solutions to integrated services, it supports multiple payment methods at one point of sale. Available for physical and online stores.

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