El Salvador has been the subject of news ever since it declared bitcoin legal tender last September. What a lot of people don’t know is that a town in Switzerland called Lugano decided to follow in the country’s footsteps. The region has made bitcoin official money for its Italian-speaking residents, and while the journey may be slow, bitcoin is reaching the future it was destined for gradually.
Lugano Is Headed for Bitcoin Greatness
The area didn’t get much publicity for its move given the announcement was made by the mayor of Lugano. He wasn’t a president like Nayib Bukele, but this doesn’t make the maneuver any less significant. Lugano is working hard to become the crypto capital of Europe, and it’s seeking to dethrone “Crypto Valley” – also in Switzerland – as the prime area for bitcoin and blockchain firms.
Paolo Ardoino – chief technology officer at Tether – is very excited by what the city is doing, commenting in an interview:
Crypto people are nomadic and tribal. They like to move in the places where they feel at home; where they feel that their technology is supported; that their beliefs have recognition. We like what we’re doing, so we want to find a place where we can all settle together, but it’s clear that in Europe, there is no hub, so that is really the missing piece.
Ardoino thinks bitcoin can do great things. He feels the currency is more of a social tool than a financial one, and he says that Crypto Valley is not on the map like it used to be. Thus, Lugano could potentially overtake Europe’s number one digital currency spot. He says:
We have seen that the other towns in Switzerland were not doing enough. It was kind of like crypto support in name only. Zug, for example, is a place where there are PO boxes. Everyone has a company in Zug, but how crypto can really affect a city – how crypto can affect the local community – none knows that. [Tether-affiliated] Bitfinex is helping El Salvador figure that out. We want to show that crypto can bring a huge benefit to local communities … If you create a place where people can spend in their preferred cryptocurrencies, they will all travel there, but again, on this side of the pond, there was not much going on, so led by the administration we met in November, and we started discussing how we can make Lugano the city for [bitcoin fans], the city for crypto in Europe.
Many Companies Want to Go There
He also says that within a month of announcing its acceptance of bitcoin, Lugano has been in communication with several companies and businesses who are now looking to move their operations to the region. He stated:
We’ve seen huge interest from Zug, but also from Dubai and Italy and many other places in the world.
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