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Lugano to the World: Every City Needs a Plan ₿

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7th Jun 2022

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The lakeside city of Lugano, Switzerland, is known more for its stunning lake and mountain vistas than its status as an innovation hub in the world of crypto. But a new partnership led by Tether with the city and partners like Polygon aims to transform this sleepy and affluent city into a model for innovation.

By luck, members of Tether's core operations team live in Lugano, choosing it for its tranquility and quality of life. This proximity provided an opportunity for the city to draw on residents when it began thinking about how it could transform its status in the world of digital assets. As the third largest financial center in Switzerland and with strong ties to close-by Italy, what could help Lugano stand out in a rapidly evolving world of financial services? The answer was Plan B, formed in partnership with stablecoin issuer Tether, to establish bitcoin, Tether and Lugano's own LVGA Points token as new forms of legal tender in the city. LVGA Points are loyalty points contained in a digital wallet (blockchain-based) within the city's popular MyLugano app that can be used to pay for goods and services in public and private venues that have joined the MyLugano card circuit.

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On the 3rd of March 2022, the City of Lugano and Tether Operations Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on Plan ₿. Lugano’s Plan ₿ project is a joint initiative of the City of Lugano and Tether to accelerate and leverage bitcoin technology as the foundation for transforming the city's financial infrastructure. 

The plan is to scale blockchain and Bitcoin throughout the city, positively impacting all aspects of daily life for Lugano residents. Blockchain will serve as the foundation for the city's financial exchanges, from small transactions with local merchants to larger efforts – such as paying annual taxes.

The move goes far beyond the actions of several other Swiss municipalities that have been accepting cryptocurrency for tax payments for some time. Lugano aims to have all of its businesses seamlessly use crypto for everyday transactions.

Already 10% of the population uses bitcoin to purchase products, goods, services, and to make retail payments. The MyLugano app has 15,000 downloads and 6,000 active wallets. Luga is the local cryptocurrency, where 100 Luga = 1 Swiss Franc. Residents benefit through Luga discounts which encourage local spending. 

The parties will collaborate to incubate new initiatives and are organizing and promoting international events relating to blockchain and crypto; such as the Bitcoin World Forum 27-29 October this year. Another initiative is Plan ₿'s Summer school in Lugano, which supports Blockchain, Bitcoin and stablecoin education at the beginning of July for 2 weeks, encouraging students to learn as it will prepare them for the emerging crypto business world. 

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Lugano’s vision for the future is the integration of innovation, digitalization and the use of blockchain. When Mayor Foletti was asked the question “Why Blockchain?” He stated that he sees great potential in the blockchain system, which will benefit Lugano. He hopes his strategic plan will attract people and businesses, and encourage economic growth within the city. 

“Be open, be curious, the future has arrived” -  Michele Foletti, Mayor of Lugano 

Hub Culture will be partnering with Plan B during the Summer School, with coverage and classes coming online throughout the summer. 

For more information visit https://PlanB.Lugano.ch 

For proof of authority visit https://3achain.org   

To read the Memorandum of understanding to collaborate on Plan ₿ visit https://planb.lugano.ch/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Memorandum-of-understanding.pdf