In addition to its 19 stores in El Salvador, McDonald’s is accepting payments in bitcoin at its Lugano locations after the city approved the use of certain selected cryptocurrencies as legal tender in March.
The Plan B Foundation, a joint economic initiative between the City of Lugano and technology company Tether, has now announced a collaboration with GoCrypto to officially launch Bitcoin, Tether and LVGA payments in the City of Lugano. “Plan B” aims to increase Bitcoin and stablecoin adoption throughout the city to positively impact all facets of daily life for Lugano residents. The campaign aims to accelerate the use of Bitcoin and use it as a foundation for transforming the city’s financial infrastructure.
Expansion of Plan B
Helping local businesses integrate their existing payment services with approved stablecoins and Bitcoin is beginning to pay off. In the run-up to the Bitcoin conference “Plan B Forum“, a video appeared showing a simple Bitcoin Lightning payment in a McDonald’s. The payment is made from a mobile wallet via a terminal and is completed within seconds.
Tether has launched a community investment program as part of “Plan B” and has set up 2 funds for this purpose. The 100 million Swiss franc investment pool for blockchain startups aims to attract the great and the good of the industry to make Lugano their home. Another 3 million CHF fund is helping local businesses and merchants transition to the new, crypto-based economy. In addition, the city government has committed to accepting bitcoin payments for all public revenue sources: Taxes, parking tickets, museum passes, naturalization fees, and even funeral expenses.
The plan appears to be going ahead. Polygon, the digital platform behind the cryptocurrency MATIC, is set to relocate three of its subsidiaries and a significant number of employees to the Swiss city. The scaling company has also joined the Plan B Foundation as a founding infrastructure partner. The Polygon blockchain will be used as the rail on which most Stablecoin payments and LSVG transactions are processed in Lugano.
Crypto payments across the city
In order to expand the project to the entire city, the foundation has entered into a partnership with the payment service provider GoCrypto. The company’s terminals will be available at about 2500 merchants and service providers across the city by the end of October. Citizens and visitors will be able to easily make payments in USDT, Bitcoin Lightning and LVGA using their digital wallets. More than 2000 customers are expected to be served with cryptocurrency payments at the upcoming Bitcoin conference.
“Earlier this year, Lugano and Tether signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a strategic collaboration to help local businesses integrate their existing payment services with approved stablecoins and Bitcoin. We have ensured that the technological infrastructure is in place. This hard work is now paying off.” – Paolo Ardoino, CTO Tether
Unlike El Salvador, stores in Lugano have three options. Either do nothing or wait for their existing POS operator to upgrade their system to support cryptocurrencies. The best option is probably to adopt the free crypto-enabled POS payment terminal from the local government. The adoption fund of 3 million francs has covered the cost of manufacturing the new terminals. Once a store is equipped with a smart terminal, customers can pay with Bitcoin by simply scanning a QR code. The retailer can configure its terminal to automatically convert credit into francs or hold it in cryptocurrencies.