03 March 2022 19:24, UTC
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The city of Lugano, the economic capital of Italian-speaking southern Switzerland, is accepting cryptocurrencies for tax payments as part of a new collaboration with stablecoin provider Tether (USDT).
On March 3, Tether Operations Limited, the blockchain-based platform that powers USDT, the world’s largest stablecoin by market capitalization, signed a partnership with the Lugano administration, according to a joint statement.
Tether and the city government have created a Blockchain Implementation Center of Excellence with the goal of becoming a major European blockchain hub.
As part of the cooperation, it is planned to demonstrate real examples of the use of the blockchain, applying it in practice, including the introduction of cryptocurrency payments on a city scale. Tether and the city are planning to implement the Lightning Network, the layer 2 protocol of the Bitcoin blockchain, to overcome barriers to the scalability of the cryptocurrency city’s infrastructure.
Lugano intends to expand its efforts so that citizens and companies can pay taxes in cryptocurrencies in the near future, before receiving a number of official approvals and implementing infrastructure projects. The ultimate goal is to accept cryptocurrency to pay for all goods and services, equating it to fiat currency, the message says.
As part of the partnership, Tether will also create a multi-million dollar fund to fund blockchain-based startups and services in the region. In addition, Tether will lend its expertise and support to the city of Lugano to provide industry education through collaboration with local universities and research institutes.
According to Lugano Mayor Michele Foletti, this partnership with Tether will help the city multiply its efforts in the development of fintech. He noted that the city of Lugano has been actively implementing crypto and blockchain technologies in recent years, stating:
Lugano is investing in its future. In recent years, we have already implemented blockchain-based solutions, including the MyLugano app and its LVGA Points payment token, the Lugano digital franc and the 3Achain blockchain infrastructure.
There are already a number of cities and cantons in Switzerland that allow their residents to pay taxes in cryptocurrencies, namely the Swiss canton of Zug and the municipality of Zermatt.
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