Positive signals from London and Lugano

Rishi Sunak, a crypto advocate, moves into 10 Downing Street as prime minister: A former finance minister, Sunak positioned himself as a crypto supporter, explaining the benefits of digital central bank currency to G7 nations to CBDCs as early as the fall of 2021. In April 2022, he upped the ante and declared his intention to “make the UK a global center for cryptoasset technology.”

He wanted to accomplish this by bringing stablecoins into regulation, ” paving the way for their use in the UK as a recognized means of payment.” If that wasn’t enough, he planned to set up a kind of “sandbox” for financial market infrastructures to drive innovation.

Lugano seeks alternatives

Lugano from the Swiss Ticino wants nothing less than to become the European Bitcoin metropolis – not entirely surprising, since the end of banking secrecy, Lugano has lost much of its importance as a banking center. An alternative must be found, and quickly: the city government is planning to develop a crypto center in the city center, where crypto companies are to locate. This should create jobs for young, urban people and bring tax revenue into the city coffers.

Already, the crypto industry employs an estimated 6,000 people in more than 1,000 companies and attracts money throughout Switzerland, mainly in the canton of Zug. In Lugano, however, only 50 crypto companies have set up shop so far. This is now set to change, and the Ticino municipality wants to create incentives to achieve this goal. The city of Lugano promises that it will soon be possible to pay taxes with BTC or pay for goods and services via cryptocurrency.

In the canton of Zug, paying with Bitcoin or Tether has been possible for some time, but the response from the population has been low: according to the Zug tax administration, just 50 tax payments totaling around 200,000 francs were paid with Bitcoin last year. That’s about one-thousandth of one percent of all taxes….

Tether supports Lugano

Tether supports Lugano’s plans and is providing more than 100 million francs to the city, in part to support startups and introduce crypto payment systems. But Tether is controversial and repeatedly targeted by regulators. Unlike Bitcoin, Tether claims to be a stablecoin, which is supposed to make the cryptocurrency more stable. In any case, Tether should benefit from having its foot in the door as Lugano implements its ambitious plans, laying the groundwork for the crypto industry’s eventual growth beyond the Ticino metropolis.

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