Switzerland has long been known as a global hub for banking and wealth management. However, the country is also becoming increasingly open to embracing Bitcoin as an alternative form of currency. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Pietro Poretti, the director of the economic development division of the city of Lugano, shed light on the city’s efforts to accommodate Bitcoin users and businesses.
One of the key developments highlighted by Poretti is the ability to use Bitcoin to set up companies in Lugano. He revealed that businesses can establish themselves in the city if they have a minimum of 100,000 Swiss Francs (CHF), equivalent to $116,000 USD, in Bitcoin to register a company. This requirement reflects the city’s forward-thinking approach to digital currencies and highlights its commitment to attracting crypto-related businesses.
Notably, Poretti mentioned that companies are already taking advantage of this opportunity, opting to register their businesses using Bitcoin. This trend demonstrates the increasing acceptance of cryptocurrencies in Lugano and suggests that the city is becoming a hub for crypto innovation.
In addition to facilitating business transactions, Lugano is also making strides in enabling day-to-day purchases with Bitcoin. Poretti noted that there has been a notable increase in the number of shops, restaurants, and service providers accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment. This development aligns with the city’s vision of offering residents and visitors the option to live and transact without relying on traditional fiat currencies like the Swiss Franc.
Furthermore, Poretti emphasized that Bitcoin payments extend beyond goods and services, as individuals residing in Lugano can also pay their taxes and contributions in BTC. This flexibility signals the city’s commitment to foster an environment where Bitcoin can seamlessly integrate into various aspects of everyday life.
Addressing the possibility of using Bitcoin to obtain a residence permit in Lugano, Poretti clarified that this matter falls under the jurisdiction of the cantonal level in Switzerland, rather than the municipality. Nonetheless, he expressed optimism that Lugano’s progressive stance on cryptocurrencies might inspire other levels of government in the Swiss system to be more open to Bitcoin adoption. The success and precedent set by Lugano can potentially influence further acceptance and integration of digital currencies at a higher level.
Poretti’s insights illustrate Lugano’s ambition to lead the way in embracing Bitcoin as a viable form of finance and currency. By facilitating the establishment of Bitcoin-based businesses and fostering an ecosystem where Bitcoin transactions are widely accepted, Lugano aims to position itself as a crypto-friendly city. These efforts not only attract businesses and individuals to the city but also contribute to the overall growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies in Switzerland.
In conclusion, Switzerland’s reputation as a financial haven is morphing to accommodate the rising popularity of Bitcoin. Lugano’s progressive approach to Bitcoin-based businesses, acceptance of Bitcoin for day-to-day transactions, and openness to explore Bitcoin adoption on a governmental level showcase the city’s commitment to embracing the future of finance. As Lugano leads the way, it is likely that other Swiss cities and regions will follow suit in embracing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as alternative forms of money.