Switzerland’s southern city of Lugano and El Salvador have signed an economic cooperation agreement based on crypto and blockchain.
According to an Oct. 28 announcement from Lugano, the two pro-crypto jurisdictions signed a memorandum of understanding on economic cooperation at the city’s Plan B event. Lugano Mayor Michele Foletti cited El Salvador adopting Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender as part of the city’s interest in the agreement, which will allow the pro-crypto country to establish a physical government presence in an effort to “foster cooperation with educational and research institutions.”
“The use of Bitcoin and Blockchain technology creates new opportunities for growth and investment that benefit our communities; it is a new alternative financial and exchange tool that fosters trade and the provision of services in a globalized world,” said Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli, El Salvador’s ambassador to the United Nations Office in Geneva. “With this agreement, El Salvador is now much closer to Europe.”
Speaking to Cointelegraph at the Plan B event, former Blockstream chief strategy officer Samson Mow said the agreement was the “next step” in nation-states and cities adopting BTC:
“[El Salvador and Lugano are] going to start working together and collaborating on joint initiatives. I think that’s the way we push each other forward — basically create alliances between places that have adopted Bitcoin.”
The world’s first #Bitcoin diplomat representing the world’s first #Bitcoin nation in the first ever #bitcoin embassy of in Lugano
— Stacy Herbert (@stacyherbert) October 28, 2022
Stablecoin issuer Tether, which announced in March it would create a fund of up to 100 million Swiss francs to help finance blockchain-based startups in Lugano, supported the agreement in an Oct. 28 blog post. Chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino said Tether would “stand ready to help however we can.”
Related: McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town
As part of the Plan B initiative, Lugano plans to allow residents to use BTC, Tether (USDT) and LVGA tokens as “de facto” legal tender in many shops and businesses in the area, as well as for paying taxes, parking tickets, public services and tuition fees. In El Salvador, BTC has been accepted as legal tender since the adoption of the country’s Bitcoin Law in September 2021.