Voice of the Industry

Lugano's Plan ₿: building the next Bitcoin City

Monday 23 January 2023 09:21 CET | Editor: Mirela Ciobanu | Voice of the industry

The Swiss city of Lugano is transforming into a European crypto hub where crypto payments will enjoy equal status to other mainstream payment methods. 

The Municipality of Lugano is realising its vision through the highly-anticipated project, called Plan ₿.


Crypto in stores

The initiative behind Plan ₿ is to set up a user-friendly blockchain-based infrastructure that will support crypto payments on all city levels, from small and medium-sized merchants to larger companies and even public services. Mid-September Plan ₿ Foundation, a joint initiative between the City of Lugano and Tether, the technology company supporting the blockchain-enabled platform that powers the largest stablecoin by market capitalisation (USD₮), announced a collaboration with GoCrypto to officially bring Bitcoin, Tether, and LVGA payments to the city of Lugano. 

‘Earlier this year, Lugano and Tether signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a strategic collaboration through several initiatives, including to help local businesses integrate their existing payment services with the permitted stablecoins and Bitcoin’, said Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether. ‘We have been working together to ensure the technological infrastructure is in place to support this and today we watch all of that hard work come to fruition’.

This will open the city up to new local and foreign visitors and attract crypto investors and innovative crypto projects while giving local merchants access to a wide new customer base of more than 300 million crypto users from all over the world.

The newest European Bitcoin city will differentiate itself from other crypto-friendly zones in Switzerland as it strives to achieve a significantly higher level of crypto adoption among its citizens. The City of Lugano aims to educate students and workers about the possibilities that cryptocurrencies bring not only as an investment tool but rather as a real-life means of payment. This is their plan B - the alternative to the current financial system and the perfect opportunity to follow the hottest trend in the world, and attract new customers, tourists, and innovative business ideas. Helping their citizens and all like-minded visitors to reach new potential in this ever-changing world.

One device, many wallets

The Swiss Municipality has initially been promoting Plan ₿ among the merchants, who are already participating in the city’s ‘My Lugano circuit’ program.

GoCrypto payments are already available at more than one hundred merchants throughout the city, including McDonald's, art galleries, casinos, and many more. Citizens can easily make payments in USD₮, Bitcoin Lightning, and LVGA, using their wallets. The solution is not destined only for micropayments, but for larger transactions as well, like purchases of luxury items that exceed 10,000 CHF. The city seeks to enable even more businesses to accept crypto payments. By the end of 2023, the Plan ₿ Foundation aims to enable more than 2500 merchants to accept Bitcoin, Tether, and LVGA.

According to Dejan Roljić, founder of GoCrypto, ‘the interest in crypto use is growing daily, and our solution enables crypto adopters to use the currencies as they were intended — as a highly practical means of payment. We are building a global cryptocurrency payment infrastructure and we want to make it as simple and straightforward as possible for businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments in their everyday lives’. He also added that ‘we are more than pleased to participate in any project that focuses on cryptocurrency payments, and the entire GoCrypto team is genuinely enthusiastic about the Plan ₿ initiative’.

Customers will be able to pay with any crypto wallet that supports the mentioned currencies. The POS device will also support MyLugano App, where both residents and tourists can receive 5% to 10% cash back in LVGA tokens for every purchase.

Every Plan ₿ participant will be able to test and use the crypto payment infrastructure without any contractual obligation. As they will be able to opt-in or out of the project at any given moment which gives them complete business freedom.

The event of the season

The highlight of the Swiss crypto adoption project was for sure the Plan ₿ Forum which took place on the last weekend of October 2022.

The venue was packed, with over 2,000 participants experiencing crypto payments in real-time. The GoCrypto POS terminals were spread across the event, enabling visitors to pay for their merch, food, and drinks in crypto. The system saw over 20,000 CHF (Swiss francs) worth of crypto transactions, including over 1,000 transactions on Bitcoin Lightning, nearly 130 transactions in USD₮, and 200 LVGA transactions.

Following on from the success, the second annual Plan ₿ forum has already been scheduled to be held on Friday, October 20 through Saturday, October 21, 2023.

Simple and safe

The entire crypto payment process is extremely simple, resembling card payments. Merchants don’t require any crypto knowledge to use the crypto-friendly POS terminal. What's more, they can choose to be settled in one of the supported cryptocurrencies or in Swiss Francs. While crypto settlements are instant and give the merchant the possibility to manage their crypto portfolio as they see fit, the local currency settlements keep the merchant's revenue safe from any potential crypto volatility risks. The GoCrypto gateway is fully regulated and equipped with the highest security standards on the market, making the merchant’s payment experience reliable and completely secure.

The Lugano crypto experience has proven to be extremely positive so far. Both merchants and their customers have greeted the new payment option with open minds, excited about the potential it brings to the city. The initiative will attract many crypto enthusiasts and projects that will drive crypto adoption even further, making crypto payments in Lugano an everyday reality.

For more information about the Plan ₿ in Lugano visit: https://planb.lugano.ch/.


This editorial was initially published in our Crypto Payments and Web 3.0 For Banks, Merchants, and PSPs Report. The first edition of our report aims to provide a go-to payment resource of crypto terms and concepts for those interested to understand the basics of crypto payments and their long-term impact. Furthermore, it shares practical examples of cryptocurrency-enabled ecommerce and banking services and presents the latest developments in the regulatory landscape. Also, it reveals what are the most innovative companies in this space, that are building the crypto rails.


About GoCrypto

GoCrypto is the global payments facilitator, enabling events, businesses, cities, and countries to integrate crypto payments on any desired scale. From pure crypto solutions to holistic services, supporting multiple payment methods on one point-of-sale. Available for physical and online stores.

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Keywords: cryptocurrency, merchants, Tether, stablecoin, ecommerce, payment methods, digital wallet
Categories: DeFi & Crypto & Web3
Companies: GoCrypto
Countries: Switzerland
This article is part of category

DeFi & Crypto & Web3


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