Tether Operations Limited (Tether) and the city of Lugano, Switzerland announced their collaboration today to establish the city as a hub and a new center of excellence for blockchain adoption in Europe.

While focusing on local communities in Lugano, the collaboration aims to provide real-world applications with blockchain technologies to demonstrate the utility and practicality of the tech. And because Lugano is a city known for taking on innovation, the prospering tech ecosystem will provide a foundation for Tether to operate through localized services, taxation, reduction of infrastructure costs, and will help drive an expansion of Lugano's access to global markets.

One of the top goals for the city is to allow its citizens and businesses to pay all of their annual taxes, as well as taxes for goods and services, in cryptocurrency. The big news here is that Bitcoin, Tether, and select CHF-based stablecoins (Luga, LVGA) will be considered de facto legal tender, meaning the crypto can be used for tax payments, and paying for regular goods and services. All crypto payments will be converted into the local fiat currency thanks to the help of a few different service providers. 

Local businesses will be aided by Tether to build an infrastructure which can integrate their traditional payment systems with the approved stablecoins. Plus the Lightning Network will be another highlight feature for the city, as the LN provides secure, trust-less transactions while being highly scalable.

To help the city further prosper, a handful of established crypto companies, led by Tether, will create a multi-million dollar fund to help finance blockchain based startups in the region. And to ensure the city's efforts are lasting, Tether will provide expertise, knowledge and support to Lugano's education system, and aims to collaborate with local universities and research institutes.

The initiative is also working to provide an environmentally friendly finance economy. By using natural resources and responsible alternatives to power bitcoin mining, the city will be able to utilize mining proceeds to re-invest in a green growth of local infrastructure. 

"Lugano is investing in its future," said Michele Foletti, Mayor of Lugano. The city has already implemented blockchain-based solutions including the MyLugano app and its LVGA Points payment token, the Lugano digital franc and the 3Achain blockchain infrastructure. They believe in the technology to scale and build a stronger, open, transparent and smart city.

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