Over the course of crypto’s meteoric rise, it has found several homes around the globe. Dubai, Singapore, Miami, and El Salvador all boast vibrant crypto communities as entrepreneurs flock from all over the world to build the next generation of startups. But Europe has had no hub, it has no place for the faithful to congregate.
Tether has always been committed to the global advancement of Bitcoin and technology which can produce a free and open monetary system. Tether has stood behind these values by advancing USDt adoption in emerging markets rather than the US, promoting Bitcoin and Bitcoin education, and as of last year through its Plan ₿ initiative with the city of Lugano.
The Plan ₿ initiative was started with the goal of building a European crypto hub in Lugano. While other cities and areas have given lip service to embracing crypto, they have fallen short of actually incorporating the benefits that crypto provides into the actual lives of the community.
As the initiative was announced Lugano began accepting Bitcoin, Tether, and the city’s own LVGA tokens as payment for taxes, parking tickets, public services, and tuition fees. The announcement also included a fund of 100 million Swiss francs to accelerate crypto startups in Lugano and a fund of 3 million Swiss francs to assist Lugano shops and businesses with crypto adoption.
Plan ₿ has accelerated the economy of Lugano, trained the next generation of students and workers who understand blockchain, accelerated sustainable Bitcoin mining, and hosted the Plan ₿ forum which is quickly becoming Europe’s premier Bitcoin and freedom conference.
The citizens of Lugano have started using crypto as part of their day-to-day lives, including with the LVGA token, the official token of Lugano. Using this token, citizens of Lugano can earn benefits and save money when making purchases in their local community. Lugano citizens do this with the MyLugano app which also supports Bitcoin and Tether.
The first year of Plan ₿ has come with many major milestones as the vision for a European blockchain hub comes into being.
100 Million CHF Municipal Bond Issued on SDX
Lugano issued a 6-year 100 million CHF bond on the blockchain of the regulated SDX exchange. This was the first municipal bond ever issued on a blockchain. Participants can own and trade the bond directly on the SDX blockchain or via the SIX traditional exchange.
Utilizing blockchain infrastructure to issue Lugano’s municipal bonds provides the city, and debt holders, increased transparency and accessibility.
150+ Plan ₿ Merchants Accepting BTC, USDT, LVGA
During the first year of Plan ₿ over 150 merchants (including McDonalds) began accepting Bitcoin, USD₮ and Lugano’s token LVGA. Citizens can now easily make payments in USD₮, Bitcoin Lightning and LVGA, using their wallets. By end 2023, the Plan ₿ Foundation aims to enable more than 2500 merchants to accept Bitcoin, Tether and LVGA.
Lugano Municipal Services in Crypto
In conjunction with the Plan ₿ initiative, Lugano began accepting payment for municipal services in crypto. This creates a seamless circular economy where the merchants who began accepting crypto payments do not need to sell that crypto in order to pay for their standard municipal services. Tether believes a crypto circular economy is an important step in global adoption.
The Plan ₿ Summer School
Tether hosted the inaugural session of the Plan ₿ summer school which featured 86 students from 26 countries coming to Lugano to learn from world-class experts and educators including Adam Back and Tether’s own Paolo Ardoino. 500 student grants were also made available to those wishing to further their education on blockchain technology.
Plan ₿ Job Fair
Tether hosted the Plan ₿ Job Fair which connected top blockchain companies with talent trying to break into the space. This was also an opportunity for Plan ₿ Summer School students to connect with potential employers.
Plan ₿ Forum
Tether launched the Plan ₿ forum, a conference focused on Bitcoin and advancing global freedom. Over 1500+ people flew in from all over the world to attend the conference in its first year. During the forum, over 1,000 transactions were completed via Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, close to 130 USD₮ transactions, and 200 LVGA transactions.
At the conference, El Salvador announced the El Salvador Digital Chamber of Commerce which Tether has helped support to promote national adoption of blockchain and digital assets.
Plan ₿ at the World Economic Forum
Tether brought Plan ₿ to the World Economic Forum in Davos to represent about the core values behind Plan ₿ - global financial freedom. Tether also hosted a Bitcoin Pizza Day event at the WEF.
The world is currently navigating between two competing visions for our financial freedom: one of top-down control via CBDCs and one of global financial freedom via open monetary networks. Tether will continue to advocate for technology which advances global financial freedom.
Sustainable Bitcoin Mining Tether has supported the development of Bitcoin mining projects in Lugano based on renewable and sustainable energy sources. This is an economic opportunity and an energy opportunity for Lugano while proving to the world that Bitcoin mining can be positive for the environment and our economy at the same time. Plan ₿ 2023
“The idea of Plan ₿ began with a dream. What if there was a city that could lead Europe, and someday, the world, towards total financial democratisation and crypto adoption?”- Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether.
To mark the culmination of a successful first year, Tether and the City of Lugano have announced the launch of the Plan ₿ Business Hub to explore the potential of blockchain technology as it pertains to business, adoption, and the long term use of cryptocurrency in the region. The Hub will house 300+ blockchain experts and enthusiasts. Serving as a global point of reference in Lugano, it is designed to attract talent, encourage networking and knowledge sharing. The hub will also host a recreational space for meetups and workshops to further foster education and development.
Tether is continuing to build on the considerable successes of 2022 in 2023. The Plan ₿ forum will be hosted again this year in Lugano. Ticketing details can be found at https://planb.lugano.ch/planb-forum. Tether will also continue its Plan ₿ summer school program with two sessions for 2023 in the spring and summer.
Tether will continue its efforts in driving education and the adoption of open monetary protocols around the world.
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