Lugano: The blockchain city

Creating economic opportunity through payments, loyalty and community

Lugano, Switzerland is known for stunning mountains and lakes, refined culture and high quality of life. Lugano is also a blockchain capital of Europe. As part of the municipality’s larger strategy, they launched a web3 loyalty program. Three currencies in Lugano have de facto legal status: LGVA, Bitcoin and Tether. In Lugano it already possible to pay city fees in these cryptocurrencies. Soon, it will be possible to pay taxes in unlimited amount.

The municipality launched MyLugano app, LVGA token and MyLugano Card. These solutions creates incentives for spending in the city and actively support local merchants and businesses. 400+ businesses accept Bitcoin, USDT on Polygon & LVGA stablecoin as payment. Users sign up for the cash back benefits. Every time you spend crypto, you can get ~10% cash back in crypto. The merchants sign up to increase brand awareness, and sales, with locals and tourists. The hotels also accept payments and benefit from crypto industry events.

To get started, download the app and register.

To activate the card & e-wallet, verify your identity via KYC. By activating your e-wallet you automatically get your first LVGA token.

To pay with crypto, you scan a QR code on the POS for qualifying merchants on the display screen. Then, you confirm the transactions.

I used the LVGA token to buy a falafel and got 10% cash back in crypto.

The app has a number of tabs that allows users to search for merchants, collect and purchase NFTs to support local artists and sign up for events. As more residents create wallets, it becomes easier to develop digital co-ops (DAOs).

Economic development leaders can look to the case study of Lugano for inspiration on how to support local businesses, connect citizens and attract tourism and investment.