Crypto payments are taking off in a big way in Lugano, Switzerland, with 60 merchants and counting.

Over the weekend, thousands of Bitcoiners and cryptocurrency enthusiasts poured into the sleepy little Swiss town of Lugano. More specifically, they packed into a McDonald’s restaurant.

McDonald’s Lugano, located on Lake Lugano, has received countless visits from Bitcoiners who love to exchange Satoshis (the smallest denomination of Bitcoin) for Big Macs, McFlurrys and coffee.

But why were European crypto enthusiasts excited to pay for Bitcoin?

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in one of the most recognized brands in the world? Well, first to demonstrate the Lightning Network, a Layer 2 technology built on top of Bitcoin, but also to fulfill Satoshi Nakamoto’s promise that Bitcoin is actually an electronic cash system.

McDonald’s order paid with #Bitcoin via the Lightning Network.

I am for a Saifedean style order.

— ₿ GANDALF (@BTCGandalf) October 27, 2022
The entire McDonald’s team was trained and connected to the Bitcoin network just days before Europe’s premier Bitcoin and Blockchain conference, the Plan B Forum, Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino told Cointelegraph.

The Italian expat gave Cointelegraph an overview of Bitcoin and crypto adoption in Lugano, joking that the practical process of educating merchants on how to accept crypto can be time-consuming: “At McDonald’s we spend like a week because they have a lot of people who work there.”

Ardoino’s company, Tether, has orchestrated a great plan for the economic capital of Italian-speaking Switzerland to adopt Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. What started as a plan for citizens to pay their taxes in cryptocurrency turned into a summer school called Plan B, a conference called Plan B Forum and the adoption of cryptocurrency traders, led by McDonald’s.

Cointelegraph examines Bitcoin and cryptocurrency merchant adoption to better understand how countries, regions, or in this case cities can meaningfully adopt cryptocurrencies. Is it possible, for example, to live on cryptocurrency in Lugano?

More than 60 merchants accept cryptocurrency in Lugano. Source: Plan B
Ardoino explained that in the last few months the Plan B team has joined more than 60 merchants to accept crypto, but the growth of crypto merchants and payments is really starting:

“Basically, it took us 30 merchants to get to the first 600 transactions. But just in the last five days we had 600!
The Plan B team intends to reach 1,000 crypto-accepting merchants by the second quarter of 2022. “We have a business team visiting the city,” Ardoino explained. The team will bring more and more merchants to ensure that Lugano becomes the best place to spend crypto in Europe.

Unlike El Salvador’s top-down approach to bitcoin, in which the president announced bitcoin as legal tender and where there was reportedly little practical educational help for people on the ground, Plan B has the luxury of a team of embedded staff to have

In fact, Tether and Plan B have the resources to guide traders through the cryptocurrency onboarding process. Additionally, they can receive feedback from retailers and update their systems accordingly, Ardoino shared:

“But also the problem is the maintenance. We install [the POS solutions], and then we have people regularly check and say, ‘Okay, you have problems. Get feedback and stuff, because you know otherwise it will never to work
That’s right, on the first day of the Plan B conference, Mauro’s pizzeria on site had problems with the payment terminal. The Plan B team soon rectified the situation. At the Cointelegraph Hotel, upon arrival, the receptionist said she would accept crypto payments starting the next day. Cointelegraph resisted fiat payment for a full day before, as promised, the hotel’s POS solution was used.

Plan B payment terminal. Source: Plan B
All Plan B merchants accept payments through the colorful payment terminal in LVGA token, Bitcoin Lightning and Tether

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. LVGA is a stablecoin proxy for the Swiss franc and is available to local residents.

Related: Pro-crypto city of Lugano and El Salvador sign adoption-based economic agreement

The business partnership is between GoCrypto, a crypto payment company, and Tether. Interestingly, Ardoino told Cointe

Source: CoinTelegraph