$BTC: Bitfinex and Tether CTO Pays for Coffee With Bitcoin at McDonald’s in Switzerland

In a sign of Bitcoin’s growing adoption, on Saturday (October 15), Paolo Ardoino, the CTO of Bitfinex and Tether, paid for his coffee at a McDonald’s restaurant in Lugano, Switzerland with $BTC.

Lugano is “a city and municipality in Switzerland, part of the Lugano District in the canton of Ticino.” It is “the largest city of both Ticino and Italian-speaking southern Switzerland.” Lugano has a population of roughly 62,000, and it is the ninth-largest city in Switzerland.

On 3 March 2022, CoinDesk declared that “aiming to become Europe’s Bitcoin capital, Lugano, Switzerland, has formed an alliance with stablecoin issuer Tether to establish bitcoin, Tether, and Lugano’s own LVGA Points token as essentially legal tender in the city.”

The report went on to point out that this decision is more significant than the move by some cantons (such as Zug) to accept tax payments in crypto.

What Lugano seems to want to do is similar to what El Salvador is trying to achieve, i.e. having all local businesses routinely accept crypto as a means of payment, but not as far as making Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency legal tender (since that is a decision that can only be taken at the federal level and therefore highly unlikely in the near to medium term future).

On 22 September 2022, Tether Operations Limited (“Tether”) and the City of Lugano announced that “they will be giving away 1 Bitcoin to Plan B Forum ticket holders at the upcoming conference,” which is taking place 28-29 October 2022, and that “three lucky ticket holders at the Forum will have the opportunity to win up to 1 Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain ballot prize.”

On 4 October 2022, the Tether CTO tweeted about the upcoming Plan B Forum event in Lugano:

And yesterday, Arduino paid for his coffee at a McDonald’s restaurant in Lugano with Bitcoin via the Lightning Network.

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