Multinational fast food joint McDonald’s has reportedly begun to accept Bitcoin and asset-backed stablecoin, Tether as payment in the Swiss town of Lugano as part of an ongoing crypto-friendly experiment in the Italian province in Switzerland. The development arrives after Lugano signed a memorandum of understanding with Tether Operations Limited in March 2022 allowing Lugano residents the option to pay for taxes, goods, and services, using digital currencies. Furthermore, with Tether’s help, the Italian-speaking city is set on becoming a major blockchain hub.
Bitcoin Magazine tweeted a one-minute video of ordering food on McDonald’s digital kiosk and then paying it at their regular register with the help of a mobile app. Along with this, the Tether logo was also spotted next to the Bitcoin symbol on the credit cash machine. It is understood that Tether is collaborating with global payments facilitator GoCrypto to enable crypto payments in the city.
“Earlier this year, Lugano and Tether signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a strategic collaboration through several initiatives, including to help local businesses integrate their existing payment services with the permitted stablecoins and Bitcoin,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether speaking to Bitcoin Magazine.
“We have been working together to ensure the technological infrastructure is in place to support this and today we watch all of that hard work come to fruition,” Ardoino said.
Merchants participating in the initiative so far include fast food giant McDonald’s, a handful of art galleries and others.
Apart from onboarding merchants, the initiative wants to extend crypto payments later to include parking tickets, public services and student tuition. Residents of Lugano will also be allowed to pay taxes using cryptocurrencies.
To support the rollout, Tether created multimillion-dollar funds to help finance blockchain startups in the region and collaborate with local universities and research institutions to educate younger generations on cryptocurrencies.