While Switzerland has been popular among the wealthy for its prowess in banking, the country has also been slowly welcoming those who mainly want to use Bitcoin (BTC) as an alternative form of money.
Cointelegraph reporter Joseph Hall spoke with Pietro Poretti, the director of the economic development division of the city of Lugano. They discussed various topics including how to set up a company using Bitcoin in the city of Lugano, the state of crypto adoption in the city, and the possibility of getting a residence permit in the country through the use of BTC.
According to Poretti, Bitcoin can now be used as capital to set up companies in Lugano. The executive said that businesses can set up shop if they have a minimum of 100,000 Swiss Franc (CHF), about $116,000 USD in Bitcoin, to register a company. Firms would initially need to deposit the amount in Bitcoin to go through the process of having their companies established in the city.
The executive noted that companies are already registering their businesses in Bitcoin. According to the executive, there’s also been an increase in the shops, restaurants and service providers where people can purchase goods and services using Bitcoin throughout the city. He explained:
“Ideally, what we would like to achieve is to offer an opportunity to whoever lives here or whoever visits Lugano to live without having to use fiat currency, without having to use Swiss francs.”
Apart from purchasing goods and services, the executive also stressed that people residing in the city are able to pay taxes and contributions in BTC. “The city is open to accept Bitcoin for taxes and for a number of other fees and contributions that Lugano-based residents have to make,” he added.
When asked about the possibility of getting a residence permit to live in the city using Bitcoin, the executive noted that this matter is dealt with at the cantonal level in Switzerland and is not within the municipality’s jurisdiction. However, Poretti remains positive that with the precedent set by Lugano, other levels might soon be more open to Bitcoin.
“What we foresee going forward is, thanks to the example that Lugano is setting, that there might be also other levels, in the Swiss system who might be interested in being more open to Bitcoin,” Poretti said.
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