Switzerland has long been a haven for the wealthy due to its well-established banking secrecy laws, but its citizens have warmed quickly to the self-sovereign ideals behind Bitcoin (BTC).
Giw Zanganeh, head of Lugano’s Plan ₿ initiative, highlighted the growing use of Bitcoin for everyday payments in the Swiss city in conversation with Cointelegraph journalist Joe Hall at the Plan ₿ Bitcoin Summer School.
Lugano has emerged as an adoption hub for Bitcoin, Tether and its self-styled LVGA stablecoin which can be used to pay for a variety of utility bills, goods and services across the city.
Zanganeh, who head’s up Tether’s Plan ₿, believes that Switzerland has shown remarkable adoption of cryptocurrencies despite its renowned financial and banking infrastructure:
“What I see is a society, which makes me very bullish, a lot of people are interested in Bitcoin, from a philosophical perspective as well. It aligns very well with Swiss values.”
Zanganeh added that the Swiss are typically “strong on individual sovereignty and financial privacy”, which creates overlaps between the values of Swiss culture and those of the Bitcoin movement:
“Considering the amount of Bitcoin-only companies in Switzerland,it probably has one of the highest density per capita of Bitcoin-only companies around the world.”
According to Zanganeh, more politicians, diplomats and members of parliament and Switzerland’s financial commission are becoming Bitcoiners which reaffirms a bullish outlook for BTC adoption in the country.
A contributor to increased Bitcoin usage has been a concerted effort to inform and educate the Swiss populace about the merits of BTC:
“We have regular articles in newspapers where we touch on different aspects of Bitcoin and financial liberty. We try to reach people interested in financial freedom and freedom of speech. Maybe they don’t know how Bitcoin plays a role there.”
While the uptake of Plan ₿’s Bitcoin adoption is a “gradual process”, Zanganeh said that the onboarding of merchants across Lugano has been crucial in opening up a new payments paradigm in the region.
Likening the process of Bitcoin adoption to the initial proliferation of bank cards some 50 years ago, Zanganeh said that practical experience with novel transactional methods will continue to onboard more users to the Bitcoin ecosystem:
“If you look at merchants over time, if more and more people go and pay with Bitcoin, you’re going to learn.”
As Cointelegraph previously explored, Bitcoin Suisse CEO Dr. Dirk Klee highlighted the country’s potential as a center point for institutional cryptocurrency adoption.
The Canton of Zug is another region of Switzerland that continues to attract cryptocurrency and blockchain firms due to its progressive, government-backed, crypto-friendly initiatives.
The interview is part of an upcoming Cointelegraph documentary about what it’s like to attend a Bitcoin School. Subscribe here (https://www.youtube.com/@cointelegraph) to watch.
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