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Tether and Bitcoin: a report on the first month of crypto purchases in Lugano

After a first month of using Tether and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies in Lugano stores, the business owners said they have yet to see anyone using the aforementioned coins to make purchases. 

As anticipated, people have been able to make purchases in Bitcoin and Tether in Lugano for just over a month. However, the question arises as to how much this opportunity has been used by citizens. This question was answered by some merchants in downtown Lugano

Lugano: the goal is to become the crypto capital of the world 

Despite the efforts and ambition of the City of Lugano, apparently, there are still very few citizens who pay for their purchases in cryptocurrencies such as Tether and Bitcoin. 

A short while ago, there was the launch of the city-wide Plan ₿ program aimed at introducing blockchain and crypto culture among the city’s businesses. The project involves stores, businesses and institutions, with the aim of making the city on the Ceresio River a cryptocurrency capital of the world.

Specifically, it is since October that merchants began accepting payments in Bitcoin and Tether. Today, there are nearly one hundred businesses in Lugano that have joined this initiative, and many more are ready to participate.

However, it seems that cryptocurrency payments are not proceeding well in Lugano’s venues and stores. In fact, some local merchants, have stated that this initiative has not yet found significant feedback from consumers. 

What Lugano merchants are saying about Tether and Bitcoin payments 

Paolo Zappa, owner of the Intersport Zappa sportswear store in downtown Lugano, judged the first month of joining the initiative by stating: 

“Satisfied? I am happy to have received the POS also because it accepts LVGA. However, so far we have not yet received any payment in Bitcoin, and I assume that after what has happened in the last fortnight, it will still be that way for a while.” 

Obviously, the owner is referring to the failure of FTX, one of the most popular crypto trading platforms that collapsed in recent weeks and brought the entire market to its knees. 

Apparently, the negative sentiment is widespread whether in the apparel sector, the technology sector, or the gastronomy sector. In fact, even Damiano, owner of the hi-fi and home cinema store Musicdoor, said that he has not yet made any sales in cryptocurrencies for the time being. 

For others, such as the owner of Dolce Vita Shop, a gourmet store selling Sicilian products, it is only a matter of time. Indeed, the much more optimistic store owner stated: 

“Having recently received the POS, we have not yet been able to make sales in Bitcoin.” 

However, there are also those among merchants who were expecting different results. This is the case of Ottica Götte, whose owner stated: 

“We expected different feedback. At least in my reality, as a merchant among the first to accept these payments in the city, we have not yet had a customer offer to pay in Bitcoin or Tether on their own initiative. The vast majority still pay with traditional methods.” 

In addition, the optical store on Pessina Street says it has received a few cryptocurrency transactions in the past, but with a system that has nothing to do with the City’s current initiative. 

There is positive news for the LVGA tokens introduced in Lugano

Fortunately, the situation looks quite different when it comes to LVGA tokens, the city’s virtual currency introduced by MyLugano. Almost a year earlier, in fact, the ground for Plan ₿ had been prepared by the LVGA token initiative. 

Specifically, thanks to this initiative, tokens were introduced that can be accumulated through the “cashback” formula and then used in payments with the entities that have joined the program.

As proof that this system is far more widespread among customers, Damiano of Musicdoor said: 

“Through MyLugano we have performed several transactions, also because we have been within the circuit for a while.” 

The same is confirmed by Dolce Vita Shop: 

“We have received several transactions with LVGA, especially now in the Christmas season, we notice more and more people paying and accumulating these tokens.” 

Not only does payment with LVGA turn out to be more popular than payment through Bitcoin and Tether, but it also produces more satisfaction among merchants, as in the case of Paolo Zappa. Who said that MyLugano’s tokens seem to be more successful, given people’s use of them.

However, even the token system does not fully satisfy everyone, such as the optical store that admits that it has made a few more transactions with LVGAs than with common crypto, but that again it is not yet being talked about as a regular practice. 

Tether payments and Bitcoin: no expense or risk 

Despite the difficulties encountered in the city of Lugano with respect to citizens’ adherence to these new payment methods, merchants and traders, nevertheless, have reacted very well to the introduction of Tether and Bitcoin in payment systems. 

This is because there are no expenses or risks for them in accepting these new payment methods. In fact, merchants are provided with a POS that accepts cryptocurrency transactions, and they are given the option of both keeping them in the form of Bitcoin or Tether and converting them immediately into francs.

However, the shared view that has emerged from merchants is that, for now, they prefer to convert crypto payments into francs. This is because many of them do not yet own cryptocurrency wallets

In any case, crypto payments are well-liked by merchants as they give choice and no risk. Moreover, the very possibility of choice is for many of them a reason to start thinking about a future investment in crypto, should there be sufficient liquidity. 

Time is likely to play an important factor and, perhaps, it just needs people to get used to this new formula. All that remains is to wait and see how and whether cryptocurrencies can become the currency of the future, and whether this transition can actually start in Lugano.

Alessia Pannone
Alessia Pannone
Graduated in communication sciences, currently student of the master's degree course in publishing and writing. Writer of articles from an SEO perspective, with care for indexing in search engines.