After El Salvador, McDonald’s now accepts payment in bitcoin in Lugano, Switzerland

In March, the Swiss city of Lugano announced its “Plan ₿” to accept bitcoin as legal tender. On site, McDonald’s now accepts bitcoin as a means of payment.

The fast food chain McDonald’s now accepts payment in bitcoin and usdt (the stablecoin of Tether) in the Swiss city Lugano, which has 63,000 inhabitants. The brand has been accepting payment in bitcoin at 19 outlets in El Salvador so far, after accepting bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021.

A video published Monday by the specialized media Bitcoin Magazine shows a person paying in bitcoin in a McDonald’s. Concretely, the person used the Lightning Network (LN) application which was on his phone, to pay on the spot.

Use of the Lightning Network

The Lightning Network, whose “white paper” (white paper) dates from 2015, allows the use of bitcoin as a means of payment, for low-value transactions, and with reduced fees. This solution, which is outside the Bitcoin blockchain, thus makes it possible to pay without waiting for a transaction to be in a block of the Bitcoin blockchain to be validated (principle of “proof of work”). The LN solution thus allows almost instantaneous payment.

As a reminder, a bit like a digital book, the blockchain brings together all the blocks (transactions) of a network, from the oldest to the most recent. The two best-known blockchains are Bitcoin (and its own cryptocurrency bitcoin) and Ethereum (and its own cryptocurrency ether).

According to a recent report from Arcane Research, the Lightning Network has been gaining momentum for several months, in particular due to the growing interest of individuals and investors in the queen of cryptocurrencies. It was used by more than 80 million users last March. Its payment volume has also increased by 400% between 2021 and 2022, reaching 500,000 payments in the first quarter of 2022.

A Plan ₿ mentioned last March

The mayor of the city of Lugano, Michele Foletti, first posted the information on his Twitter account on Sunday. The latter speaks of the “first merchants” who allow payment in bitcoin. Apart from McDonald’s, we do not yet know the other stores that are also affected.

Last March, Michele Foletti and Paolo Ardoino, the CTO of Tether, announced the establishment of a “Plan ₿” aimed at ensuring that Lugano adopts bitcoin as legal tender in the future.

“El Salvador’s GDP increased by 10% and its tourism by 30% after declaring bitcoin as legal tender,” Paolo Ardoino said at the time. “Imagine what we can do in a city in the center of Europe”.

The Plan ₿ also calls for the creation of a $3.26 million investment fund to drive the adoption of bitcoin, usdt and the city’s stablecoin (lvga), as well as a fund of $108.6 million to help start-ups in the blockchain ecosystem.

At the end of October, the city will host the “Plan ₿ Forum” event, focused on the democratization of bitcoin payment.

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After El Salvador, McDonald’s now accepts payment in bitcoin in Lugano, Switzerland


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