El Salvador, Lugano Sign Agreement to Help Spread Bitcoin Adoption and Education

El Salvador also announced it was opening a “bitcoin office” in the southern Swiss city.

AccessTimeIconOct 28, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 28, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. UTC
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Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's co-regional news chief, Americas. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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LUGANO, SWITZERLAND — The country of El Salvador and the Swiss city of Lugano have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at boosting bitcoin adoption in their own regions as well as neighboring states and countries.

Appearing at Lugano’s Plan B Forum on Friday, Milena Mayorga, El Salvador’s ambassador to the U.S., also announced her country’s opening of a “bitcoin office” in Lugano staffed with a new Honorary Consul to proselytize for bitcoin in the city, Italy and Europe.

More than one year ago, El Salvador became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Lugano has no such power in Switzerland, but about seven months ago launched its Plan B program with the goal of bringing bitcoin adoption to that city of 70,000.

Mayorga was later joined on stage by Mexican politician Indira Kempis, Serbia’s Prince Filip Karađorđević and Lugano’s Director of Economic Promotion Pietro Poretti, and, via video link, former congressperson and possible presidential candidate Zury Rios from neighboring Guatemala. While making no formal policy pledge, Rios made clear her interest in her country possibly adopting bitcoin.

A bitcoin advocate for some time and whose country has suffered its own hyperinflation, Serbia Prince Filip might have drawn the day’s loudest applause with his forceful denouncement of central bank digital currencies (CBDC), calling them – thanks to the promise of near-total government control – the complete opposite of bitcoin. He called the selection of Rishi Sunak as U.K. prime minister a disturbing development thanks to Sunak’s embrace of CBDCs.

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Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's co-regional news chief, Americas. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.


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Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's co-regional news chief, Americas. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.