The Future of Cryptocurrency in Daily Payments: Lessons from Lugano


Cryptocurrencies have sparked a global debate on the future of financial transactions, with a particular focus on their integration into daily payments.

The Swiss city of Lugano stands as a pioneering example of how cryptocurrencies can be woven into the fabric of everyday life, serving as a case study for cities worldwide, according to Bitget’s Gracy Chen.

According to Chen, over 15% of residents in Lugano have adopted the city’s own LVGA stablecoin for regular financial activities, including paying bills, shopping, and accessing online services.

Digital Assets Prove Valuable for The Unbanked

While in developed countries like the United States, the unbanked population is as low as 6%, in regions such as Africa, it spikes to over 52%, highlighting the transformative potential of cryptocurrency in fostering financial inclusion.

Despite the growing use of digital currencies, they have yet to achieve the ubiquity of traditional payment systems in household finances.

However, the tide is turning, with global payment companies and trading platforms issuing crypto credit cards and major corporations like Wikipedia, Microsoft, and Google embracing Bitcoin payments, Chen said.

Lugano itself has become a live experiment in crypto living, allowing residents and visitors to conduct their daily transactions entirely in cryptocurrency, supported by over 400 local merchants.

Digital Assets Prove Valuable for The Unbanked

The “legalization” of crypto assets, highlighted by the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S., marks a significant milestone in the integration of cryptocurrencies into mainstream finance, she said.

This regulatory acceptance is crucial for building consumer confidence in digital currencies as a legitimate and integral part of financial progress.

The involvement of institutional players such as MicroStrategy, Square, and Tesla lends further credibility, encouraging broader acceptance and use of blockchain services.

The evolving landscape suggests a future where banks may offer loans in altcoins and operate in ways reminiscent of current crypto exchanges, with decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms playing a central role in providing efficient, low-cost financial transactions.

In a recent report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also suggested that digital money could significantly improve financial inclusion and enhance the quality of financial services in the remote and dispersed nations of the Pacific Ocean.

The report noted that nations have limited and unequal access to financial services, which contributes to persistent poverty and inequality.

Moreover, these countries heavily rely on remittance flows, making them particularly vulnerable to diminishing correspondent banking relationships.

To address these issues, the IMF believes that embracing the digital money revolution could unlock several benefits for the Pacific Island nations.

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