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Swiss City Lugano Declares Bitcoin As Legal Tender

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A city in Switzerland called Lugano took a page straight from El Salvador‘s book. The region has announced plans to make Bitcoin legal tender. In other words, civilians can use Bitcoin like fiat currency. Additionally, businesses across the region must accept it as a payment method.

Switzerland has long been a big advocate of cryptocurrencies, which is reasonable considering the country’s long history as a financial tycoon.

Also, Switzerland is well known and respected among crypto enthusiasts. The country has lax crypto regulations and tax laws and is also home to the “Crypto Valley.”

Crypto Valley takes its name from Northern California’s Silicon Valley, a famous area, home to the world’s largest tech groups such as Facebook, Google, and numerous digital currency and blockchain companies.

Besides Bitcoin, the Lugano regulator added that civilians would buy items and pay tax-related fees with Tether. Tether is a well-known stablecoin.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by Lugano and Tether will promote the adoption of blockchain technology at the local level and allow citizens to pay taxes for all services in Bitcoin, Tether, or Swiss franc-based stablecoins. The new system will improve City’s blockchain capabilities and the shared goal of promoting Lugano as a new center for blockchain adoption at the European level.

Lugano’s goal is to have all businesses in the region accept bitcoin as a service by the end of 2022.

Crypto Issues In Russia: Binance Stops Accepting Russian Mastercard And Visa

Binance users in Russia can no longer trade with Mastercard and Visa on the platform.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume announced today that all transactions initiated using Russian-issued Mastercard and Visa cards would be unavailable on Binance.

In addition to the exchange platform’s restrictions on Russian Mastercard and Visa, all transactions initiated using Mastercard and Visa from financial institutions outside Russia cannot be conducted on Binance within the Russian Federation.

Before that, countries worldwide have imposed sanctions on Russia and all Russian citizens. The goal of the sanctions was to force the country’s president to end his attempted invasion of Ukraine.

A few weeks ago, CEO Changpeng Zhao said that Binance would not block and freeze accounts of Russian citizens.

Binance is not the only exchange that has refused to ban Russian clients completely. The CEOs of Coinbase and Kraken have also spoken out against blocking Russian users on their platforms. However, all exchanges have agreed to abide by U.S. sanctions to ban blacklisted companies from the platform.

However, Binance had no choice but to suspend the use of Russian Mastercard and Visa as the world’s largest credit card operator announced that they would shut down services in Russia as part of sanctions against Moscow. American Express also suspended operations in Russia last week.

Zhao shared the official Binance announcement on his personal Twitter account. He added that the decision is not in their hands nor made by the Binance team.

Intel, The World’s Largest Chipmaker, Is Launching Another Crypto Mining Chip

Intel, the world’s largest multinational technology company, has announced that it will launch another cryptocurrency mining chip shortly after launching its first mining chip. The announcement has been shared on Intel’s official website and Twitter news page.

An announcement on their official website states that the Agilex M-Series FPGAS will be the first in their series.

As Gomez explained, the M in the name refers to “memory.”

She also claims that these chips enable customers to achieve higher performance and energy efficiency across all end markets.

Furthermore, the announcement comes less than a month after the Bonanza Mine chip was first announced. At the time, the company said it wanted to be part of crypto and NFT mining with its chipset.

They also mention that these chips run 1,000 times faster than most traditional graphics processing units (GPUs). The speed makes these chips a revolutionary addition to the blockchain industry’s crypto mining business.

Central Bank Of The Philippines Is Launching A CBDC Pilot Program

The Philippines will launch a pilot program for a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

In a speech released on March 4, the governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines announced the launch of the CBDC project at a joint event organized by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Financial Inclusion Coalition.

According to BSP boss Benjamin Diokno, the project aims to improve the payment system’s security, resilience, and efficiency.

Diokno also highlighted the potential impact of CBDC. The BSP governor noted that the CBDC would assist the government-run cash assistance scheme. He believes that this will provide immediate support to vulnerable segments of society in the country.

However, the governor emphasized that monetary authorities and regulators need to build the necessary skills and technical capabilities to deploy and manage the risks associated with CBDC issuance effectively.

After the pilot, no one has officially confirmed whether the country will create its digital currency.

In a recent interview, the central bank governor said that the BSP has no plans to launch a CBDC shortly. That’s mainly because people are still heavily reliant on cash, given the country’s efficient payment and settlement systems.

The BSP announcement comes after other central banks, including the Federal Reserve, continue their research and development in the CBDC space. China is also one of the countries exploring CBDCs and launched a digital yuan at the last Winter Olympics, building on the launch of the past year and a half.

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