The DFINITY Foundation Announces Partnership with the Municipality of Lugano and a $1 Million Fund for Lugano Blockchain Startups

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The DFINITY Foundation, a not-for-profit research and development organization and major contributor to the Internet Computer blockchain, today announced a partnership with the Municipality of Lugano, Switzerland.

The Foundation also today launched a $1 million grant fund to support Lugano-based startups in their endeavors to enhance, promote and build on the Internet Computer. The grants will be issued to developers in Lugano who leverage the unique capabilities of the Internet Computer and develop open internet services that can serve the global community and in particular integrate ckBTC into their projects.

This collaboration is part of the city of Lugano’s overall blockchain development plans, which include the MyLugano crypto-payment app, extensive local adoption of cryptocurrency, and a multitude of blockchain companies setting up in the city.

The city of Lugano supports payments in LVGA, Bitcoin and Tether – which have been declared ‘de facto’ legal tender by the city. The de facto legal tender results in citizens being able to pay in LVGA, Bitcoin and Tether for their purchases at over 400 local businesses and access cash back rewards, as well as, progressively, pay fees and also taxes to the city administration.

As part of the collaboration, the MyLugano app developed by NOKU has undergone a major update. With the update, which introduces a multi-chain, multi-wallet solution, more experienced users will be able to manage the assets of other blockchains within the app. It will be possible to manage Internet Computer’s blockchain infrastructure and ckBTC. ckBTC on the Internet Computer is a multi-chain Bitcoin ‘twin’ that is cryptographically secured 1:1 with real Bitcoin. It is created by a pair of open-source, verifiable smart contracts, which allows for cross-chain transactions to stay completely decentralized. ckBTC benefits from the Internet Computer’s speed, security and scalability. ckBTC can be transferred with near-instant finality (1-2s) and for a fraction of the cost of a Bitcoin transfer on the Bitcoin network. The Internet Computer acts similarly to a Layer 2 for Bitcoin so that smart contracts on the Internet Computer can hold, send and receive Bitcoin natively.

Dominic Williams, Founder and Chief Scientist of the DFINITY Foundation, commented on the news, “The DFINITY Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Municipality of Lugano and bring ckBTC to the MyLugano app. This partnership is an excellent example of our new technology combined with Lugano’s forward thinking in regard to blockchain technology to accelerate the mass adoption of Web3. As one of the world’s fastest growing blockchain hubs, there are many exciting things happening in Lugano and we’re proud to be a part of the innovation of the city.”

“I am delighted to announce that the DFINITY Foundation has partnered with the Municipality of Lugano to award grants to Lugano-based blockchain companies. We are proud to support our local developer community and this partnership is a major step forward in Lugano’s journey as a leading blockchain hub,” said Michele Foletti, Mayor of Lugano.

Earlier this year the Casino of Lugano launched an NFT collection on the Internet Computer blockchain, the first step in the Internet Computer infrastructure integrating with the City of Lugano. The partnership with the Municipality and the availability of ckBTC on the MyLugano app advances this cooperation.

About the DFINITY Foundation

The DFINITY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization comprised of leading cryptographers, computer scientists and experts in distributed computing. With a mission to shift cloud computing into a fully decentralized state, the Foundation leveraged its experience to create the Internet Computer and currently operates as a major contributor to the network.

About City of Lugano

Lugano is the economic capital of Southern Switzerland, strategically located between the metropolitan areas of Milan and Zurich. Set in an exceptional natural context and landscape, Lugano is the ideal place for living and working.

The city hosts an important financial center and vibrant pharmaceutical, commodity trading and fashion hubs and remains a sought-after tourist destination.

Boasting three universities, Lugano is also home to world class research institutes and infrastructure, including the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IDSIA) and the Swiss National Supercomputing Center (CSCS).

Among the safest cities in the country, Lugano offers business friendly legislation, great infrastructure and political stability typical of Switzerland, combined with a Mediterranean flair.

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