In an international first, the Swiss town of Zug in central Switzerland will begin accepting Bitcoin payments for government services on a trial basis, the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SwissInfo reports.
Zug residents will be able to make payments of up to 200 Swiss francs ($205) using Bitcoin.
Mayor Dolfi Mueller said that the Zug City Council wants to show its “openness to new technologies” and cater to local financial technology companies, BBC News reports. The Zug area is known as the “crypto-valley,” as it hosts more than a dozen companies specializing in Bitcoin-related activities.
The pilot project, officially approved on May 3, will start on July 1 and continue until the end of 2016. After an analysis of the results, the city will decide whether it wants to continue accepting Bitcoin payments in the future.
“This is the first time worldwide that bitcoins have been accepted as a currency on a state level,” said Niklas Nikolajsen, co-founder and CEO of Bitcoin Suisse, a Bitcoin exchange based in Baar, not far from Zug.
Engadget notes that the project is an ideal testbed. Zug has a laissez-faire approach to its economy, even for the relatively market-libertarian climate of