Is a corporation building a blockchain city in Nevada?

Plans for a blockchain-based smart city are taking shape in the Nevada desert. Your client pursues statesmanlike ambitions.

The crypto investment firm Blockchains LLC is planning to build a crypto city in the US state of Nevada. Jeffrey Berns, CEO of the company, hopes for extensive political powers in the area

Berns wants to build a city in which the blockchain is not only used for numbers. Rather, his project envisages extensive use of the technology for city administration and the processing of personal data. The smart city is to be built in rural Storey County, an area not far from the casino metropolis of Reno. Blockchains LLC acquired $ 170 million worth of land there in 2018, according to an Associated Press report .

The company has offered to build 15,000 residential units there over the next 75 years. In addition, it announced the use of 3 million square meters of commercial space. The political dimension of the Berns plans, however, raises questions.

A blockchain state within a state?

The CEO’s ideas have spawned a bill in Nevada that provides for the creation of so-called “innovation zones” on (sufficiently large) land owned by a company. There “alternative forms of political administration” are to be tested. The areas would be subordinate to a tripartite commission, with two of the members initially coming from the ranks of the respective company. Specifically, this means that corporations such as Blockchains LLC could take over government tasks such as jurisdiction, police work and taxation in these zones.

Berns justified the attempt to abolish the state separation of powers with an economic argument. Because according to the CEO, the traditional state does not leave enough room for the innovative use of blockchains and comparable technologies. He told the Associated Press:

The ability to take risks, be agile, and figure things out how to do when designing new products is not the way the government works. Then why not just create a government that lets us do these things?

Unclear prospects for success

Whether or not Nevada’s lawmakers will respond to this proposal remains a big question mark. Because the draft law has not yet been officially submitted or debated. However, the state is keen to diversify its economy beyond tourism. The construction of new apartments is currently largely prohibited on the area acquired by Berns.

Steve Sisoka, the state’s Democratic governor, was benevolent of Blockchains LLC’s plans in his annual address . He highlighted the innovation potential of a blockchain city. His campaign staff had received about $ 60,000 in donations from the tech company in the past. Elon Musk’s Tesla also operates a large manufacturing facility in the state.

In the advance of Blockchains LLC, optimistic observers will have recognized the first step towards a tech utopia. Others may be more skeptical. Behind the demands of Berns one can also assume a path to that barely restricted corporate democracy that has become an integral part of gloomy future scenarios at least since the sci-fi classic Blade Runner .