In his State of the State speech, Governor Steve Sisolak promoted an “Innovation Zones” proposal advanced by cryptocurrency Blockchains LLC founder and CEO, Jeffrey Berns.
Berns proposes Nevada allow companies like Blockchains to form local governments on land they own granting them power over everything—from schools to law enforcement.
Blockchains’ technology is a digital ledger known primarily for recording cryptocurrency transactions, “stablecoin”. It can be used in business dealings , personal finances and in local government record-keeping.
Berns’ company already owns more than 67,000 acres of land in rural Storey County east of Reno at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. He envisions developing “Painted Rock Smart City” over a 75-year period , which would include an estimated 36,000 permanent residents.
People in this “smart city” would not only purchase goods and services with “stablecoin”, but also have their entire online record– financial, medical and personal data—on blockchain.
Berns wants to break ground by 2022 and proposes to build 15,000 homes and 33 million square feet of commercial and industrial space. While details are sketchy, the “Innovation Zones” proposal re-imagines a futuristic “company town”.
Blockchains’ proposal would radically change Nevada law to allow these “Innovation Zones”.
Qualifying companies would be granted powers typically associated with those of county government– including creating court systems, schools, imposing taxes and building infrastructure while also making land and water management decisions—functioning as a county-within-a-county.
If the legislature supports their preliminary draft proposal, technology companies with 50,000 acres of land that promise making a $1 billion investment could create zones governed by three people with authority like county commissioners. The bill draft provides two of them would initially be from the company itself.
All the qualifying provisions in the current plan apply exclusively to Blockchains LLC.
While some voice skepticism , Governor Sisolak made the “Innovation Zones”