Applications and Use Cases

Nevada Could Host First Blockchain-Focused Smart City

February 19, 2021

The CEO of a Nevada-based tech firm has raised some eyebrows with a proposal for a new type of development project.

Jeffery Burns of Blockchains LLC has recently helped introduce draft legislation that would permit his company to create an independently-run smart city that runs completely on blockchain technology. The company is trying to persuade state officials to change laws to allow “innovation zones”, or company owned areas that could be run on their own system of rules and regulations. Burns believes current laws and regulations the city is accustomed to is preventing blockchain, as well as other crypto technologies, from fully flourishing.

“There’s got to be a place somewhere on this planet where people are willing to just start from scratch and say, ‘We’re not going to do things this way just because it’s the way we’ve done it,’” Berns said.

Enhancing established cities with smart features has been a plan for many state and local governments in recent years. But the idea of having a company with complete sovereignty in a privately-owned space has received a polarizing response so far. Burns’s proposal would certainly help drive innovation and promote cutting edge technologies, but allowing this has some officials concerned about tech companies having too much influence over the lives of citizens.

“I don’t know enough yet to say whether I’m comfortable with this as the next step or not. But, look, it’s a big idea and Nevada has been built on big ideas, so let’s hear it out,” said State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer.

The legislation would allow tech companies that own 50,000 acres of land to govern with three city officials, two of which would be employees. It would also mandate that all participating companies invest a minimum of $1 billion dollars. If Burns and his team are successful in convincing Nevada officials, Blockchains LLC would like to break ground by 2022 in rural Storey County, 12 miles away from Reno.

Edited by Maurice Nagle



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