In the middle of the Nevada desert, a cryptocurrency pioneer is building an ambitious blockchain community and research center.
Nestled between Tesla’s gigafactory and facilities run by Google and Apple, the sprawling blockchain “utopia” will feature a high-tech park, an e-sports arena, and a college.
This is the grand vision of Jeffrey Berns, a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur who made his fortune buying ethereum back in 2015. After selling at an opportune moment, he amassed a multi-million sum.
“This will either be the biggest thing ever or the most spectacular crash and burn in the history of mankind”
Speaking to the New York Times, Berns outlined his ambitious goal of building a community around blockchain technology.
He plans to establish a new blockchain town on the Truckee River, complete with schools and houses, all with full backing from the local Storey County officials in Nevada.
Visit the site at the moment, however, and you’ll find a solitary office building acting as the nerve center for the project. Berns has poured more than $300 million into the land and development so far, including the hiring of 70 staff members to get the project off the ground.
High-Tech Neighbors: Tesla, Google, Apple
This once-quiet desert region in Nevada is now home to some of the biggest tech companies on the planet.
Tesla’s notorious “gigafactory,” the biggest factory on Earth, is located right next to Jeffrey Berns’ blockchain development. Apple and Google’s data centers are nearby, with Switch’s data center based near Las Vegas. Microsoft also runs an operations center in the region.
If San Francisco is the beating heart of the tech world, Nevada is its nerve center.
Tesla was lured here with a $1.3 billion incentive, while Berns cites the low tax environment and zero income tax.
The location of his blockchain utopia puts future blockchain research right in the heart of the tech world. It’s an apt choice for a future of collaboration and experimentation.
Powered by Ethereum
Berns may have made his fortune with ether, but his love for Ethereum doesn’t end there. He plans to run the entire project and community through the Ethereum blockchain.
Further reading: What is Ethereum? (A Simple, Comprehensive Guide for Beginners)
All employees and residents in the community will use the Ethereum system to vote on local decisions. They’ll also use it to store and control their personal data, with private keys stored across multiple devices for security.
As an extra backup, Berns is planning to build cold storage and deep storage vaults in the Nevada mountains.
This blockchain utopia won’t just help develop blockchain technology, but actively use it to function. The societal experiment is as big a feature as the blockchain laboratories he aims to build.
“Something tells me this is the answer”
As he explained to the NYTimes, “Something inside me tells me this is the answer, that if we can get enough people to trust the blockchain, we can begin to change all the systems we operate by.”
“Innovation Park” as the development is known, is still in the early stages, but it’s an exciting venture for blockchain technology. We may begin to see not just technological advancements, but real community change, powered by blockchain.
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