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In Nevada, a Utopian Vision Gets a Blockchain Twist

A cryptocurrency tycoon is pushing a state bill that would let private sector “innovation zones” test new technologies in mixed-use communities. What could go wrong?

A rendering of pedestrians on a stroll through Blockchains’ take on pop-up urban life in the Nevada high desert. 

A rendering of pedestrians on a stroll through Blockchains’ take on pop-up urban life in the Nevada high desert. 

EYRC Architects and Tom Wiscombe Architecture/Blockchains LLC

For as long as Nevada has been a state, private sector influence has been a part of public life. Lobbying by 1950s casino owners shielded the Las Vegas Strip and its billions in annual gaming revenue from municipal taxation and oversight. Decades before slot machines came along, the state constitution enshrined tax limits on the mining industry, which persist to this day.

But a proposal by Blockchains LLC, a holding company based in Sparks that invests in blockchain-based software and applications, would put a 21st-century spin on the state’s special relationship — and on a perennial dream of building better cities from scratch.