The influence of blockchain technology may be growing more quickly than even industry experts imagined it would. Nevada-based tech company Blockchains LLC made headlines in 2018 when they announced their “smart city” initiative: a plan to create an entire city on 67,000 acres in the Nevada desert where nearly everything would be built on blockchain technology.
How blockchain might be used in a “smart city”
Residents of the 15,000-home smart city would use Ethereum (Blockchains LLC’s CEO Jeffrey Berns’ cryptocurrency of choice, which helped make him a multi-million dollar fortune during the early rise of crypto) for financial transactions, including everything from buying groceries to paying bills to online banking.
Beyond just finances, which are the traditional use of blockchain technology, residents of the smart city will use digital applications to handle the majority of the responsibilities of daily life. There’s not a lot of clear definition yet regarding what this would look like, or which affairs they’d manage via blockchain. Some have suggested things like:
- Recording documentation, such as driver’s licenses or marriage certificates (the latter of which some ordinary cities already do).
- Voting in local elections (which some ordinary counties also already do).
- Scheduling appointments.
- Paying for products and services – including grocery shopping, landscaping, repair services, and more.
- Utility bills and records, including water, electricity, gas, internet, and others.
- Paying local taxes, or for public services like trash removal or security around the city.
- Working and transmitting work-related materials.
- Storing medical and dental records.
- Public and private transportation expenses.
- Use of Smart Contracts for all contracts..
- And others.
How blockchain enables privacy in communities
Berns has alluded to his vision being to create an environment where the ability of government organizations and private companies to access your data is as limited as possible, and has been quoted as saying that he thinks both the government and corporations in America have “stuck [their] nose into our business too much”. Blockchain development allows individuals to transmit information directly to each other without making use of a middleman, which means that only the sender and recipient have access to data.
For example, if you were to transfer money to a friend via a payment app, the app and possibly your bank also have information about that transaction. Using a cryptocurrency (like Ethereum) would allow you to send the money directly to your friend’s account, with no other organizations being able to access information about the transaction.
When can we expect the “smart city” project to get started?
Though the idea for the project was announced back in 2018, the reality is that the state of Nevada will need to grant Blockchains LLC a lot of legal leeway to bring it to life. Nevada’s current governor, Steve Sisolak, started off 2021 by working on a proposal referred to as the “Innovation Zones” plan, which was intended to give tech companies the ability to create their own local governments within the state. This would, as Governor Sisolak argued (and Blockchains LLC agreed), both help foster innovation and help the state recover economically from the strain brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Without this provision, Blockchains LLC will have some difficulty bringing their idea to life. Though Governor Sisilak had originally planned to pass the bill in mid-2021, he’s since scaled back and suggested a special joint committee to examine the proposal and further discuss concerns raised by some counties in Nevada.
Though it’s not 100% clear when the smart city initiative will get off the ground, blockchain is a fast-growing technology and is bound to become a bigger part of our lives. Learn more about a cryptocurrency transaction platform we built, which is helping ordinary people use cryptocurrency more and more in their everyday lives.
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