Thursday, 04 June 2020
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Nevada ‘blockchain city’ to break ground in 2022, despite staffing changes

Blockchains said its Web3.0 platform for digital asset custody and digital identity management will also be released in 2022.

Blockchains’ plan for an ambitious smart city development in Nevada is facing some challenges but will break ground in 2022, according to an update from the company.

The initiative to build a 68,000-acre innovation park based around blockchain in Nevada was announced in 2018. The company’s CEO, lawyer and cryptocurrency millionaire Jeffrey Berns, said the site is “roughly the size of Reno” and described the proposal as “a series of projects” to highlight the power of public blockchain. It will include houses, banks, shops and schools, all using blockchain.

In a blog post earlier this month, the company said its previous forecast to recruit 1,000 staff by 2021 was “in hindsight very optimistic and is likely no longer feasible”. Over the last six months, it eliminated nine positions, following the acquisition of German blockchain development company slock.it.

The initiative to build a 68,000-acre innovation park in Nevada based around blockchain was announced in 2018.

During the same period, Blockchains points out it also hired nine employees at its Nevada headquarters, including two directors and a vice president. David Berns, the former president and brother of the CEO, has left the company.

The statement said: “Blockchains, like any organisation (especially start-ups), will continue to evaluate the company’s operational needs. To date, Blockchains has only eliminated positions that are not essential to the business. We are committed to hiring employees who have the skillset to move our vision forward in a rapidly changing ecosystem.”

Education and utilities

Blockchains said it is providing blockchain curriculum support to Nevada’s dually enrolled high school students to create a skilled junior blockchain developer workforce. It is also working with Nevada Industry Excellence and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to create a post-secondary Blockchain Certificate Programme through Nevada Technology Academy.

“By creating these education and employment pathways for Nevada, we intend to create positive economic change for the betterment of the community,” the company said.

Blockchains now has 67 full-time employees and five open positions in northern Nevada, and 52 employees and three open positions in Europe.

One of these openings is for an in-house senior director of land development to lead on areas such as securing utilities and master planning.

“We have acquired water rights in Innovation Park, and we are talking to multiple parties about potential projects that can bring a sizeable amount of additional water to the park and surrounding areas,” the company explained.

Blockchains said it is in confidential discussions with energy firm NV Energy about energy and blockchain projects, as part of the companies’ previously announced memorandum of understanding.

Platform

Another key area is developing the core technology for Blockchains’ Web3.0 platform, which will focus on digital asset custody and digital identity management. The platform is due to be released in 2022, “the same year we intend to break ground in Nevada”.

A software development kit is also in the works, to allow third-party developers to create applications to broaden the platform.

“A smart city built from the ground up is a long-term vision that requires extensive planning and resources, a vision that is and always has been a 10- to 15-year project,” Blockchains’ statement said.

A smart city built from the ground up is a long-term vision that requires extensive planning and resources, a vision that is and always has been a 10- to 15-year project.

It added: "We are considering raising capital through opportunity zone funds for development in Innovation Park and the smart city."

Announcing the plans in 2018, Jeffrey Berns said of blockchain: "In all of my life, in all of my career as a lawyer, I never saw a technology that I believed in more or one that I thought could really change the balance of power back to us instead of corporations and instead of Wall Street."


source: smartcitiesworld.net

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