CARSON CITY, Nevada: Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has proposed allowing technology companies specializing in blockchain technology to develop "Innovation Zones" on privately owned land in the desert, building their own private cities where they will exercise powers akin to local governments.
Such local governments would enjoy the right to impose taxes, create school districts, and even courts, he said, according to the New York Post.
As the private cities would be run entirely on blockchain technology, a record-keeping system that serves as the basis for cryptocurrency transactions, residents would be able to use cyber coins to pay bills, make purchases, transfer property rights and even obtain marriage licenses, he added.
According to the proposal, only those companies owning 50,000 acres of uninhabited land and agreeing to invest $1 billion over 10 years would be allowed to set up the "innovation zones".
The proposal, which has yet to be discussed, comes at a time when the tourism-centric state of Nevada is reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sisolak is hoping the plan, which envisages interconnected smart communities that generate jobs and commerce on unused land, would help boost the Nevada economy and aid recovery.
"This is different than anything that's ever been proposed before. Companies can collaborate on a future together that would make Nevada not just a national, but a global leader in blockchain technology," he told the New York Post.
"There's gonna be a lot of naysayers," he said, and urged Nevadans "to take a moment to look at the proposal".
If the proposal is passed, Nevada-based Blockchain LLC, which has earlier announced plans to establish a blockchain-based city and has already purchased almost 70,000 acres of desert land east of Reno, close to Tesla's battery gigafactory, would be among its first beneficiaries.