Blockchains CEO Jeffrey Burns announced plans for a 10,000 home “Smart City” at TRIC yesterday. Burns, speaking at a technology conference in Prague, told the excited crowd that he was creating the first connected Smart City built on the backbone of Blockchain technology.
When the teller first got wind of this project, we thought it would be inside the confines of the Painted Rock property that Blockchains recently purchased. However, according to Burns, he plans to put his Blockchain City in the middle of the dirt, away from the Painted Rock property.
“You see that first range of mountains,” Burns said, pointing south. “Those mountains are the border of our South Valley. That’s where we’re going to build the high-tech park,” which is where his research campus that would cover hundreds of acres would be located.
Watch The Keynote Address
The keynote address, which you can see below, talks about a complex that would house high tech businesses, shopping malls, and 10,000 residences.
The Blockchains announcement comes on the heels of Elon Musk announcing plans for 5-7,000 trailers being set up in a Tesla-Town for company employees. At a recent event held at the GigaFactory, Musk shared with the audience (which included Governor Sandoval and Burns) the challenges facing Tesla:
“The biggest constraint on growth here is housing and infrastructure. We’re looking at creating a housing compound on site at the Gigafactory, using kind of high-quality mobile homes,” Musk explained.
Big Plans Raise Big Questions
This news has truly excited the unwashed masses. The Channel 4 broadcasters were giddy with excitement last night as they wondered aloud what this might mean for Reno and the surrounding area. Certainly, it means massive growth in both Storey County and Northern Nevada. The impact this growth might have on all of us raises some direct questions.
Some of these questions include:
- What will the cost to the County be in terms of paying for additional infrastructure?
- What will the impact be on Schools, Fire and Sheriff personnel?
- Where will we get the water?
- How will these people get in and out of this “Smart City”?
- What will the impact be on the rural nature of Storey County?
- What will happen to the Wild Horses?
- How will this change the voting demographic of Storey County?
- Will the County Seat move from Virginia City to the new Smart City?
The Really, Really Big Question
The county has known about the plans for this “Smart City” for some time. It was mentioned in Pat Whitten’s April 16th application (which can be seen at the end of this article) to take the Opportunity Zone away from Dayton filed with Governor Sandoval.
Those paying attention will ask the biggest, most obvious question not raised above: How can any of this happen without a change to the County’s Master Plan?
The County finalized Master Plan with great fanfare in 2016 while I was writing for the Comstock Chronicle. Austin “The Man With The Master Plan” Osborne worked tirelessly to complete it. The Master Plan contains strict guidelines for slow, limited residential growth. When Musk and Burns make these announcements, they seem to be unaware of the Master Plan we currently have.
Danger Will Robinson, Danger Will Robinson
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge supporter of the BlockChain. I think it is exactly the kind of disruptive technology that can be used to wrest away power from political, government and banking structures that continue to destroy our real individual freedoms and liberties. The potential of the Blockchain enabling a more free world has encouraged me since I found out about it nearly a decade ago.
When I hear Burns say ““No government, no bank, no corporation, just trusting in math.”, I get both warm and fuzzy.
The idea that innovators like Burns and Musk want to hasten it along right here in The Richest Place On Earth excites me to no end.
But at what cost? Quoting the New York Times article that broke the news yesterday:
“There is a fuzzy line between these utopian visions and get-rich-quick schemes. Several cryptocurrency projects have been shut down by regulators; apparent hucksters have been arrested; and a plan to transform Puerto Rico with cryptocurrencies has been criticized as nothing more than a bid to take advantage of the island’s status as a tax haven. Mr. Berns was drawn to Nevada by its tax benefits, including the lack of income taxes. And the breadth of his ambitions certainly raises the risk of a boondoggle.”
The fact that Burnes is using his own cash is encouraging. But what will it cost us, the little people of Storey County?
Opinion Alert, Opinion Alert.
If all you want is the straight news, Stop Reading Now. Return to your regularly scheduled programming. The Opinion of The Teller Follows and may not be suitable for the timid souled, the thin-skinned or the soft-skulled. Continue reading at your own risk.
The Really, Really Bigger Question
Every deal of any magnitude at TRIC has cost Storey County residents on some level. We have seen TRIC Executive, Blockchains Government Affairs employee, Brothel Owner and Storey County Commissioner Lance Gilman benefit while the rest of us foot the bill and hold the bag. The Teller has documented at length about how Tesla, Switch and other abated companies have cost the county nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in lost tax revenue. in two short years. Storey County Schools have lost nearly $80 million alone in the past two years.
In the budget approved by Storey County Commissioners McBride, McGuffey, and Gilman, County, revenues this year are expected to be less than 2015 before Tesla broke ground. This reality is counter to the nonsensical narrative that Gilman started and McGuffey used to get unelected; we are swimming in an ocean of money and Gilman was trying his darndest to get some of that cash into the hands of the deserving residents. We all know that is pure flapdoodle.
So the question that Burns’s Smart City brings into laser focus right now is:
Which County Commissioner Candidate Will have the vision to protect Storey County from itself?
One has stood firmly with the residents and taxpayers interests for years. The other champions his support from the companies at TRIC.
The one we elect will be able to cast a no vote on things that are not in the interests of the residents. This is because Gilman will need to recuse himself from voting against the interests of the residents.
Do the research. Vote wisely.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
Full Disclosure: I support Nicole Barde for County Commissioner. You should too.Storey County Opportunity Zone Request to Governor