Nevada’s governor believes he has found a new way to diversify the economy in the state by allowing big tech to create “innovation zones” which they would govern.
Under the proposal, companies developing cutting-edge technologies that have at least 50,000 acres (200 sq. kilometers) of land and promise to invest $1.25 billion could establish “Innovation Zones.” The zones would be governed by a board responsible for overseeing zoning, taxation, law enforcement and other government functions on their land. It would override local county regulations.
Although the governor argues against the idea as being compared to “company towns,’ the reality is this has been done before in the form of “mining towns,” where entire communities housing workers were built around mines and quarries.
While the legislation does not specifically mention the company, the proposal is geared toward Blockchains LLC, a cryptocurrency company that owns 67,000 acres of land (270 sq. kilometers) in rural Storey County. Blockchains LLC hopes to build a smart city 12 miles (19 kilometers) east of Reno that would include underground data storage bunkers, 15,000 homes and a research and development park where entrepreneurs could invent applications of blockchain technology.
The Innovation Zone proposal has sparked concerns about ceding excessive amounts of power to technology companies.
One has to wonder if the Las Vegas strip would be interested in a self governing deal.