CARSON CITY, Nev. — Blockchain technology, officially recognized in Nevada since a law passed in 2017, has attracted about $300 million in investments statewide, according to Blockchains LLC.
Four more bills, all sponsored this legislative session by Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, who sponsored the earlier legislation, will further lay the groundwork for the technology, said Matthew Digesti, vice president, Government Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, at the Storey County-based startup.
The four bills — Senate Bills 161 through 164 — would, among other things, define a virtual currency and allow businesses to maintain certain records via blockchain technology.
Digesti and Stephanie Sciarani, vice president of operations for Blockchains LLC, provided a primer on the technology and where it’s headed at the Northern Nevada Development Authority breakfast held April 24 at the Casino Fandango convention center.
“We’ll attempt to demystify blockchain technology for you,” said Digesti.
Digesti said the technology essentially eliminates the middleman in many everyday transactions and saves time and money.
“Blockchain is a ledger in its purest form,” said Digesti.
It’s distributed across a network of peers. A transaction generates a hash, which if approved by all peers on the network, turns into a block, and multiple blocks in the transaction form a chain. Cryptography protects the data.
Sciarani gave examples of applications, including smart contracts which can be created, executed and disputed outside the already overburdened court system.
“So Matt agrees to buy my car on May 1. On May 1, the money is automatically deducted from his account, the title is automatically changed. It builds in a dispute resolution mechanism,” said Sciarani. “We can keep those breach of contract cases out of court.”
She talked about medication tracing from a company called FarmaTrust; medical record tracking and access from MedRec; and Titan Seal, which uses blockchain technology for government records and is currently working with Clark and Elko counties.
Even voting can be done using blockchain technology. Sciarani said West Virginia successfully tested a system from Voatz with 144 voters in the military who were stationed outside the country.
Blockchains LLC has several revenue streams, Digesti said in response to a question from the audience. It plans to build bunkers in which people can store their personal data, to incubate other startups, and to build a smart city in Painted Rock east of Sparks.
That project will also include a 1,000-acre blockchain campus. Digesti said the company is now working with Storey County on the master plan and hopes to break ground on the campus in the first half of 2020.