Nevada city mayor bets on blockchain

Hillary Schieve, the mayor of Reno, Nevada, not only invests in cryptocurrencies herself, but sees the technology as a way to improve government services.

According to a story in Wired, Schieve has created non-fungible tokens for art works that are installed in a Reno plaza. Offered for sale on a blockchain called Tezos, the NFT owners receive a CAD file and a video from the artist, with the proceeds going towards the city to clean up of existing public art, such as a whale sculpture that represents our duty and relationship to the oceans, preserving it for the public to enjoy.

However, Wired reports that for Schieve, NFTs are a gateway to something else. Schieve, with others, envision city residents receiving cryptocurrency that corresponds to the value of certain city-owned parcels of land. People could buy and sell their stakes, and if the land were leased or sold, they would all share in the proceeds. This would happen automatically, through smart contracts—blockchain-based programmes—that could be altered only by consensus among the shareholders.

These efforts are perceived as laying the groundwork for other applications such as an unemployment system run by smart contracts providing a more transparent and fraud-resistant operation, and the possibility of death certificates issued by blockchain.

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