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Regulators approved Blockchains application for fiber network in rural county

The front of the office building for Blockchains, a company that purchased about 67,000 acres of land in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in January. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent).

Nevada regulators have approved an application allowing nascent and well-funded Blockchains LLC to operate as a telecommunications provider in a small, rural Nevada county.

The state’s Public Utilities Commission approved an order last week allowing Blockchains, which in January purchased 67,000 acres of land in Storey County at a prominent industrial park, giving a regulatory go-ahead for the company to proceed with its plans to construct a major fiber optic telecommunications network.

The application with the PUC was filed in August, and stated the company’s desire to build a new fiber optic network to serve businesses and residents in Storey County, which is located east of Reno. No other parties filed to intervene in the company’s application, and PUC staff advised that the company met all requirements under state law to operate as a telecommunications service provider.

The company’s primary purpose is developing applications that use blockchain technology for purposes such as transactions and contracts. Bitcoin, the digital currency, is the best-known example of the technology, but Blockchains uses another platform called Ethereum instead.

Approval will likely mark one of the first steps to the company’s recently-revealed ambitious plans to create a blockchain oasis in the Nevada desert, including a master-planned community, schools, blockchain-themed bank and e-sports arena all at a proposed “Innovation Park.” The company says it plans for most major development to happen in the future, but it has already opened a headquarters in Sparks and had hired more than 70 employees as of June.

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