A cryptocurrency millionaire has spent $400 million on an enormous plot of land in the Nevada desert with the intention of building a utopian community based on blockchain technology.
The 27,000-hectare site in Storey County, outside of Reno, has been purchased by Jeffrey Berns, a lawyer and new-found cryptocurrency millionaire who has announced plans for an experimental community with decentralised blockchain infrastructure.
Blockchain, which began as a digital ledger on which all bitcoin transactions are recorded, has now been touted as the future of digital economy, making it possible for ordinary people to control their own data without relying on big companies or governments.
Berns, who is 56, made his millions buying and selling Ether tokens, which are used on computing platform Ethereum, before their value crashed.
He now envisages a new city spread over about 260 square kilometres, where houses, schools, commercial districts and production studios will be built.
The centrepiece of this giant project will be the blockchain, with real-world laboratories and research helping to push the boundaries of the fledgling technology.