The Mayor of Reno Is Betting Big on the Blockchain

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Hillary Schieve, the mayor of Reno, Nevada, takes my arm before we jaywalk across the street from City Hall. In 2016 a team led by artist Matt Schultz produced it for Burning Man, the annual celebration held a couple of hours north of the city, as a way of drawing awareness to “our hypocrisy towards protecting the oceans,” he informs me later. After the festival, the city leased the sculpture for $64,000.
The artists had actually attempted to sell it to the city, which had little interest in the $500,000 price tag, and when the price later came down, the city insisted the artists pay for repairs. The profits would raise funds for the city to clean up the whale and preserve it for the public to enjoy.

Reno mayor Hillary Schieve.
Picture: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
The issuance of an NFT is not, at this moment, such an extreme thing, even for a federal government. Cities and states all over have actually looked for sometimes to forge links to the blockchain. In 2018, Cleveland stated itself Blockland, though the label appears to have actually waned. Wyoming has set itself up as the premier regulative sanctuary for cryptocurrency, a label that other states, consisting of Nevada, now seek to challenge. All it takes is a couple of interested businesspeople and elected authorities receptive to “originalities,” specifically those with a cypherpunk ring. Thats not rather whats occurring in Reno. For Schieve, the NFT was an entrance to something else.
An early sign emerged in January, when Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami, a person on a recent tear of tossing out tech-friendly concepts and seeing what sticks, tweeted about turning his city into a “center for crypto innovation” focused around Bitcoin. Schieve was disappointed. “It was truly sweet,” Schieve says of the meme invasion her tweet inspired.

Why had she tweeted about Chainlink, of all things? For something, she is a financier. In 2016 she participated in a hackathon where a guest convinced her to begin meddling Bitcoin. She did, however discovered the speculation dull; it wasnt amazing to view the worth of her bitcoin go up and down. She started looking into other blockchains and the problems they looked for to solve. One day, she was checking out about kinds of digital identity– believe blockchain-enabled motorists licenses or vaccine cards– and encountered some intriguing cryptography that Chainlink was utilizing to keep them secure. The job appeared well appreciated and had a variety of high-profile researchers included. So she started buying Link, amongst other so-called altcoins. “I like to purchase things that I believe in,” she states. “I d never ever buy Dogecoin.”.

Hillary Schieve, the mayor of Reno, Nevada, takes my arm before we jaywalk across the street from City Hall. After the festival, the city rented the sculpture for $64,000.
Up close, the whales are looking a little wan. Many of the reachable panes have actually been shattered, and the metal skeleton is losing its sheen. Schieve, bundled tightly in a coat, her blond hair whipping in a chilly April wind, reaches toward a fragment of glass and sighs. “Im on the save-the-whale project,” she states. This was a questionable statement. The lease on the whale had expired in August 2019. The artists had actually tried to sell it to the city, which had little interest in the $500,000 rate tag, and when the cost later on boiled down, the city firmly insisted the artists pay for repair work. Schultzs group then tried to offer it on Facebook Marketplace for $1 million. No takers. All the while, nobody was giving the sculpture any TLC. In Schieves office, reference of “the whale” generates an eye roll. A white whale, beached on the banks of the Truckee River.
The proceeds would raise funds for the city to clean up the whale and maintain it for the public to enjoy. Schieve recognized this type of semi-symbolic sale may require some sweetening. (They do not remain overnight, Schieve adds; she did not mean to endanger any future electoral projects with drugs and orgies.).