SPARKS, Nev. — The Northern Nevada tech sector has a new kid on the block.
Blockchains, LLC — a financial services, security and software firm that specializes in blockchain technology — on Thursday, June 21, finished setting up shop at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) in Sparks.
“Yesterday was move-in day, and we finished moving in this morning,” Sarah Johns, director of public relations at Blockchains, said to local reporters during a media-only tour Thursday afternoon. The company’s new 25,000-square-foot facility is a remodeled building that was completed in about four months by 15 Northern Nevada subcontractors, John said.
In January, Blockchains purchased 67,125 acres of land east of Reno at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center — a whopping 62 percent of the space at TRIC.
For perspective, Telsa, a cornerstone tenant of the park, owns roughly 3,000 acres at the center for its Gigafactory 1.
Which begs the question: What does Blockchains have planned for all of that land? After all, the company’s new 25,000-square-foot facility covers only about half an acre.
For now, Blockchains remains tight-lipped about its further blueprints.
“We do have plans to announce certain things down the road,” said Johns, adding that announcements will be made in the fourth quarter of this year.
The company, however, did announce that it plans to hire 1,000 employees by 2021. So far, Blockchains has hired 71 people, the majority being Northern Nevadans, Johns said. Currently, the company’s website has 12 job openings listed, including Chief Operating Officer.
Johns said the company did not get tax breaks to come to Nevada, but playing a big role in Blockchains’ decision to boot up in Sparks was Sen. Ben Kieckhefer’s “blockchain bill” passed last session. The law, Senate Bill 398, blocks local governments from taxing blockchain transactions.
“It basically makes it very friendly for the blockchain industry,” Johns said.
Johns said Blockchains CEO Jeffrey Berns and president David Berns, brothers and California attorneys of a class-action law firm, had previously considered launching the company in Washington. That all changed with passing of Kieckhefer’s bill.
“They completely pivoted once that bill went through and changed direction from Washington to Nevada,” Johns said. “And then they took a closer look at how business-friendly Nevada is and that really solidified Northern Nevada.”
The company’s current focus is developing applications that use blockchain technology. In addition, Blockchains plans to be an incubator for many technologies — from artificial intelligence to nanotechnology to 3D printing — with blockchain technology at the root of it all, said Elaina Duffy, marketing director at Blockchains.
“We are looking at doing something greater than developing software,” Duffy said. “Ideas that can be incubated under our roof, with our guidance, with our know-how, with our developers who can use the platform.”