Renault Mayor is betting on blockchain

Hilary Chevy Mayor of Reno, Nevada, takes my arm before we wander across the street from City Hall. She continues to hold it as we cross the daring plaza on the other side, not leaving it until we reach our feet, or rather the fin of our destination: carved out of gigantic steel and colored glass of a humpback whale tearing its calf. Her name is Space whale. In 2016 a team led by artist Matt Schultz created it for Burning Man, the annual festival a few hours north of town, as a way to bring awareness to our “hypocrisy toward protecting the oceans,” he later told me. After the festival, the city rented the statue for $ 64,000.

Up close, the whales look a little pale. Most of the accessible parts were shattered, and the metal skeleton lost its shine. Skeev, in a tight coat, her blonde hair whipped in the cold April winds, she reaches for a sliver of glass and sighs. “I am on a whale rescue campaign,” she says. This was a controversial statement. Al-Hout’s lease expired in August 2019. The artists attempted to sell him to the city, which had little interest in the price of $ 500,000, and when the price later fell, the city insisted that the artists pay for the repairs. Then Schultz’s group tried to sell it on Facebook Marketplace for $ 1 million. Not taking. The whole time, no one was giving the statue any TLC. In Schieve’s office, the mention of a “whale” is of great interest. White whale on the banks of the River Truckee.

But this spring, Schieve (pronounced she-vee) devised a possible solution: Symbol is not exchangeable, Or NFT, offered for sale on a blockchain call Tesus. The new owner will get a .CAD file and a video from the artist, but the actual physical statue will remain in the Renault city center square. Proceeds will raise money for the city to clean and preserve the whale for the public to enjoy. Schieve realized that this type of semi-token sale might require some sweetening. So she was considering offering benefits, like tagging her annual trip to Man is burning With fellow elected officials. (They did not stay overnight, Schieve adds; she had no intention of endangering any future campaigning with drugs and orgy.)

Mayor of Renault Hilary Chevy

Photography: Patrick T Fallon / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Releasing the NFT is, at this point, nothing drastic, even for the government. Cities and states everywhere have sometimes sought to create links to the blockchain. In 2018, Cleveland It declared itself as Block Land, Although the label has diminished. Wyoming has installed itself as prime minister The regulatory haven for cryptocurrencies, A name that other countries, including Nevada, now seek to challenge. All it takes is a small number of interested businessmen and elected officials receptive to “new ideas,” especially those with a Cypherbank ring. This is not exactly what happens at Renault. For Schieve, the NFT was a gateway to something else.

An early sign came in January, when the mayor of Miami, Frances Suarez, had recently teardrops. Brainstorm appropriate technology And seeing what gets stuck, chirp About turning his city into a “crypto innovation center” centered around Bitcoin. Skievi was dissatisfied. When will you become a Marine at LINK $? she She joked in reply, Cryptically to most readers. She was referring to a blockchain platform called Chainlink, perhaps best known for the cult of “Marines” who flock to any mention of technology on social media. Their loyalty is expressed through the ranks earned by #HODLing (i.e. holding) the platform’s cryptocurrency, called Link. Apparently, the mayor of Reno was a member of the battalion – a “pierced link”, in the language of society. “It was really cool,” says Schieve of the meme invasion that her tweet inspired.

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