The founder of Blockchains.com, Jeffrey Berns, has recently decided to make a move in order to fulfill his “decentralized dreams”. He bought a small community bank based in Las Vegas called the Kirkwood Bank of Nevada.
He explained his decision by affirming that his current ambitions are not really compatible with how the current financial system works and that he constantly fears that the banking system would “cut off” his supply of capital.
Now, in order to create his own blockchain-focused smart city and an e-sports arena in the deserts of Nevada, he decided to buy this bank and follow his dreams.
Buying the bank was, to him, a “small but critical step” that cost him $28 million USD. Now, he wants to move forward with his project and to turn this bank into a major bank that will be focused on the blockchain community. According to him, the idea is the creation of an ecosystem in which legitimate businesses can empower people in order to create a better world.
He affirmed that most banks are afraid of the crypto world because they know that they will not be needed anymore. How to solve this problem? By buying your own bank, obviously. However, he also said that he wants to decentralize the bank in the future and to let the clients have real ownership of the institution.
One of the uses of the recently acquired bank will be to start some proof of concept and test out new ideas such as decentralized loans and micropayments using the blockchain. Berns believes that most banks would get in the way of his experiments if he did not acquire his own.
Finally, the last plan that Berns had concerning his decentralization dreams was to create a 3D printing company that would be used to create some of his blockchain city. By using hemp, an undervalued material, he would save money and it could also be more eco-friendly.
Buying The Bank
Berns started the negotiation with the banks in February 2018 and it took him a year to find the perfect partner for this venture. Before being acquired by Berns, the small community bank had never really changed owners since its creation in 2008.
Information from the FDIC states that the bank had a total of $86.6 million USD in assets and a 9.14% return on equity this year.
According to the current president of the bank, John Dru, nothing will change immediately, except for a new branch that will open in Northern Nevada. Also, the bank will change its name soon, but the new name was not revealed up until the time of this report.
The board and all the management are set to continue, too, but it is expected that more changes are to come in the next years if the bank is to focus more on the blockchain technology.