Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft have ceased operations in the city of Austin, Texas due to government regulations. Arcade City, decentralized ride-sharing company, has commenced operations in Austin to fill the void left by the two outgoing ridesharing companies.
Austin’s ridesharing regulation ordinance forces out Uber and Lyft
The city of Austin passed an ordinance requiring more stringent background checks, including fingerprinting, for ridesharing. Proposition 1, a ballot initiative meant to overturn the ordinance, failed. As a result, both Uber and Lyft have since ceased operations in Austin.
Christopher David, CEO of Arcade City, a ridesharing service that grew out of a Bitcoin-funded swarm activism campaign and plans for Ethereum integration later this year, sees the city’s ordinance as an outdated measure that will fail at holding back business innovation.
“Austin claims to be a hub for innovation. Let’s see how they grapple with the inevitable irrelevance of corporations and governments thanks to the disintermediation revolution. Highly connected peer-to-peer ecosystems that harness the wisdom of crowds can self-organize and self-govern better than some arbitrary third-party ever could. We really will ‘decentralize all the things’. The only question is whether the centralists will stand aside or actively resist the change.”
Arcade City is one step ahead of the game
Arcade City, which is in the middle of an app update, announced on their website their intention to go into Austin specifically because Uber and Lyft were pulling out. Many newly out of work ridesharing employees have joined on with Arcade City, which uses its decentralized nature, combined with a tipping or by-donation model, to avoid the city’s ordinance.
According to David, this is the beginning of a new wave in business and technology that regulators will be unable to effectively stop.
“Uber was the honey badger of 'ridesharing 1.0'. Laws didn’t fit their model yet they operated anyway, eventually building enough consumer support to force changes in the laws. I’m sure bureaucrats are tiring of the constant battle, but the real battle is only beginning. Central intermediaries who maintain their position through force of law will see their influence erode across every sector of business and governance. In Arcade City we’re excited to push that evolution forward as we pioneer decentralized ‘ridesharing 2.0’.”
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