For generations when without their automobiles, humans have taken to taxi when looking for on-demand personalized transit. In recent years, companies like Uber (www.uber.com) and Lyft (www.lyft.com) have offered fares for essentially the same service. These services lowered the barrier of entry to drivers and allowed a more competitive environment, driving fares down wherever they operate.
But it was not long before the taxi lobby got territorial and started efforts to force these companies out of markets wherever they could. Take the city of San Antonio, Texas for example, where the city council in December decided to mandate several onerous requirements for Uber drivers, some of which cannot realistically be met because of various technicalities. As a result, on April 1st, 2015, Uber announced it is leaving the San Antonio market. Similarly, Lyft was forced to leave Houston, Texas because of similar laws that restrict ridesharing companies.
The taxi lobby outspends the TNC’s (transportation network companies) 3500 to 1, per the Washington Post, June of 2014.
It is thereby fully expected that anti-competitive practices and lobbying will result in TNC’s being further and further restricted in order to appease protectionist monopolists who are threatened by true free market competition and innovation.
But that’s where La’Zooz steps in.
La’Zooz (www.lazooz.org) is a decentralized ride sharing and package transport service that is currently in development. Initially founded by a team out of Tel Aviv, Israel, the La’Zooz network functions similarly in many ways to Uber and Lyft and is now being worked on by people from all over the world.
But for bureaucrats, here’s the rub: With La’Zooz, there’s no company for lobbyists and their political puppets to go after! Monopolists throughout history have used government to enforce their protection rackets through regulation and legal restrictions. If a company is filed under government law, that company must abide by the rules and regulations (whether ethical or not) that are set out by that government or face legal repercussions. But what if those rules are designed with the sole purpose of eliminating competition?
The La’Zooz network is a fully decentralized version of a ride sharing network. Through the use of such incipient technology as smartphones, it allows riders and drivers to meet voluntarily without having a trusted third party or company involved, thereby providing a truly free peer to peer method of ride sharing, transit and package delivery.
La’Zooz capitalizes on innovations such as blockchain technology to make all of this work. The currency of the La’Zooz network is “Zooz,” which is a cryptocurrency unit that is created (mined) by drivers who are willing to share their location to the network. The mining algorithm is a “proof of movement” type algorithm that generates currency units as miles are traveled by drivers in their network. When a rider wants to use the La’Zooz network, they must buy these tokens on the open market – generally from some sort of exchange where they can be traded for government currency or even Bitcoin. Once a rider has Zooz tokens, he or she can then begin to consume services from the La’Zooz network.
When contrasted with centralized, incorporated networks like Uber and Lyft, it is easy to see how decentralizing ride sharing can benefit the consumer. By operating in a manner that is outside the scope of legal bureaucracy, La’Zooz will be able to provide the most competitive environment for drivers to operate. This free market will undoubtedly drive the price of these transit services down as more drivers come to compete for business on the network. And because La’Zooz is a protocol, not a company, there is nothing that the state can do to stop it. After all, consider the definition of “protocol”: a set of rules governing the format of messages that are exchanged between computers. When real people are at both ends of a protocol, and both sides use the protocol to meet their needs in the marketplace, use of such protocols amounts to free speech. Good luck regulating that, bureaucrats.
The La’Zooz network is currently under massive development. More information can be found at www.lazooz.org. Be sure to read the blog for updates from the developers, and ask questions in the forum, which are all directly linked on the website.