Uber replaced with blockchain

[This was a naive post. What I envisioned was a location based “payment for service” concept like TaskRabbit but fully genericized. Rather like an all in one Paypal/Venmo + Uber/Lyft + Taskrabbit/Fivvr + Angieslist/Craigslist. An any-location “I need this — will pay $X for it” service that provides the means to connect providers with consumers. • I need a ride to… • I need a dog walker… • I need to move a piano… • I need someone to fix my sink… • I need a cord of firewood delivered. • I need *something* at my location who can help me? Why all these independent silo-services need to exist when a single all-in-one service would do — baffles me.]

Could Uber be replaced with blockchain?

It seems that the only purpose of corporate Uber is to provide global management of Uber drivers and rides, create the server infrastructure to host the data and payment mechanism, and take half to two-thirds of a driver’s earnings.

I wonder if such a service couldn’t be total democratized through blockchain technology?

“BlockRide” would:

  • Be hosted on a gateway only cloud system that provided communication between BlockRide app instances.
  • Be a standalone application which provided both driver and rider connectivity through the cloud gateway. The mobile app would be leased by both drivers and riders at some rate that would go to support the cloud infrastructure. The app would provide peer-to-peer communication for transaction finalization.
  • Be regionally distributed – blockchain databases would be divided by region based on GPS.

Ride requests would be posted into the cloud, for a region, and drivers would bid to win riders. The transaction would be posted-pending at the time of the win and sealed as a blockchain transaction at the time of rider seating. Various payment methods would be built into the app to facilitate funds transfer. Bitcoin is an obvious addition to this process.

Driver reputation and liability would be managed by the drivers themselves. Other services would probably spring up to create “driver guilds” and Yelp style recommendation platforms. BlockRide could facilitate some of this reputation management, rather like Youtube channel likes/dislikes. (Rider reputation could managed too.)

The regional blockchain databases would store the transaction records for an entire region, city or county. Anyone with a registered instance of the application could review transactions for the region in which they are currently operating.

Drivers and riders would communicate their peer-to-peer transaction with at least N other nodes participating in the loop.

I’m not well versed in blockchain technology which means I’m probably making incorrect assumptions about the way such a service would work. Other’s knowledgeable about the concept could correct me.

Ride sharing seems like an appropriate blockchain supported service. Uber may have started out as a egalitarian, distributed system, but it certainly hasn’t stayed that way. Perhaps it’s time for the real Uber to stand up and put the power back into people’s hands.


Thinking about this, I wonder if TaskRabbit or Fivvr already do this? If not, perhaps this model could be applied to any location based “service for hire.”


Bitcoin’s apparent stability

Bitcoin’s apparent stability is, well, unstabilizing.

There is no way that bitcoin could go from the wild volatility of months past to this, this barely blipping beat of this bubble. Someone, or some group, has taken it upon themselves to stabilize the price of BTC. Sell it hard when it gets above the 30 day MA and buy it harder when it drops below the 30 day MA (plus or minus half a standard deviation).

Winklevoss, Andressen, and the rest are afraid for their investment. The KNOW they have to artificially inject stability into BTC or the world will dismiss it out of hand. So, they’ve systematically agreed to work the price such that it floats at ~$950 for months if need be. Expect that this artificial flatness to the volatility of BTC to continue for many more months.


Bitcoin 2.0

For now, the negatives outweigh the positives with regards to alternative digital currencies. The need for anonymous criminal cash transactions will always lead and supersede those of legitimate business commerce.  The criminal element contains a constant element of desperation. Desperate people will always forgo legal boundaries if their need is great enough.

Bitcoin suffers from its ability to move vast amounts of cash. It is this capability that lures nefarious activity. If an alternate currency were to be offered that limited this capability then the considerable benefits of using digital currency could be employed. Bitcoin’s use as a means of exchange – in limited monetary transactions – is its biggest draw. Paying for coffee, dinner, movies, etc. via instant electronic transfer, anonymously, increases our personal information security, reduces identity theft and removes institutional banking from the money minutia of everyday living. It looks like the most deleterious use of BTC is its ability to move large quantities of cash. I would wager that 99% of users would never use BTC in this way. That they would use it as a means of daily, limit, economic exchange.

But how to limit Bitcoin’s or its successor’s huge money moving capability?

Bitcoin 2.0 cannot completely eliminate such capability. But like the mining of bitcoin, BTC 2.0 could make it increasingly arduous to transfer larger and larger quantities of BTC.

• Limit accounts/addresses/keys per IP.
• Limit transactions per account/address/key, 10 per day.
• Limit transaction sizes (10% of the 10 year moving average price of gold).
• Throttle transaction throughput by transaction size, the smaller the faster.
No doubt other ways to build in constraints can be thought of.

Reducing the laundering capability yet increase the utility of digital currencies is a worth endeavor. Money need not only be comprised of dollars and cents.