Jim Epstein on Bitcoin and the Cypherpunks



Uber has made waves by undermining the government's hold over the taxi industry while making it easy for anyone with a car to become a driver and anyone with a phone to hail a car. But for some radical entrepreneurs, the ride service hasn't gone nearly far enough. Take Matan Field, a 35-year-old Israeli and theoretical physicist, who is the cofounder of a venture called La'Zooz. His aim is to bypass not just regulators but all kinds of middlemen, liberating the taxi industry from external controls altogether. And Field doesn't plan to stop there. "It's a new vision for the economy," he says, "that's much bigger than transportation." Field, writes Jim Epstein, is part of a self-branded "decentralization" movement coalescing around the idea that recent breakthroughs in computer science have made it possible for individuals to exchange goods and services without the involvement of any third party.