How to tame Uber

Norwegian opinion piece in Klassekampen. Translated using Google Translate.

Erna Solberg told VG January 7 that she saw more opportunities than problems with sharing economy, as taxi service Uber and hotel service Airbnb. She further said that prohibition is not the solution. This was good news. The question now is where the limit should be set on this scale from the current fair game ban.

Regulator set traditionally in contrast to innovation. Innovation moves fast and is disruptive; it disturbs and challenges existing markets. Little regulation provides thus more innovation and drives society forward.

But it is not said that regulation is the opposite of innovation, and therefore only an evil. Regulation is society’s recognition that innovation is a good idea, and that it must now be adjusted to fit into our society. Just as the expected maturity of we are the youth of swift change until we step into the adult ranks, is regulating society’s way of accepting innovation into society ranks.

So I am, in spite of being technology optimist positive to regulate the sharing economy. Now comes the time to reduce the sharing economy’s weaknesses and to help its forces through regulation.

I think it is therefore now important not to use the old mindset, but creating new rules, adapted to the weaknesses and strengths of the sharing economy.

New York State was facing the same regulation problem with digital currency Bitcoin and adopted in autumn their “BitLicense.” In assessing how the regulation has worked, it is generally agreed that they took too well and regulated too hard. Instead of a nature reserve, it was created a zoological garden with chains and concrete.

Today Bitcoin-startups in New York gone bankrupt or moved to another state. Without license is Bitcoins illegal to use for residents and businesses in New York, which means that the greatest innovation in finance at many hundreds of years, and Wall Street, the financial industry’s stronghold, is torn apart, which in turn stagnates development.

The key is to agree on what’s innovation strengths, and how we can facilitate the further development of it. Put another way – to what extent sharing economy should be regulated. We must not be tempted to recycle old father famous clothes and pull them over this innovation.

Currently we have just witnessed the sharing economy’s first phase. It is important to let it grow freely, at least partially, and not fall for the temptation to regulate the murder for the benefit of the familiar and safe. I rather think we are served by stepping up regulation as we see how innovation evolves, and think it is unfortunate if we now say that “Uber’s taxi and Airbnb’s hotel. All the rules are the same, and there are no exceptions. ”

Are we holding steady hand, may sharing economy flourish and live side by side with the markets we know today.


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