Bitcoinist spoke to Roman Pushkin, founder of LibreTaxi, an open-source ridesharing mobile app that will soon support Bitcoin payments, to find out more about his vision for this “free alternative” for Uber and Lyft.
Interview with LibreTaxi Founder, Roman Pushkin
Roman Pushkin (RP): It’s free alternative for Uber, Lyft, etc. It doesn’t compete with these companies directly. I made it for a remote area where I was born and found that people around the world like it. Uber probably won’t go to remote and rural areas, so LibreTaxi is perfect for that.
Bitcoinist: Who is working on this project?
I just think Telegram is nice, and it’s the secret sauce that allows individuals to compete with corporations.
Bitcoinist: What are the main differences between LibreTaxi and other transportation and ridesharing apps?
Technically it works through Telegram app at the moment. However, there is no hard dependency on that (and there is even a console PoC). I just think Telegram is nice, and it’s the secret sauce that allows individuals to compete with corporations.
RP: People need a ridesharing service in remote and rural areas where big companies will never go. At least I started with this idea in mind. Now I see how people are starting to use it in some cities as an Uber replacement. Also, you can never predict what type of taxi you want – boat, helicopter, rickshaw etc. LibreTaxi is open-sourced under MIT license. People can update it relatively easy or add vehicle types and run Uber-like services for their areas independently.
Bitcoinist: Is LibreTaxi decentralized? Or does the app store any funds and information from the user?
Bitcoinist: Crowdfunding is becoming widely popular, are there any plans for a LibreTaxi fund raiser?
Bitcoinist: Since no registration or approval is required, how can users be sure about the quality of the ride before using this app?
Yes, we have a plan [to support Bitcoin], and some significant work on that has been done already… people will love how it works.
Bitcoinist: According to Github, Bitcoin payments are coming. Why did LibreTaxi decide to add Bitcoin?
Bitcoinist: When can we expect this feature?
RP: There will be some sort of escrow. I’d like to, but I just can’t share all these details right now because of a signed NDA. I can only say integration will be seamless and secure.
RP: Have you heard about the WeChat messenger app? It has a built-in payment method. It’s really easy to use – I was amazed how easy it is. So some part of the integration will be done right through the Telegram app.
[T]he main idea of LibreTaxi – we don’t charge drivers and never will no matter what.
Bitcoinist: Arcade City is an Ethereum-based Dapp that has been dubbed as the ‘Uber killer.’ It has received a lot of criticism for being vaporware or even a scam. What are your thoughts on Arcade City?