SPNM: Bitcoin Nodes, TaxiTapp and Farmobile

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The Silicon Prairie News Minute, featuring Ryan Pendell, the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.  Host Jim Collison from theAverageGuy.tv – Highlighting the best startup news in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.  Recorded on December 22, 2015

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Jim: I did a show on Home Gadget Geeks recently with Edward Weniger about the Bitcoin scene here in Omaha. Besides owing bitcoin, is there any other way for me to get involved in the Bitcoin movement?

Ryan: So one of the virtues of Bitcoin is that it’s decentralized, the transaction records are distributed throughout the network in each node. Surprisingly, however, the number of nodes in the network are actually decreasing. If you’re interested in keeping Bitcoin decentralized, you want to more nodes not less.

Now there’s a company in Omaha that’s created a very cheap Bitcoin node to do just that.


Jim: How much does it cost and for the average geek, can I get one?

Ryan: Here’s the catch. It can only be bought with Bitcoin, and it’s currently going for .317 BTC which is $139. For more on this Bitcoin story and more bitcoin related stories, go to https://siliconprairienews.com/ and search for bitcoin.

Jim: It seems like everyone is talking about getting rides with Uber or Lyft these days.  How long before we see the Taxi business go “out of business?”

Ryan: They certainly won’t go quietly. There are several startups that are trying to create taxi apps that can help the taxi industry compete against Uber and Lyft. One of them, TaxiTapp recently exited the Iowa Startup Accelerator. With TaxiTapp, you can put in a reservation (which you can’t do on ride-sharing) and you can also compare drivers, rates, and companies. The service is free for cab companies, with a $1 charge for the passenger per ride.


Jim: They are going to need something soon!  When is it suppose to hit the market?

Ryan: TaxiTapp is planning on going “live” in January 2016. For our full interview with the CEO of TaxiTapp, visit http://siliconprairienews.com and click on startups.

Jim: I have heard of the battle for your data in the cloud, but what the the data being created on the ground?  Can Farming data really be that valuable?

Ryan: A big question across many industries right now is, “Who owns your data?” There’s a lot of money wrapped up in that, especially in the ag sector of the economy. Traditional Big Ag companies want to own the data from farmer’s equipment–because it’s really valuable. On the other side, let’s call it the open source side, are those who want farmers to retain the rights to their data, so they can use it however they want or sell it as they wish.

Farmobile is a Kansas City ag startup that is firmly in the later camp.


Jim:  What is the appetite right now for small start up investing? Does this sector still have legs?

Ryan: Well, Farmobile recently announced a raise of 5.5 million, led by a venture capital group based in Amsterdam.

If you’re interested in reading more about that raise and what it might mean for ag tech, go to http://siliconprairienews.com and check out our Investment section.

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