The latest news on the CNBC Disruptor 50 companies upending the status quo in the markets:
America's most wanted: The sharing economy
In cities and towns across the U.S., a nefarious web of unregulated criminals is perpetrating such crimes as, well, renting out their rooms and homes to travelers who don't want to pay high hotel rates they could never afford in the first place.
Such are the strong feelings, and the growing reactions from regulators and communities, about the rise of the sharing economy in such highly regulated—and tax receipt friendly—industries as lodging and transportation. The latest of many examples comes from Silver Springs, Calif., where a committee of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council heard complaints from locals worried about safety issues and traffic stemming from an increase in transient guests, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
It's just one more example in the "Wild West" of the sharing economy. Spain's tourism industry has cried foul over lost tax receipts from lodging. New York City recently took action in an attempt to make Airbnb operate according to rental regulations the company says shouldn't apply to it. Wall Street firm ConvergEx recently suggested the next Great Depression will be caused by the sharing economy's impact on consumer spending. And even the high brow New Yorker chimed in this past week with a column on the battle between the sharing companies and government regulators around the world. It argued that at some point, a deal is going to have to be reached by all parties that allows for regulation of the world's Airbnbs.
Airbnb, meanwhile, has been quoted throughout the ruckus as saying that with close to 200 countries now under its belt, it simply doesn't have the time to respond to every local government demand. Next up for Airbnb: Ireland, where it has just decided to set up its European headquarters. Ironic, since Ireland is where many "regulated," multinational corporations, including Google and Apple, set up international affiliates to avoid taxes. But that's perfectly legal and blessed by the world's governments.
(Read more: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas ... as data)