Nonsense. New York is not nearly as bad as SF for rent. I know someone who just rented a studio in the heart of lower Manhattan for $1500 and that includes heat and water. On top of that you don't need a car or Uber or any of that. Unlimited subway pass and/or a bike or CitiBike membership and you're set. That is absolutely manageable for a tech professional and well worth it for all the benefits of living here and access to opportunities. If you're doing a startup you're probably not that concerned with income taxes in the first few years. The one real downside is that office space is pretty expensive.
And I've lived here almost a year now and have never had a cockroach in my apartment, or even so much as a silverfish in the bath tub.
Coinbase is not a bank. Or a financial institution. If it were, it'd have a charter and licenses. It's a merchant just like any other. You give them money in exchange for goods. No different than iTunes.
It does not need to be licensed as a financial institution to be deemed as one. The courts can and will deem them that the company is subject to some of the rules and regulations governing the financial industry and up the charges against them when this enforced.
I am purposely not saying 'if'. Because there is no possibility of this not being brought to a judge on the behest of SEC themselves or a consumer complaint.
In layman terms:
(1)they buy and sell BTC on behalf of clients and charge the client for the transaction including their fees.
(2)they are an online payment processor of sorts.
They will need to follow more regulations than Paypal, as paypal is also a digital wallet of sorts, but while it provides a conversion, they technically do not trade(buy/sell currencies) on behalf of clients.
You are right, botcoin is not a currency, but it is a security and it is traded on an exchange.
Here's the definition of a security [Securities Act of 1933, Section 2(a)(1)]:
The term “security” means any note, stock, treasury stock, security future, security-based swap, bond, debenture, evidence of indebtedness, certificate of interest or participation in any profit-sharing agreement, collateral-trust certificate, preorganization certificate or subscription, transferable share, investment contract, voting-trust certificate, certificate of deposit for a security, fractional undivided interest in oil, gas, or other mineral rights, any put, call, straddle, option, or privilege on any security, certificate of deposit, or group or index of securities (including any interest therein or based on the value thereof), or any put, call, straddle, option, or privilege entered into on a national securities exchange relating to foreign currency, or, in general, any interest or instrument commonly known as a “security”, or any certificate of interest or participation in, temporary or interim certificate for, receipt for, guarantee of, or warrant or right to subscribe to or purchase, any of the foregoing.
I would prefer they get rid of waiters entirely and just have runners for the food. Then I can stop stressing about tips and grumpy waiters. In NYC, the waiter actually improves rather than detracts from my dining experience less than 5% of the time.
If it's such a formulaic process, the control should just be completely taken away from the end customer.
Other reasons that tipping should exist: it only serves to perpetuate racism  and sexism . A lot of waiters have preconceived notions about what kind of people tip more, who tip less, etc.: they're expecting business people in suits to pay more, and African Americans to pay less. So what happens when the two enter a restaurant? Servers fight among themselves on who should get who... because it's an issue of money for them. Trust me, I once worked at a restaurant -- it got ugly.
The sooner we can get rid of this strange and hate-inspiring custom, the better. Better for customers, better for restaurant owners, cooks, dishwashers, everyone.
Tipping is a cost sharing mechanism between restaurant operators and customers. Through an immense social reengineering effort, we could rid ourselves of the convention, and at the same time simultaneously raise prices for customers everywhere while at the same time lowering the income of professional (ie, non-temporary) servers. This doesn't seem like a great place to invest effort.
I have a friend from Australia that visits America regularly. We were talking about tipping once. They don't tip in Australia, and instead, just pay the wait staff and bartenders a large, regular salary. So a tipless dining economy can certainly work.
My friend said when he first encountered tipping in America, he did not understand it. At some point, he got it. He figured out how to use tipping to establish long-term relationships with the staff at the different restaurants and bars ... which you could then leverage in other social situations. People remember you, and when it is important, they will help you out. It was less about getting good service for oneself so much as demonstrating social proof for negotiations. What he said echoed some of the things I've heard from the pick-up artist community, though he was applying it as much to business dealings as anything else.
I've read the blog post written by the restaurant owner who talked about how tipping is primarily a power issue. That there's this underlying, smarmy association of tipping with fantasies of intimate relations with the waitresses. But now that I'm recalling my conversation with my friend, I realize that, while that kind of dynamic is indeed at play for some folks, it also seem like a waste of time and resources. Being able to establish influence at a number of venues that can later be tapped seemed more sensible to me. Meaning that, if you're not actually dealing and trading in power and influence, then you're indulging in the illusion of power and influence. I suppose people have to get their entertainment in some form.
To be fair, not being able to tip won't bother the folks who use it to maintain their network. They'll just find other ways to establish relationships with the staff.
You can use tipping that way, but you're not if you just tip 15%, which is all you're expected to tip. At 15%, you are, as I said before, sharing a cost with the owner of the restaurant that would otherwise be reflected directly in the cost of items on the menu, as it is in Australia.