Taxicab medallions, which in many cities are required in order to operate a cab, were once highly coveted assets with a strictly controlled supply, trading in a transparent, reliable market.

Then Uber and Lyft sledgehammered the taxi market open and the value of a medallion went into free fall. At its peak in 2014, a taxi medallion in New York, for example, went for $1.3 million; now it sells for less than half that amount.

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