Augur, the decentralized prediction market, is rapidly attracting new users to its platform.
Even though the ICO was back in September 2015, it took until mid-2018 to launch their mainnet on Ethereum. The long period of development seems to be paying off ever since the launch, with a betting volume exceeding $1 million for the first time on July 17.
Additionally, on July 18, the first bets finalized and roughly $20,000 was paid out to those sitting on the right side of the prediction. Time to take a look at the recent progress of this promising dapp.
After a long, long period, the highly anticipated Augur dapp launched on July 9.
Augur has created a platform for forecasting and betting on the outcomes of future events. All users of the platform can create their own forecast markets, make bets, and sell shares based on the outcome of any world event. To get the most honest opinion from users, some skin in the game is required in the form of Ethereum. Users are basically betting on future events. The odds of any given outcome are represented by the shareprice of that outcome.
Through these bets, the wisdom of the crowd is used as a measure for trying to predict future events. Many minds outweigh any individual expert and the outcomes produce valuable sources of information for all kinds of purposes, such as elections, predicting trends or choosing which football team to bet on on another site. Users are generating valuable data out of personal interest and the more users Augur attracts, the more valuable the outcomes become for a large variety of organizations.
Now that Augur’s highly anticipated prediction platform has launched, we can start seeing how the dapp will actually be used, which will likely generate some highly interesting predictions and outcomes. The fact that the dapp is already popular is clearly indicated by the activity on the platform, with already over 300 predictions and around $1 million at stake. Some of the popular predictions are about the price of the larger cryptocurrencies, the World Series winner and whether Trump will be reelected.
If you’re keen on participating on Augur, you can find the latest release of the Augur App (1.0.4) here. As a side note, the team highly recommends and encourages users to first read the Augur FAQ before using the Augur protocol.
With the increasing popularity of the Augur dapp comes the consideration as to how much the platform can scale. Since Augur is built on the Ethereum protocol, it is dependent on the speed and cost of the Ethereum network, both of which have experienced serious limits when tested. Early December, the Cryptokitties dapp already congested the network and just recently, a spam attack that costed the attackers $15 million severely congested the network again. Given the rising popularity of Augur, Ethereum’s scalability could limit the dapp’s ability to grow.
Another interesting issue is how the platform will handle morally questionable predictions. Since Augur is permissionless, anybody can create tickets, which wasn’t possible before on centralized prediction markets, and tickets can be about anything. One can’t help but wonder to what outrageous predictions the community could open up for bets—wagers on predictions about drugs, terrorism, or assassinations for example. This could in turn attract regulatory scrutiny and a potential shutdown. If this happens, we will find out how decentralized the platform really is and whether censorship resistance is actually possible.
One of the First Real Tests for Decentralization
The two issues addressed likely need to be overcome in the near future and the process of solving them will be a highly interesting case for dapps in general. Models based on decentralization and censorship resistance are still in their experimental phase and Augur’s rapid growth makes the platform one to watch from multiple perspectives. Augur is built to be owned and operated by its community and they will be responsible for the growth and sustainability of the platform, which makes for a great experimental process.
We can also examine the learning curve of new users of decentralized applications through observing how Augur will be used. Will people that are unfamiliar with blockchain start using Augur and what’s their take on the decentralized platform?
Augur has created a dapp with a lot of potential and the potential is already indicated by the platform’s rapid growth. The dapp has a clear value proposition for which decentralization is perfectly suited—the question is whether it will actually work in reality and how decentralized the platform really is when push comes to shove. Augur’s progress will provide valuable insights for dapps in the making and the platform has the potential to rapidly become one of the mostly used dapps in the industry.
Related: 7 Reasons to Be Excited About Augur