Wondering what is Augur? Augur is a distributed prediction market podium that uses Ethereum blockchain technology. For those of you who are new to the world of cryptocurrency, prediction markets are not the latest development and have been around for quite a while now. But the thing is, all of the previous ones are centralized platforms. Augur, conversely, is a distributed podium, which makes it nothing like the other existing markets.
So, what is Augur? It is the latest and unique distributed prediction market podium.
Being a decentralized project not only helps Augur in standing out from the rest, but it also gives it a certain edge over the centralized projects. Moreover, by the end of last year, Augur, with a total worth of 217 million USD, had the 31st biggest market capitalization of all the cryptocurrencies.
Let’s dig a little deeper to find out more about what is Augur.
What is a Prediction/Betting Market?
Just as its name suggests, a prediction/betting market is for anticipating the aftermaths of events that are going to happen. A betting platform enables its users to make dealings on the basis of their estimates of how real-life incidents will take place.
For instance, the winner of the FIFA tournament, the upcoming President, or anything else of that sort. The chance of any certain aftermath to actually occur is then denoted in real-time through the cost of its share.
To better illustrate this point, let’s consider a question as an example. Let’s suppose the question is about Bitcoin, that whether it will see a price hike to reach up to the rate of $12,000 by the 5th of Oct, 2018 or not. Now, if there are about 45% chances of that happening, then a single share for that specific aftermath would be priced at 45 cents.
Secondly, if Bitcoin actually manages to reach this price by the mentioned date, then the person who bought the tokens would get a dollar for each token that he purchased. Conversely, if the prediction turns out to be wrong, the tokens would lose their value.
What is Augur and What Does it Do?
Returning to question what is Augur, it is an online betting platform as mentioned above. What makes it unique from other such platforms is that it is decentralized. This means, unlike centralized projects, it can neither shut down that easily nor has to face incorrect reporting issues.
Augur enables people from all over the globe to not only shoot a query regarding the aftermath of a future occasion, but it also allows them to deal in shares on the predicted consequences of just about any market. In addition, it lets its users report on consequences, which eliminates the need of trusting on any individual reporter.
What Are the Used of Prediction Market or Augur?
The purpose of the prediction market is to forecast any forthcoming event. Users can arrange events on any of their preferred topics and then purchase the shares for their predicted consequences. Augur accepts both Ethereum and Bitcoin. Next, the algorithm draws out the records sourced from the crowd and then gives topmost predictions that are unanimously agreed upon. As soon as the event comes to an end, the shareholders having correct predictions receive the funds linked with these shares.
Interestingly though, Augur is not only meant to be used as a podium for betting. As per the co-creator of the project, Joey Krug, Augur can also be used by Argentinian agrarians for hedging against the climate rounds. Similarly, it can also be used by the traders in China who do not have any means to reach the American stock market. He even encouraged its use among the medical practitioners as it can help them carry out the accurate diagnosis.
Although the concept of prediction markets is not new, they haven’t been that popular previously. But since Augur is an extremely decentralized tool, the restrictions set by the authorities and regulations don’t affect it.
The concept of Augur initiated back in 2014. Before that, nobody knew what is Augur. The project was a mutual idea of the co-creators Joey Krug and Jack Peterson. As per a whitepaper released by them, both of them were striving to generate the very first distributed and open source podium for online betting.
Augur initially launched the alpha version that was meant for testing by people. Then, the squad carried out a taken crowd sale on the internet in Sep 2015. The main motive behind that sale was to gather finance for further expansion. The crowd sale was a huge hit and resulted in more than 5.2 million USD, almost half of which were collected only in the initial three days.
The team successfully installed the first operational edition of the software to the Ethereum testnet by the third month of 2016. The Augur team has since been keenly working on the program day in and day out. However, the launch date of the project on the Ethereum Mainnet is set to Today (9.718).
What is Reputation/REP Token?
It is hard to understand what is Augur without understanding the concept of REP. REP is basically the token behind the project. You can also think of it as the total of each user within the platform. It is indispensable for making Augur work. Most of the users will never actually own or see Reputation because its main job is to only report on the consequences of occasions.
REP tokens have a specified supply. 80% of the total tokens are sold in the company’s public token sale. People holding the tokens then privately report on the consequences of arbitrarily picked events within the platform after every few weeks. About a month later, an aftermath report is announced publically and an accord on the aftermath is generated.
All the fund for a specific event is collected in a smart contract, which is redistributed as the event concludes. The holders who reported correctly receive more REP. Alternatively, those who had failed to report correctly or those who try to be deceitful lose their REP. In fact, their REP goes to those who reported correctly.
What are the Plusses of Having Reputation?
Those who know what is Augur, know pretty well that possession of REP comes with benefits. When you own and partake in the precise reportage on the aftermaths of the happenings, you become eligible to receive a cut of Augur’s market charges. A single Rep token makes you entitled to 1/22million of the overall market charges of the software.
This means, the greater the amount of REP in your possession with the correct forecast of the aftermath, the more fees you get. For computing a ballpark estimate of your anticipated retributions, you can use the Repulator adder that is designed by an Augur community fellow for the very purpose.
How to Acquire Reputation (REP)?
The easy way to purchase the REP tokens is through the crowd sale. However, if, for some reasons, you miss out on buying them during that sale, there are still ways to get some. Fortunately, Rep tokens are now available on numerous mediator marketplaces and exchanges pertaining to cryptocurrency. These include many known names like ShapeShift, Poloniex, and more.
However, you must remain highly cautious of all the over-the-counter dealings on Bitcoin communities and Slack groups, etc. We’d highly recommend you only purchase your tokens through a trusted exchange in order to ensure the security of your dealing.
If you wish to purchase them in bulk, the suggested way is to first get in touch with a team member of Augur so they can steer you to the right path.
How to Store REP?
For ensuring the safety and security of your REP, you should store it in an offline and cold data storage. You must never leave it on exchanges once you have bought it. In addition, make sure not to keep the copy of your personal key anywhere public, such as your desktop, GDrive, and email.
Since REP is centered on Ethereum, you must know that widely held Ethereum centered software wallets have the ability to store any REP of your choice. Some of those famous wallets include MyEtherWallet and Mist.
For saving it in cold data storage, Augur highly suggests using Ledger Nano S. It is an excellent hardware wallet solution that provides sustenance to every single form of ERC-20 tokens. Your REP is going to be safe and secure on any of these. Hopefully, if Augur comes up with support record assimilation, you’ll be able to partake on Augur without requiring your REP to abandon the record.
The Minds Behind Augur
The Augur lineup consists of numerous talented and skilled developers who worked together under the two geniuses and co-founders Peterson and Krug. Peterson has a Ph.D. to his name, which he got from the renowned UC. He also used to hold the NDSEG fellowship formerly. Now, he is the lead developer at Augur.
Krug, the second co-founder, was a 2016 Thiel Fellow. This enabled him to take a break from the college for dedicatedly working on Augur. Now, besides owning this platform, he is working there as a senior front-end developer.
Other notable team members include Stephen Sprinkle, Jackson Broussard, John Danz, and Serena Randolph. All of these members are also working as front-end developers. Tom Kaysar is the Director of Operations and Ivan Petric takes care of the marketing stuff. Other than that, there are a few back-end developers, a contract developer, and a SpecialOps.
In addition to the squad members, Augur also has numerous well-known counselors. Some of the most prominent ones of those include the Ethereum originator Buterin, Lightning network creator Elizabeth, and Chief Executive Officer of Enlighted, Costello.
The biggest competitor of the Augur is Gnosis, which is quite similar to it because it is also an Ethereum-centered project that is meant for online gambling markets. However, Augur still remains unbeatable because of its considerably higher market capitalization as compared to Gnosis, with a huge difference of $143 million between the two.
The key difference between both platforms lies in their separate and distinguished economic models. Augur uses a fee-based model that focuses on trading volume. On the other hand, the fee of Gnosis focuses on the sum of unpaid shares.
Mutual Challenges for Both Competitors
Even though both of the podiums have an obvious rivalry, when it comes to general acceptance, Augur and Gnosis both get on the same side. Naturally, instead of trying to bring each other down, they have a common goal. Their major focus remains on competing with the well-known centralized gambling podiums, like Betfair.
The creator of Gnosis, Koppelman, once mentioned in a piece of writing that the majority of people remain unconcerned with whether a platform they are using is decentralized or not. He emphasized that the betting platform must be inexpensive, secure, user-friendly, and easily accessible. This post pretty much sums up the biggest challenge both of the platforms have to deal with.
Blockchain & crypto buffs and people who have a deeper knowledge regarding these podiums can’t wait to see this technology thrive. But, this alone cannot result in mass adoption. It will only occur when prospective users would be able to see some concrete welfares from the adoption of this software.
That’s the reason, REP is vital to the success of Augur. It offers a system that encourages truthful reporting by shareholders. This, in turn, enables Augur to function at a much lesser fee in comparison to centralized podiums. Low charges can successfully help in shifting the users of betting markets towards Augur.
So, what is Augur? Augur is one of the pioneer projects pertaining to the prediction market that was built on Ethereum. The platform, although, is very much capable of becoming the most prevalent online gambling project ever. However, It still has to cross numerous milestones to fulfill this goal.
For winning the confidence of users, Augur will have to provide an evidence of the project’s security and functionality. This is definitely not that easy and will surely take some time. But, bearing in mind the performance of the project so far, its future seems quite promising.
*Disclaimer: The article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. Claims made in this article do not constitute investment advice and should not be taken as such. Do your own research!