After almost two years of solid beta testing, the blockchain powered betting platform – Augur – has gone live. The open source software allows people to place and even make their own bets on any matter at all, no matter how weird. You could bet on whether the immigration in the US now is going to take a detour or it is going to intensify. You could even bet on whether the next forest fire in California is going to be less destructive than previous ones. Simply put, just create and place your bets.
Presently most the betting platforms of this similar mature are centralized, the likes of which are PaddyPower and DraftKings, but Augur wants to make it decentralized – thus giving the verification to the people themselves. This probably may be Augurs best card and they hope to win the people over with it, eventually put them in the heat of the competition itself.
And as is Buterin’s culture, he always has something to say when a new project debuts with his platform. And as advisor to Forecast Foundation, the developers of Augur, his words were
“I have been excited about the possibility of prediction markets on Ethereum for a long time,”. Pretty short this time around.
For the newbies, blockchain is basically a digital ledger which technology which distributes thousand of copies of the same ledger to several for verification of it’s authenticity. The technology is being used primarily for financial transactions at the moment. Apparently, many people believe that tis technology can be used to speed up financial transactions by a thousand times as well as cutting costs and still ensuring top security.
In the year 2015 when the Augur project was made very much public, it raised a whooping $5.5 million in it’s ICO; an amount that showed lots of people believed in the project looking at the time it was done – an era when most people really doubted the tech as a whole. But it’s tokens, the REP, have a total market cap of some $337.3 million from some secondary trades.
Reports are that it will start with settling bets in the Ethereum’s ether (ETH), for now but will be incentivizing people to bet with its own REP tokens. This is undisputedly a good deal as most people already own Ethers, thus making it easy for people to place bets as well introducing more people to its native cryptocurrency.
Augur Blockchain Betting And State Laws
The US Supreme court recently passed a quite friendly verdict on sports betting in the country, giving the real power to the states to determine the legality of such actions within their territories. Most campaigners for the project believe that the government cannot stop the progress of Augur as a betting platform. Kyle Samano of Multicoin Capital Managing, stated that
“Augur is the first one that the governments can’t stop it even if they wanted to,”
Potential Issues To Be Faced
Scaling. We all know Ethereum hasn’t done very well with scaling issues especially when apps on the platform tend to reach peaks in transaction. And with the closest fixes to the platform, Casper and Sharding, at least a year away from us we should expect to see similar scaling problems if the project is to turn lots of head at a very fast rate.
In view of this one of the issues the heads of the project have given considerable thought is expanding beyond the Ethereum blockchain. Thus there is the possibility of seeing Augur run on different blockchains somewhere in the future. Co-founder of the project stated that they “considered” the possibility of the other blockchain platforms. He mentioned that
“Right now at the moment, there aren’t any alternatives that are live and viable. But there are a few we are looking at pretty closely. It’s pretty obvious Ethereum today doesn’t scale… We’re okay with that. It’s good to have slow growth and make sure there’s not security vulnerabilities. It’ll be a few years before Ethereum will be scalable.”
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