Augur is a decentralized predictions marketplace built on top of Ethereum. For a small fee, users can create markets across an infinite array of topics, from the result of a soccer game, the winner of a presidential election, or even the future price of a cryptocurrency.
Individuals can then buy shares in the market on their respective side of the bet. Once the event occurs, users stake REP tokens to report on the outcome of the event in play. This crowdsourcing of outcomes has changed the way humans can collectively verify truth.
REP FCAS is up 10-points (1.23%) in the past five days, primarily driven by a 22-point (2.71%) rise in User Activity. Developer Behavior and Market Maturity also increased 2 (0.24%) and 12-points (1.55%) respectively.
Augur v2 is scheduled for deployment today. This is an entirely new Augur core protocol on Ethereum, separate from Augur v1. New REP tokens are not minted, instead, Augur v2 will require users to migrate their tokens to the new version to receive REPv2 tokens. This token-swap can account for the spike in User Activity we’re witnessing.
This new upgrade is a major game changer for Augur. The entire trading app has been redesigned and is now much faster, enabling trades to go through in seconds; previous limits to how much users could bet and win have been removed; trading is now available using the DAI stablecoin (instead of only using the more volatile ETH); the 0x protocol has been integrated for improved liquidity; and Uniswap is utilized as a decentralized oracle and price feed.
Augur v2 tackles many of the technical issues that v1 faced. Augur v1, despite being the most popular predictive platform running on a blockchain, struggled with low liquidity and participation rates. It also used voting and settlement mechanisms that led to controversial outcomes.
One particular event regarding the 2018 Midterm Elections made headlines last year. The market for that particular bet exhibited a total volume of more than $3 million on the question of which party — Democrat or Republican — would control the House of Representatives.
Even though Democrats won the election, the expiration date coded into the smart contract was 12/10/18 — nearly four weeks before any changes in leadership were effective. So the technical outcome for this bet was Republicans, since they still controlled the house by that day. This highlighted the ongoing blockchain governance debate, between “code is law” and pragmatic approaches.