Augur, a cryptocurrency project on the Ethereum network, has just announced that it be launching its long-awaited prediction platform.
Augur Prediction Platform: Three Years In The Making
For the uninitiated, Augur is a decentralized predictions platform based on the Ethereum network, that allows for users to create and place bets on any event. Whether it be the next American president or the winner of this year’s World Cup, Augur users will be able to place their hard-earned cryptocurrency funds on an outcome.
Vitalik Buterin, well-known co-founder of Ethereum and advisor to Forecast Foundation, the organization behind the prediction platform, expressed his excitement for a prediction platform, stating:
“I have been excited about the possibility of prediction markets on Ethereum for a long time.”
While this sounds all well and good, for over two years, this platform was just a concept with no official product. Augur was one of the first successful ICOs in the cryptocurrency space, raising upwards of $5.5 million in 2015. However, since then, the collective value of Augur’s REP ERC-20 tokens has ballooned to become the 38th largest cryptocurrency, at $375 million.
Due to the project garnering immense interest from all corners of the cryptocurrency community, the Augur platform become one of the most anticipated releases in the industry. With today’s announcement, the final deployment plan has been put into effect, with the platform’s team expecting a full launch within the next 24 hours.
Why Augur Instead Of Centralized Prediction Platforms?
Augur has been lauded for being a unique innovative take on an old industry, bringing predictions and betting to a decentralized environment. Many find a multitude of issues with centralized betting/prediction platforms, most notably, the regulatory requirements imposed on these sites.
Many centralized sites will require you to submit I.D. documents, in an attempt to stay in line with KYC/AML rules. But if these platforms do not find favor with regulatory bodies, your funds may be frozen by a central authority.
Augur mitigates regulatory risk, as all predictions are facilitated by a decentralized smart contract system, removing a single point of failure or attack.
Another feature which makes Augur appealing is the integrated ability to create predictions for any future event, as long as other users are interested. The two aforementioned factors coupled with a promise for lower settlement fees in comparison with its centralized counterparts makes Augur a great alternative to traditional betting/prediction systems.
Scaling Worries Continue With Platform Deployment
Despite being met with excitement from the cryptocurrency community, some naysayers believe that Augur will only worsen Ethereum’s scaling issues. Augur is expected to receive thousands of users upon release, leading many to worry that the prediction and settlement transactions will lead to further transaction clogs in the network.
Joey Krug, co-founder of Augur acknowledged these worries, stating:
“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.”
When queried about utilizing another blockchain for the Augur platform, Krug added:
“We considered it. 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.”
Since the platform has not been released as of the time of press, it is unclear what effect the release will have on the network. Nonetheless, many hope for the success of the platform, which has finally come to fruition after a grueling three-year wait. At the time of writing Augur’s REP token was down almost 3% on the day to $33.40.