Today, I'll be talking about Augur (REP), one of my top 2 speculative plays in my crypto portfolio.
What is Augur?
First and foremost, Augur is a decentralized betting platform/prediction market that is built on the Ethereum blockchain.
"Augur is a substitute for betting platforms that charge high fees, ban winners, delay withdrawals, freeze accounts, aren't globally accessible, lack privacy, and don't let you sell your bet mid-game."
-Ryan Berckmans, Predictions Global
If you're turned off by the idea of "gambling" (blockchain is supposed to make the world better--not make it easier for people to lose their money, right?) fear not!
Augur's roadmap spans much greater than this small segment. Prediction markets are crucial from a statistical standpoint, since mass-scale public opinion can be used for scientific research, and other societal purposes.
As Hyperchange's Galileo Russell brilliantly put it in an interview with Tom Kysar, Augur Head of Operations:
"You can use the power of the crowds to gain insight on what humanity's collective wisdom thinks will happen in the future."
Tom responds with:
"Augur is a venue that collectively aggregates all of the random bits of information and insight that different people have in this world, and gives them a financial incentive to share that insight with the rest of the world through a market...With Augur, you can signal the expertise that you have, by putting your money where your mouth is."
This is HUGE.
In a world where there are so many battling incentives for data to be massaged or shilled to push different agendas, Augur's platform will force everyone to put their REP where their mouth is, which will result in far more accurate data collection and dispersion to the world.
"Blockchain-based prediction markets may be the one force strong enough to counterbalance the spread of incorrect information on social media. They give people a financial incentive to seek the truth and then protect them with the twin shields of pseudonymity and decentralization."
-Balaji S. Srinivasan, former CTO of Coinbase
Recent news & updates
After a highly-successful launch of their V1 beta a few years ago (which generated over $25M in bets) the Augur platform have recently relaunched Augur V2. Being only a few weeks old, there's been some turbulence from the switch (mainly on the exchange side of things), but is to be expected from a massive update.
As a marketing guy, I put a lot of weight into community sentiment when making investments in cryptocurrencies. At the end of the day, the crypto markets are being driven by-in-large by speculation, so this stuff matters!
- Reddit: 10.5K subscribers
- Twitter: 136K followers
Overall, I've heard the following main points on each side:
- Decentralizes the gathering of crowd-sourced information, which will create more transparency in data globally (this is HUGE)
- Allows anyone to put their knowledge to the test on a global scale, and make some extra money if successful
- A large part of Augur's market is gambling, which understandably isn't the most sunshiney rainbow topic in the world
- The complete decentralization of the betting markets have allowed some users to create predictions that have ruffled some feathers (think betting on assassinations, terrorism).
To that second point, I have the same rebuttal to the folks saying that Bitcoin is just for criminals pushing drug cartels and child porn: Humans have always done bad things, and they always will. Opportunities for good should not be stifled just because there will be a bad apple or two taking advantage of it. It will be interesting to see how the Augur developers respond if this issue becomes more of a problem, I trust that this will eventually become a non-issue--REP's incentive model is beautifully developed to reward users to do the right thing.
Why I'm investing in REP
Along with Enjin (which I also made a dedicated post about), I believe that Augur fulfills my most important criteria when it comes to small-cap dart throws in the crypto universe:
- Enormous use case (Gambling & prediction markets = ~$550 Billion/year and growing)
- Clear leader in the crypto field to solve said use case
- Opens up new avenues where people will have the opportunity to use their skills, knowledge, and creativity to create extra sources of income
If anyone out there has experience using the Augur platform, I'd love to hear from you in the comments! I've got it on my list, and of course, I'll report back with my thoughts.
Alright folks, that's it for today!
I can't wait to hear everyone's thoughts on this one, as REP is up there with my riskiest bets in my personal crypto portfolio.
Let me know what you think of Augur (and the prediction market use-case as a whole) in the comments below!