Augur - How A Decentralized Prediction Market Works

Augur is a new service delivered on Ethereum. It is a Decentralized Application

Imagine a world where pundits and politicians were judged not on the loudness of their voices or the brazenness of their statements, but on the merit of what they said.

Envision a day when forecasts, made by anyone, could be put to a market filled with rational actors seeking to earn a reward based on the truthful outcome of that prediction.

Introducing Augur, a fully-decentralized, open-source prediction market platform, intended to revolutionize forecasting, decision making, and the manner in which information consensus is collected and aggregated.

How Augur Works

Using Augur, you have the power to create a prediction market on any subject you’re interested in. You receive half the trading fees from markets.

After an event occurs, the correct outcome needs to be selected to pay you out. Instead of relying on third parties, we use the crowd to report on these outcomes. This decentralized consensus on events provides the world’s first distributed oracle system. And reporters get half the trading fees too (based on how much reputation they own)!

Any reporters who disagree with the consensus lose reputation. Our reporting system relies on the idea of “schelling points.” Essentially, the solution people will tend to agree on is the most obvious one, or in this case, the truth.


Ethereum is interesting but almost too ambitious and having it based on a blockchain always seemed an unnecessarily complex risk. Ethereum on SAFE, using a cash like ETH instead, I wonder might be more powerful than ever. It’ll be interesting to see what direction Ethereum heads over the next years.

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Yes, but the great thing with that blockchain is that people like things to be “timestamped”. I really like the idea of Augur. But how would it work on SAFEnet? Could we have a fully decentralized prediction market like that? Where a couple of thousand of people give their values every day? How would we timestamp the whole thing? On Ethereum it would be “easy”. If there’s a new president elected on a certain date, people can buy/sell positions until a certain block. After that, things will be locked until a few hundred blocks later the new president is known.

And since Ethereum isn’t available, Augur isn’t available either.

But it’s based on Ethereum. That’s worth something, I suppose.

Once Ethereum is actually usable, I’ll take a look at this again… Specifically, why should we use Augur instead of just any other Ethereum Dapp.

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I don’t know whether SAFE will have or need timestamping capability itself… it’s an interesting question but perhaps the solution is just that a simple clock=blockchain is stored in the SAFE network.

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Hehe, it would be interesting to run a PM on the date of the testnet 3 :slight_smile:

I wrote a topic about this subject some time ago.

I think they’re quite ahead of others. Prediction markets can (and I think will) be a great thing for Ethereum. You ask thousands of people to give the price of oil every day, first, as a hash of their answer, some blocks later as the visual value to the contract so no one can change after they already gave their answer. You punish the ones who are far off from the rest (by not giving back their deposit they’ve sent to the contract) and reward others with a little fee when they are in line with the rest. You can do this for commodities, stocks, the fact if there was another earthquake somewhere etc. And now you have price and datafeeds on the blockchain, ready for insurance, options, futures, and all the rest the financial world is doing right now. I’m quite excited to see that stuff coming.

I used Augur last year (its alpha version).

My question is why would I use Augur rather than any other prediction market, off or on the Ethereum blockchain?

You don’t need to. There will be a couple of them. But again, I think they’re quite ahead of the rest. I’ve seen some others that were looking for funding for funding. Think Augur does a great job so far. It works, the marketing is correct, they give good updates etc. But we’ll see what comes around when Ethereum is live.

let’s do our own little augur experiment on price speculation. will maidsafe continue to drop in price until release? answer yes or no

The Augur problem is: That you can sell your reputation (which is like a vote). What if you let a bot loose on this market? Fun times ahead :stuck_out_tongue:

Their marketing & software is slick

Yeah, I indeed don’t know about that reputation system.I rather see thousands and thousands of people getting data from the API’s worldwide and provide them. Otherwise you can get a lot of bots, doing great work for 12 months and then finally trick the system by saying the oil-price is $4 instead of $40 after they got massively short on the thing. I wonder how many transactions Ethereum can compute in each block. If only Augur is responsible for thousands of users sending data to a contract, I wonder when their blockchain will crack.

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Weren’t you optimistic about Augur in comments above?

They’d have to become the biggest market (which they can’t) - the proverbial 51% share for any bet out there - to make cheating unattractive (although you still could cheat and profit from it by leveraging your bets the right way). If one assumes a closed system where people can bet only on Augur and nowhere but Augur, I can see it work.

For it to succeed it’d have to be big, good and completely anonymous. But they’re looking to raise money, which means KYC/AML, so why would anyone with actual actionable and non-public knowledge use it?

Yes indeed. Same for Ethereum, can’t wait until they launch. Really like the energy and spirit at the same time. On the other hand I’m critical, on Bitcoin people only do some transactions each month. If folks start to gamble on the Ethereum blockchain, a lot of data needs to be shared with all the nodes. look at Bitcoin now, a big number of transactions coming by. Think SAFEnet will be the “underdog” that blows everyone away. It should scale ways better than the rest. For Augur we’ll see. If they screw up, others will fill in.

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Augur is available to play with, go to:

Check this if you want to see how it works:

Ooh yeah Augur is a prediction market, for those who don’t know


Ethereum is Augur’s main dependency, so Augur can’t do anything until Ethereum is ready. And Ethereum seems nowhere near ready.

Anyone wants to bet that MaidSafe will ship before Ethereum Frontier?


Haha, Vitalik told in his latest presentation that they’ll announce 48hrs in advance. He said it could be within 10 days, or within 50 days. So let’s add another 150 days to those and we’re probably a bit more close :stuck_out_tongue: But I don’t blame any cryptoproject for delay. I want things to be good and work well.