A few take-aways from the Augur prediction market

I’ve always thought that the concept of a decentralized prediction market like Augur or Gnosis is one of the most interesting and crypto-native ideas. Just imagine creating millions of small markets around any potential outcome in the world…from sports to elections, weather and stock prices.

So it was great to see Augur go live a few weeks ago (https://medium.com/@AugurProject/augur-launches-794fa7f88c6a) and I took the opportunity to play around with the product. Here are a few of my observations:

  • While still early, the platform is scaling fast and more than $1.6m USD has been staked one month into it – you can watch the different prediction markets here: https://predictions.global/
  • Like almost all crypto projects at this stage, the UI is raw and still far from being ready for mainstream users. The desktop client seems pretty unreliable at this stage and even experienced users are struggling with UX / design decisions (just watch the Augur Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/Augur/). Having said that, the team is shipping improvements on a weekly basis and the platform is improving very quickly.
  • Augur is probably the best example so far of all the questions that decentralized projects are raising and that will need to be answered: How will regulators approach prediction markets? How do you deal with moral questions, e.g. the creation of assassination markets (of which we are seeing the first indications on Augur)?
  • What excites me the most is the rawness of the platform. It feels like the early days of Twitter when a community of engaged users start using a product and shape the product with their use. Here is an early example of a user using Augur as feature bounties: https://twitter.com/NTmoney/status/1022921615363989505/photo/1 In these cases, it is always a bit unclear where things will end up, but it is incredibly exciting to watch.

Over the next 12 months, we will hopefully see a bunch of crypto projects launch and it is energizing to move from the whitepaper phase to live product. I’m excited to follow these product launches!

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