Augur is a decentralized, open-source prediction market platform. It is designed to harness crowd insights via prediction markets, on a protocol that is operated by the holders of the Ethereum-based token known as Rep, or Reputation. Users can bet on the outcomes of events like company performance, election results, and natural phenomena by buying shares that support or refute the proposed outcomes of the events.
Augur is developed by Forecast Foundation, which was established in 2014 by Jack Peterson, Joey Krug, and Jeremy Gardner. Users who download and operate the Augur software have access to the Augur protocol, which is on the Ethereum blockchain. There is no user or locale-specific platform or deployment of Augur, and the Forecast Foundation does not host any deployment of Augur or even the client utilized to interface with the Augur protocol.
To facilitate user experience for event outcome betting, Augur divides the execution process into four steps:
- Market Creation—Users can craft a betting market according to real-world events. Creators set the resolution source, which is where the outcome will be determined, including the creator fee, which is a percentage of a trader’s winnings. They collect when the market settles.
- Market Trading—Users purchase shares in an event’s outcome, and the price fluctuates according to the amounts of bets placed.
- Reporting—Outcomes of events are determined by Augur’s oracle, which disseminates information onto the blockchain. Reporters give information on the market, and the collated consensus outcome is considered “truth.” Users whose reports are not part of the consensus will lose their staked REP. It is distributed to users who reported with the consensus.
- Settlement—Traders collect payouts after closing positions.
This was the initial attempt at a full-fledged decentralized Prediction Market platform for Ethereum. It was released in 2018. It possessed on-chain trading, an order-book based trading UI, and a local server component made to be operated by users to serve state for the client. Augur v1 was deprecated in 2020 when Augur v2 launched.
Augur v2 was released in 2020, utilizing DAI as the trading currency and featuring peer-to-peer orderbooks with 0x's Mesh technology. It has a trading application for users who desire the order book experience. Like v1, Augur v2 possesses custom market creation for users who want to create arbitrary market types. The "Augur Node" component was dropped, as much work was done through Augur SDK to carry out the blockchain indexing work in the browser.
Augur Turbo is a deployment of Augur designed particularly for recurring markets like sports, crypto, economics, and politics. It provides an intuitive user interface developed on top of Balancer AMMs on Polygon to utilize the reduced transaction fee. Markets are automatically crafted and resolved at periodic intervals utilizing Chainlink data without user input. This enables daily resolving markets for sports and crypto. It utilizes USDC as its trading currency, plus wMatic as reward for liquidity mining.
This is a second UI for the Turbo contracts. Sportsbook is created particularly for sports bettors and is designed to streamline crypto-specific and trading-specific UX for sports users. It includes an Odds Converter, which assists users in converting and comparing odds according to their preferences.
In 2015, Augur facilitated an initial coin offering (ICO) on Ethereum, and they raised about $5 million by selling REP tokens. Augur originally sold 80 percent, which is about 8.8 million REP, to raise the funds. The sale was completed in four rounds, and the price paid depended on the final price of the sale. A discount was given, depending on the round the tokens were bought.
The True Augur round, which was round one, lasted from August 17-22, 2021. Participants were given a 15 percent bonus. Round two, The Prophet round, ran from August 22-28, 2021, and participants were given a 10 percent bonus. Round three, The Nate Silver round, offered a 5 percent bonus from August 28 to September 5, 2021. The Nostradamus round was the final round, and it did not offer any bonus. Twenty percent, 2.3 million REP, remained. It was reserved for the Forecast Foundation, the founders, and advisers.
Forecast Foundation is a non-profit organization. It funds and develops the open-source software powering Augur. On Github, the foundation writes and publishes open-source software. It does not host or operate any Augur platform or version. The Forecast Foundation refers to a group of developers and technology professionals invested in the potential of decentralized applications.
The Forecast Foundation does not own or assume leadership of Augur. It does not receive fees from the use of the protocol. Its role is to support and develop the open-source protocol. The Foundation does not run any website that hosts the Augur protocol on Ethereum's main network. The Foundation’s mission involves supporting the development of open-source trading protocols and Oracle systems, including related technologies that encourage decentralized markets, not excluding their underlying protocols and toolings.
Augur operates with two cryptocurrencies—Ethereum and REP (or reputation). REP is an Ethereum token designed for reporting or disputing the outcome of events on online prediction markets. Reporters receive incentives for accurately reporting the outcomes of events.
When users lock REP tokens in escrow, they stake them to assert the outcome of a specifically created market. There is a particular incentive structure included in Augur’s platform that incentivizes reporting on correct outcomes. It also penalizes reporting on inaccurate outcomes and also penalizes passive holders who do not stake on disputes and forks.
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