Built on Ethereum, a blockchain technology which allows for the execution of smart contracts, Augur is an open-source, decentralized, peer-to-peer prediction market platform built on Ethereum. However, unlike other already available coins, such as BitShares (BTS), Cardano (ADA), Dent (DENT), Decred (DCR) and etc, the platform provides powerful predictive data based on the wisdom of the crowd. The principle states that the average predictions made by a group are superior to those an individual within the group.
This decentralized prediction market uses the "wisdom of the crowd" principle to forecast the outcome of specific events. Truthful reporting is incentivized by offering rewards for correct predictions and penalties for incorrect reports.
Even in its infancy, Augur has grown from strength to strength in a relatively short amount of time, and some may use this as a measure of the platform's future success. After the alpha version was released in mid 2015, a global crowdfunding campaign was set up to raise funds for future development, with an impressive $500 000 USD being raised on the first day, and a total of $5.2 million USD collected by the end of the campaign. This result was one of the strongest coin offerings in 2015, and developers were able to release a beta version in early 2016 with the platform expected to be live in the latter half of 2017. According to Andrew Miller, a computer scientist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, believes that Augur could potentially feed legitimate real-world truths into any other online application at some point in the future. Thus people who could not trade in more traditional markets, could see themselves making very real cryptocurrency profits in the future.
How Will Augur Be Used?
Augur is powered by tokens called Reputation ($REP). Augur is the perfect match for opinion-related sports betting, but is not limited to it. The platform could be used to predict political and presidential outcomes, where actors or musicians win coveted awards, or for virtually any other scenario that users can think of. For example Augur could be used by businesses to offer rewards and bonuses to employees, and also to predict whether or not certain projects will be completed on time or within budget.
Aside from betting, Augur can be used to predict the outcomes of various daily occurrences as well. Users will be able to monitor and participate in predictions relevant to their personal interests and passions. The excitement experienced by people wagering on outcomes will be unmarred by the potential loss of their hard-earned wages. Instead they will enjoy all the benefits of wagering with a cryptocurrency that involves no "real" loss. There's a certain novelty in this particular wagering process that carries with it the potential of not wear off, as there are no major negative associations, and of serving to initiate newcomers to the world of cryptocurrency.
Augur's management team is backed by a wealth of know-how and expertise, cementing users' beliefs in the potential success of the platform. Dr. Jack Peterson, Ph.D., is a fountain of knowledge relating to physics, entrepreneurship, and software development. He developed a fascination for distribution networks while completing his studies at the University of California, San Francisco. His range of expertise encompasses blockchain programming, scientific computing, web development, and peer-to-peer networking, amongst other subjects. Joey Krug studied Computer Science at Pomona College and has spent the majority of his time perfecting his programming skills. His in-depth knowledge of Bitcoin Core enabled him to conduct the first Bitcoin transaction via sound. Joey is a member of the Theil Fellowship, a foundation that selects promising students under the age of twenty, funding their projects and offering guidance along the way.
Augur is thus backed by an advisory board that offers expert advice and guidance as a result of several decades worth of combined knowledge and expertise, and therefore comes as no surprise that Augur's connection to the billionaire founder of this fellowship, Peter Thiel, provides the platform with a competitive advantage not exhibited by other cryptocurrencies.
Vitalik Buterin -- This Russian-born programmer and is one of the founders of Ethereum. He received the Thiel Fellowship Award in 2014, as well as World Technology Award in the IT Software category in the same year. He has also been featured in the Fortune 40 under 40 list. Dr. Robin Hanson -- Dr. Hanson is an Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University following his post-doc at U.C Berkely. His knowledge of health policy, regulation, and formal political theory makes him an invaluable member of Augur's advisory board. Houman Shadab -- Professor Shadab is a member of the law faculty at New York Law School. He is also co-director at the Center for Business and Financial Law as well as an editor for the Journal of Taxation & Regulation of Financial Institutions. Having an attorney on the advisory board provides Augur with a competitive advantage for navigating legal waters as the company grows.
Each REP token entitles users to 1 / 22,000,000 of Augur's total market fees. This is a solid investment for the simple reason that the more of these tokens an individual owns and uses to report with correctly, the more fees they will collect. While this is a speculative practice, the solid purpose of the tokens and an invincible management team make it an undeniable boon to potential investors. REP tokens are available for sale on number of third party crypto exchanges including Poloniex, Kraken, Bittrex, Gatecoin, and ShapeShift. These tokens can be safely stored offline, cold storage solutions like the Ledger Nano S and should not be left on centralized exchanges.
Overall, the view for Augur is overwhelmingly optimistic. Backed by a stellar management team and an impressive advisory board, there is no small amount of potential, as the platform is gaining momentum at an alarming albeit impressive rate. In conclusion, the successes in crowdfunding prove one thing, that this is a cryptocurrency created by the people for the people.