5 Years After Launch, Predictions Market Platform Augur Releases Version 2

  • Augur launched the second model of its betting platform Tuesday.
  • The undertaking was considered one of Ethereum’s first in 2015 with angel investments from Vitalik Buterin.
  • Its v2 provides a set of latest crypto instruments together with IPFS, MakerDAO’s Dai, 0x Mesh and Uniswap’s pricing oracles.

The final decentralized finance (DeFi) cash Lego has arrived: Augur Version 2 launched July 28, in response to the Forecast Foundation.

“The Augur v2 protocol contracts have been efficiently deployed to the Ethereum Mainnet. The contracts have been verified on Etherscan, and the deployers tackle might be discovered right here,” the weblog reads.

Originally launched in 2015, Augur was one of many first preliminary coin choices (ICO) and Ethereum apps to garner notable consideration for its blockchain betting market. And now v2 has all of the bells and whistles of right now’s DeFi market together with the Interplanetary File System (IPFS), 0x Mesh, MakerDAO’s dai and Uniswap’s v2 oracle community.

The first model was notoriously clunky, gradual and usually unusable regardless of its well-known presence within the crypto neighborhood. Originally, Augur was loosely based mostly on Yale statistician Paul Sztorc’s Truthcoin, a prediction protocol constructed on the Bitcoin blockchain. (Sztorc has no affiliation with the undertaking, in response to a 2015 weblog). 

A second model had been within the works for the reason that undertaking’s early days, in response to two of its founders, Jack Peterson and Joey Krug.

“The first version of Augur will likely be somewhat slow and slightly expensive (think pennies and many seconds per trade), but it’ll certainly be a beautiful glimpse of what’s to come.” the group wrote in a 2019 Medium article.

And, simply as Eth has confronted unseen delays, so has Augur v2. Yet, with all that point, the group has been in a position so as to add an entire slew of Ethereum initiatives to its betting platform.

Off to the races

Augur is an oracle. Oracles deliver off-chain knowledge on-chain. 

That second sentence could have solely seven phrases, however it’s far tougher to implement than to summarize. The predominant distinction is that on-chain knowledge is goal whereas off-chain knowledge is subjective.

When you ship a bitcoin transaction, you press a button and the community information it. Nothing a lot to dispute. Off-chain knowledge, alternatively, is the world of CNN, Fox News and Facebook wine mothers. We don’t know what the reality is – we solely have “reports” of what occurred.

At its core, that’s what Augur (and its predecessor Truthcoin) attempt to do by means of fancy tokenomics: flip real-world occasions into wagerable occasions on blockchains. It’s additionally what oracle networks equivalent to Chainlink and Band Protocol try to do.

Doing so efficiently requires techniques to encourage customers to not misreport data and in addition to agree on one interpretation of an occasion. If that is even potential to perform at scale stays questionable. 

Augur has three completely different betting sorts: a Yes/No market, a categorical market with as much as eight decisions and a scalar market between zero and 100, Tom Kysar, director of operations at Augur’s Forecast Foundation, advised CoinDesk in an interview.

In the previous, Augur v1 allowed sure markets to be declared “invalid” if the result of an occasion couldn’t be correctly recognized, however it led to many bets being negated.

Augur v2 will increase on this logic by permitting betters to wager on an extra possibility for all markets: . An invalid market wager possibility helps display with cash that betters assume the wager was poorly constructed, Kysar mentioned.

“‘Invalid’ [becomes] an explicitly tradable outcome in the market,” mentioned Kysar.

One different perk of v2 over v1 is the settlement interval. Market’s on the primary iteration of Augur required seven days to shut. Now it’s been trimmed between 48 to 72 hours assuming a market isn’t contested, Kysar mentioned. 


Augur is serverless, in response to a weblog launched Monday. No, Augur doesn’t transcend fashionable computing – a byte needs to be hosted someplace. However, Augur has built-in the Interplanetary File Systems (IPFS) for decentralized consumer storage. 

“Using IPFS means that the absence of no individual party can shut down client distribution, and alterations of the code from what is openly available on GitHub can be provably detected,” the weblog states.

Kysar mentioned Augur would launch its software program for reproducing on different Web initiatives such because the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), too.

Data, knowledge, knowledge

Augur v2 can be knowledge heavy – which isn’t nice for the present Ethereum mainchain that’s at present seeing historic demand. But it does make it smoother for customers. 

In Ethereum, decentralized purposes (dapps) are hosted on what are known as good contracts. Smart contracts carry out actions when paid to take action within the blockchain’s native forex, ether (ETH).

Not all contracts are created equal, nonetheless. Augur requires these contracts to hold loads of knowledge in what is usually known as “bloat.” Data-heavy contracts overwhelm the community.

Recently, Ethereum builders have grow to be involved by the expansion of the Ethereum state, which holds parts of the information for conducting transactions. By the group’s admission, Augur will solely add to the present Ethereum state in what has grow to be a bigger subject for the bottom layer:

The Augur V2 contracts are likely to retailer extra user-relevant knowledge than many different comparable contracts. For instance revenue and loss knowledge in addition to market metadata is saved on-chain. While this does imply transactions grow to be barely dearer, it allows purposes just like the Augur V2 consumer to make fewer community requests and instantly pull related knowledge.

Data heaviness interprets to the typical Augur consumer as increased charge charges. Kysar mentioned his serviette math confirmed a profitable guess on Augur at twice the gasoline price when in comparison with a token swap on Uniswap. Opening a brand new market on Augur was about half the price of opening a Balancer pool, nonetheless.

Augur weblog


Augur will launch with out an admin key, in contrast to a couple of different dapps which have acquired a lot criticism prior to now.

Admin keys present backdoors to on-chain contracts with a view to make changes for dwell initiatives. Several Ethereum initiatives have been known as out for permitting builders to carry these keys after launching the undertaking or with out disclosing the knowledge. For instance, Tornado Cash’s v1 admin keys weren’t provably destroyed till after a May v2 contract replace.


Augur’s token, REP, can be getting a face-lift of kinds, Kysar advised CoinDesk. REPv2 may have new logic launched that the previous token didn’t. 

Augur raised $5.Three million within the August 2019 ICO for its Reputation (REP) token underneath the auspices of the Forecast Foundation, in response to Messari. An ERC-20 styled token, REP is the platform’s quasi-governance token “used for reporting on and disputing outcomes of events,” Messari states.

Kysar mentioned the outdated REP token can’t work with the brand new v2 contract, that means a brand new token needed to be produced. The Forecast Foundation has issued directions for swapping the brand new REP for the outdated that “will need to eventually migrate… to REP v2 after Augur v2’s deployment,” one other Augur weblog states.

0x Mesh

Augur is likely one of the first dapps to combine 0x Mesh, an on-chain relay order e-book system for betting. (That’s rather a lot; right here’s a breakdown.) 

Source: 0x Mesh/Reddit

On-chain refers back to the method 0x selected to arrange their order e-book: It pings the principle Ethereum community anytime a transaction must be executed, versus off-chain order books which bundle pings. Each aspect has benefits not value addressing right here (though off-chain order books have grown in recognition currently as a consequence of the price of gasoline).

Relayers pace up transactions throughout the Ethereum blockchain recognized for being gradual and inefficient. 

This inefficiency is a characteristic of how blockchains are organized: as peer-to-peer (P2P) connections. If you consider settling a commerce or a guess, you most likely need it to occur quick which doesn’t work properly in a community that whisper transactions as a substitute of instantly executing them from dealer to order e-book.

Relayers set up a cluster of nodes that make transactions (the bets) converse to order books extra rapidly.

“0x orders are simply cryptographic messages that can be passed around, e.g. relayed,” 0x spokesperson Matt Taylor advised CoinDesk in an e-mail.


Augur now has a secure betting medium, USD worth mimicker dai. Traditionally Augur has used ether, however as reported by CoinDesk in October 2019, a dai integration has lengthy been within the works.

Why? ETH’s value volatility is unhealthy for betting. For instance, ETH began July at round $230 and has now kicked over $320 for the previous few days. An extended-term betting platform can’t use a local unit equivalent to ether and anticipate folks to stay round; think about betting on an election solely to see your guess’s USD worth spike or plummet after the actual fact. 

Not to say, a decentralized stablecoin is a godsend for any betting protocol with questionable legalese. Veil, a betting platform constructed on high of Augur, shut down in July 2019 as a consequence of regulatory considerations – considerations {that a} decentralized stablecoin would assist nip.

“We weren’t decentralized or regulated. Some users want a fully decentralized, unstoppable product and others want a regulated product. It’s hard to offer something in between that people find valuable,” Veil wrote on the time.


And, to spherical out the stack, Augur will use Uniswap as a value oracle service. All decentralized purposes must have costs given to them from a feed, like a Bloomberg Terminal. That’s one perform Ethereum “money Lego” Uniswap can present.

Uniswap is an automatic market maker (AMM), that means it pairs tokens collectively for buying and selling and itemizing in a decentralized method simply utilizing the underlying logic of the applying itself. If somebody needs to listing a token, like the brand new REPv2, they pay a charge and drop the token on the protocol. Anyone should purchase the brand new token or create token “pools” with buying and selling pairs on Uniswap. 

For instance, you could possibly spin up a DAI/REP buying and selling pair to buy REP with DAI or vice versa.

“There is this huge demand for oracles, and it’s a very valuable thing to have an on-chain price feed, especially a decentralized one,” Uniswap founder Hayden Adams advised CoinDesk when Uniswap v2 launched. “This is a service that Uniswap v2 provides to the world, and I think will indirectly benefit the Uniswap protocol.”

These swimming pools create data for buying and selling, particularly pricing knowledge. A extremely liquid pool might be leaned on, in idea, to supply base fee of the token in opposition to one other token equivalent to ETH. So, you possibly can be taught the worth of the REP token based mostly on what number of ETH you possibly can nab for it from a pool. 

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