Augur (REP) the Decentralised Prediction Market Goes Live

Avi Rosten

Augur, the decentralised platform for prediction markets, has announced that it has officially launched.

One of the very first DApps to be built using Ethereum’s blockchain, the platform allows users to create a prediction market for any real-world event and bet on the event by using ETH to buy ‘shares’ in the outcome of an event.

Using the concept of the “wisdom of crowds” the idea is that the market price of a share at any time will be an excellent indicator of the likelihood of the outcome occurring.

The decentralisation comes in, however, in that the true reporting of the outcome of the event is vetted by a “reporter” who is paid in fees to create the market and moderate - but can lose a deposit of REP tokens if they incorrectly report the outcome and are challenged by other REP holders.

Beginning with its REP token sale in 2015, a public beta version came out in 2016, and after several years of extensive bug testing, the platform announced the official launch as well as the release of the final iteration of the open-source Augur application.

Promising to be a truly open source, peer-to-peer platform, the decentralising credentials of the project seem to be impressive: even the Forecast Foundation, Augur’s not-for-profit team – is not in control of prediction markets.

Joey Krug, co-founder and of the Forecast foundation, emphasised the ambitious goals of the project in 2017, outlining the “Augur Master Plan:”

Augur’s purpose is to democratize and decentralize finance…If Bitcoin gave us decentralized currency and Ethereum brought decentralized computation, Augur will enable a decentralized financial system.

Acknowledging that “the first version of Augur will likely be somewhat slow and slightly expensive,” particularly given the strain it might put on the Ethereum blockchain, the team is keen to emphasise that even at the beginning, fees will still be up to ten-times cheaper than traditional, centralised betting platforms.

While the project on paper looks very promising, time will tell if the platform can attract the kind of users it is aiming for and create a truly original means of prediction.

JPMorgan Pays $2.5 Million for Overcharging Cryptocurrency Fees

JPMorgan Chase has reportedly agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed against the financial institution in 2018, over it allegedly overcharging customers who were buying cryptocurrencies with Chase credit cards.

According to Reuters, JPMorgan Chase was overcharging users for buying cryptocurrencies as these transactions were being classified as cash advances. As part of the deal, JP Morgan did not admit to any wrongdoing to the 62,000 members of the class-action lawsuit, but a motion filed in Manhattan federal court reads the financial institution agreed to pay customers $2.5 million, noting it will see class members get “about 95% of the fees they said they were unlawfully charged.”

It adds:

.Chase has agreed to enter into this Agreement to avoid the further expense, inconvenience, and distraction of burdensome and protracted litigation, and to be completely free of any further claims that were asserted or could have been asserted in the Action.

One of the plaintiffs, Brady Tucker, reportedly claimed JPMorgan Chase violated the Truth in Lending Act since it did not inform its customers crypto purchases were being treated as cash advances. This saw them pay higher fees, which the bank then refused to refund and led to the class action lawsuit.

At the time the lawsuit was filed JPMorgan was seemingly hostile toward cryptocurrencies, with its CEO Jamie Dimon claiming bitcoin was a “fraud.” Since then, the bank has launched its own stablecoin called JPM Coin.

As CryptoGlobe reported, a report published by JPM late last month showed that using their “intrinsic value calculation,” developed by in-house analyst Nick Panigirtzoglou, bitcoin is correctly valued after the recent halving event.

Featured image by Drew Beamer on Unsplash.