Decentralised prediction markets platform Augur seems to be one of the most promising Ethereum DApps.
Allowing users to create prediction markets for just about anything by buying ‘shares’ and staking ETH in the outcome of an event, the platform has seen a flurry of interesting and sometimes alarming bets – with money staked on everything from the price of ETH by the end of the year to whether President Donald Trump will die before 2021.
The problem for the DApp, however – as with many other applications running on Ethereum – is that the number of actual users using the platform has been far from impressive.
Data from DappRadar show that after peaking at 265 users shortly after its launch, the number of people using the platform has steadily declined – slumping to around 60 daily users in the last week.
Although there are little more than 1000 users using all Ethereum DApps, with most of these comprising exchanges, this graph of viewing figures will not be encouraging to those who are keen to see the project succeed.
Moreover, the amount of money that the protocol has attracted ($308m according to CryptoCompare) has highlighted what many might view as a worrying gap between valuation and actual use, as @EdanYago pointed out on Twitter:
I like Augur and what it represents.
The protocol is valued at $308m and has 64 daily users.
That’s $4.8m per user.
— Yago [giving away mostly opinions] (@EdanYago) August 6, 2018
Although many in the industry point often point out that valuations of crypto projects are based – not unlike some more traditional valuations (e.g. Netflix) – on projections of future value, it is important to note that even some crypto-insiders are keen to remain level-headed about how projects are valued – as crypto-twitter user Elie Steinbock pointed out:
You can’t assume traditional asset valuations to crypto. Alot of the valuations are based on future potential earnings and potential
— j (@cryptoandadream) August 6, 2018
Haha. No. This space is full of shit coins with completely unjustified prices that will definitely crash.
Having said that Augur may well be around for the long term and makes its investors a profit
— Elie Steinbock (@elie2222) August 7, 2018
With the valuation vs. real value argument becoming something a consistent refrain of critics of the crypto industry in general, such a discrepancy in what many believe to be one of the most legitimate and original use-cases in the space might be disquieting for those who want to see the Ethereum ecosystem flourish.