Cryptoasset derivatives platform Veil is to close just six months after launching the company said in a blog post on Thursday.
Veil, designed to make the Augur predictions platform more accessible, said on Medium that trading would be disabled in two weeks on July 24. It said it would continue to host the Veil product until Augur v2 launches.
Co-founder Paul Fletcher-Hill made three recommendations:
- Redeem all open positions in expired markets
- Withdraw any positions in active markets - positions can be converted to or sold though Augur
- Withdraw your Veil Ether and convert it to Ether
We failed to find a good fit between what we were building and the market as it exists today. We believe that cryptocurrencies and the decentralized web will have profound effects on our future. But today the community of users is small, and we think there are higher impact products and services we can build for the immediate future.
Cryptocurrency derivatives are becoming increasingly badly received by regulators. Earlier in July UK regualtor the Financial Conduct Authority wrote a paper advising that retail investors should be banned from trading them saying it was "akin to gambling".
The FCA added that crypto-derivatives were "complex contracts built on top of complex assets" and warned that "consumers cannot reliably value derivatives based on unregulated cryptoassets".
Other global regulators have expressed concerns about derivatives markets. Last month, the French market regulator AMF passed laws that restricted the sale of binary options and contracts for difference (CFDs), and tightened leverage limits for crypto-derivatives to 2:1.
Why Veil Didn't Work
The company highlighted three main issues:
- We tried to do too much. Prediction markets are a generalized form of betting, derivatives, insurance, and more. Focused versions of any of these verticals may be better for users than the generalized form.
- We didn’t offer a good onboarding experience. Crypto as a user base is still early, and we didn’t make it easy enough for users without crypto or a wallet to get started.
- 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.
The Future - Augur v2
While Augur v2, which looks likely to be launched in September, will offer similar services, Veil said its short-term focus was to make sure all Veil users successfully withdrew their positions.
So while we’re sunsetting the Veil product, the Veil team and company will continue as is. We’re lucky enough to have great partners and we have a number of projects we’ve been working on internally that we can’t wait to share with the community.