Augur is a decentralized prediction market. It is built on the Ethereum platform and had a very promising launch in July. However, it has since stagnated due to the poor user experience and a general decline in decentralized dApps. Augur uses a principle known as the “wisdom of the crowd”. Using this method information collected from the crowd is averaged out into the most realistic possibility and correct predictions are rewarded. This means over time that people who consistently misreport or inaccurately predict the future will lose their tokens and those that do it correctly will win more.
It appears that the U.S elections have reignited interest in the Augur platform. As the mid-term elections approach money is pouring into the platform.
At the time of writing the market for “Which party will control the House after the 2018 U.S Midterm Election?” has 3,517 ether or around $730,000 staked on it.
It has replaced the “Will the price of Ethereum exceed $500 at the end of 2018?” market, which has for months been the market with most interest. Currently, there are around $525,000 US dollars staked on this. As a result, Augur has achieved a new record amount of money staked on its platform at around $2.1 million US dollars.
The Augur market suggests there is a 66% chance of the Democrats taking the house. This is significantly lower than other polls suggest who give probabilities in the mid to high 80s.
The amount of ETH staked on Augur has been consistently rising however, its poor performance has seen lower amounts in dollar terms.
Augur has very few daily users and according to DappRadar, the amount has varied between 19 and 56 users per day in October, a shadow of its launch day with 256. At levels such as this, the “wisdom of the crowd” principle may start to break down.
Augurs diversification into markets other than that of crypto prices can only be good for the platform. Cryptocurrency price derivatives are currently the largest category by open interest and by betting volume.