Aug 082015
 

Augur Crowdsale

Augur, the decentralized prediction marketplace that aims to create a fully decentralized oracle by aligning the economic interests of participants reporting on events so they are honest, has announced its crowdsale of reputation tokens that are central to the working of Augur.

Augur is being built on top of the Ethereum blockchain, and since Ethereum has officially launched, Augur is looking to build out its crowdsale on top of Ethereum. It seems like a higher-risk endeavor compared to using more traditional token systems, for instance built on top of Counterparty (which would have been the original plan, since Augur was originally to launch its crowdsale on Koinify, which uses Counterparty in the backend).

Crypto 2.0

Augur is one of the more ambitious projects coming out of the crypto world and a decentralized oracle holds a lot of promise and potential. It is one of the ‘Bitcoin 2.0’ projects, although well-known members of the crypto community like Vitalik Buterin the founder of Ethereum don’t like to use that term to describe their projects. Its success will depend on a number of factors, and it remains to be seen how secure and honest the system will be.

Augur was initially built along the lines of Truthcoin, which was outlined in a paper by Paul Sztorc. Paul Sztorc was an early adviser to the Augur team, but the two have since had a public falling out. Paul Sztorc has since said that he would work on a version of Truthcoin on the Bitcoin blockchain, instead of using Ethereum like the Augur team is doing, when the sidechains are launched by Blockstream.

Crowdsale

The crowdsale itself has been announced at Augur’s blog. The crowdsale is for the REP tokens (reputation tokens) that users of Augur will use to be rewarded for correctly reporting outcomes of events. The crowdsale starts on August 17, 2015 and lasts for 45 days. The pie will be divided into a total of 11 million REP tokens during this period, out of which 80% goes to the crowdsale, 16% to the founders and 4% to the Forecast Foundation.

The team initially incorporated a referral system to reward the initial adopters who might evangelize about the project to others, but that has since been cancelled. There is also a bonus for people who donate early, keeping with the same spirit as Koinify which also has the same system of rewards. For Augur, there are three tiers of bonuses – the first 5 days get you a 15% bonus, the next 5 days get you a 10% bonus and the next 5 days get you a 5% bonus. Everyone after this period will get the standard percentages, based on the total money raised in the crowdsale.

To go to the Augur crowdsale, visit http://sale.augur.net/

My Thoughts

I’ve been following the Augur project for a good while now, and really like the premise of a decentralized oracle. Truthcoin is a promising concept and idea as well. I haven’t followed the whole episode about the falling out between Paul (the creator of truthcoin) and the Augur team, but I will admit, it makes me a little uneasy. Also, given a choice, I would prefer something built on Bitcoin than Ethereum, simply because Bitcoin is more ‘battle-tested’ than Ethereum, which has been up for less than a week. Also, Paul seems eager to launch his own competition soon.

I am not sure how much premium the first-to-market will fetch in this category, since inherently you want the system as decentralized and as spread out among participants as possible. Augur seems to be on the right track there. Weighing all the pros and cons, I would say this is one of the better projects in the community worth funding. However, do know the risks before you invest in this project.

 

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