Augur Publishes Blueprint For The Second Version Of The Prediction Platform
Augur, has shown a lot of potential as a crypto prediction market, however, there was a major problem. No one could figure how to use it.
It launched on the ethereum blockchain in July. Since then, it has generated excitement beyond the usual crypto ecosystem due to its perceived potential as a trustless, un-censorable platform to bet on sports, forecast elections, trade derivatives and hedge against risk.
However, Augur’s biggest shortcoming is user experience. This has meant that, following a brief honeymoon in which Augur attracted a flood of users, the platform's daily active user count is now solidly below 100.
The developers behind the project, who are technically affiliated with the non-profit Forecast Foundation, recognize Augur's user experience problem. They are in fact launching a second version of the platform which addresses these drawbacks.
Details of V2
The upcoming version two of Augur will include a number of improvements to the platform's inner-workings, which are meant to alleviate sources of clunkiness, confusion, extra cost, and risk. In addition, the foundation is working on changes to the Augur app's user interface.
The current version of Augur supports two versions of each trading function which, the “normal” one, which Forecast Foundation lead developer Alex Chapman said doesn't really work, and one that allows the user to set the “gas” limit after which the function will stop trading. In v2 only the second version will be available.
Another change will repair the wasteful and complicated system for remunerating “reporters,” the users who input data about an event's consequence, such as who won a game or an election. In version two, Augur will pool reporter fees into a single contract and auction them off for REP, the platform's native crypto token. The REP the contract brings in will be destroyed.
Reduction of Risk
Some of the planned V2 modifications are intended to reduce the risks involved in using Augur. The most prominent example is the proposed integration of the DAI stablecoin, indicating that users do not have to be exposed to major shifts in the value of ether – particularly when their funds are locked up in a market for months or years.
Other changes are meant to make it more clear whether a market is valid. In theory, Augur markets can only refer to empirically verifiable, real-world events: whether it rained, whether a team won or lost, whether a coin hit a given price.
The Forecast Foundation plans to provide specific betting on the validity of a market. That way users will be able to see whether others consider a market subjective – or likely to be struck down for some other reason. Users will also be able to add a message explaining their reasoning for certain actions, like disputing an outcome or reporting in a certain way.
Change in UI
The community's wish list on Reddit shows a consistent focus on making the Augur app easier to navigate at the user interface (UI) level, rather than advancing the performance of the Augur protocol.
To take an example, several users said they wanted to be able to search open markets more effectively – by keywords in the title, not just tags – and to sort them according to categories like volume and liquidity, as well as alphabetically.
At the same time, users can view, search and sort Augur markets using Predictions. Global, a third-party site that's not affiliated with the Forecast Foundation and offers many of the features the Augur community has demanded for the app.