Shortly after the launch of Augur, some users went on to create a crypto-settled assassination market. Since Augur is powered by the Ethereum blockchain, the marketplace exists on many computers. Because of the decentralization of Augur, law enforcement might struggle to shut down these illegal markets.
The Frightening Niche Markets
A frightening niche market in the crypto community has recently cropped up that is comprised of anarchists. The market is comprised of anti-political people who will go as far as betting on the lives of politicians. Their thinking is simple, if there is a political incentive to end the lives of politicians, people will back away from political office. As a result, this will cause a collapse of the state.
It might seem bizarre but assassination markets are hardly new. As early as 2013, bitcoin enthusiasts were contributing towards these markets for prominent people in the US. Some of those targeted included the US President, leaders of government agencies, and even the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. In November 2013, one of the creators of this market was even profiled by Forbes. Luckily, nobody has ever had a chance to cash in on these bets, which are essentially bounties.
When Augur launched, it created the perfect circumstances for the reemergence of the crypto-backed assassination markets. Initially, questions on Augur were quite tame. For instance, people would ask whether the price of Ether would go above $500 by the end of 2018. However, in recent days, dark questions such as whether public figures will live or die have popped up.
The assassination market has raised moral questions for the creators of Augur. It could even lead to legal consequences if anything were to happen to the public officials. When ETHNews questioned the co-founder of Augur about this issue, Joey Krug directed them to Augur’s FAQs.
What Krug Had To Say
In the FAQs section, it states that users who decide to run the Augur code perform trades and create the markets on Augur. All functions are run on Ethereum via smart contracts. The miners that are running the Ethereum nodes process the orders and markets on augur. Besides that, it states that all funds are transferred directly to Ethereum. In short, Krug was saying Augur is out of his hands.
Krug, on his part, does not seem too worried about the assassination markets. He said that as far as he was concerned, he was like an email creator whose email service was used to send ransom notes. Krug added that he would obviously like his service not to be used for such a thing but there was little he could do. He added that it was irrelevant what he thought since it was illegal to do it anyway. Thus, he was saying the responsibility was on those who created such markets.
It can be easy to be outraged by Krug’s comments but they do have some truth to them. If they were not on Augur, they would still find another place to create their assassination market. Creators cannot be held responsible when people misuse their products.