"The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried." Stephen McCranie
Grab your coffee or boba. It’s time to talk Augur.
Your First Augur Trade in Two Minutes
Haven’t used Augur yet? I posted a simple tutorial on how to place your first trade in 2 minutes flat. It’s oriented toward folks who are already familiar with Ethereum but haven’t jumped into Augur yet. Please share with anyone who would be interested.
If I had to pick one adjective to describe Augur it wouldn’t be "open" or “free” though they come close. It would be Limitless.
Augur is the Autobahn…of markets. Participants are not limited by time, geography, or the whims of central operators. Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime can trade as much as they want or create markets on Anything.
This is not the case anywhere else, especially in betting markets, which are constrained by borders, bookies, and betting caps. If you’re a winning bettor who has an edge, aka a “sharp,” you’ll wake up one day to discover that your account has been banned or limited to meager caps like 20 dollars per bet.
As Brett Richey put it, modern betting is “a world of walled-off fiefdoms, whose only shared goal is to separate customers from their money — as quickly as possible. This fragmented, inefficient marketplace benefits incumbent operators at the expense of the end user.”
Shares on Augur have no conception of borders. They can be owned by anybody but restricted by no one. You can buy or sell an Augur share 24/7 or even send one to your friend on the other side of the globe in seconds, for pennies.
Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper), from the movie Limitless, would be a big fan of Augur
You can see my trades here.
This week, I put on my market maker hat, as much as one can do so in Augur v1, where it is costly and slow to update orders. I created a Bitcoin price market, which Guesser kindly listed, and put up some offers.
The market asks whether the price of Bitcoin will be between 8k and 10k USD at the end of this month, according to Coinbase Pro. Right now, you can buy shares around .72 or sell around .60.
If the price of Bitcoin makes any sudden swings in the next couple weeks that will likely present an opportunity, as I’m slow at updating offers these days. Thank me later…
Note: not trading advice...just a look at what I’m up to
Two Minute Musing
I took a closer look this week at Political Alert Engine, the newest entrant to the election odds tracker space. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone who trades political markets or just wants to keep tabs on election odds.
I think political odds trackers will take off with Augur v2 + the election cycle next year. There’s no standout solution yet, but Political Alert Engine is the best I’ve seen. With some improvements, including Augur integration, it could be a huge success.
I think that political odds trackers will play a key role in shifting public perception of how we predict elections. In the past, there were two ways to predict elections: polls and pundits. Neither being super effective, as 2016 showed us.
Now there’s a third “P”: Prediction Markets.
Prediction markets can produce superior forecasts by absorbing more information, faster from diverse market actors who have skin in the game, unlike pundits or polling respondents.
PredictIt has been around for some time, but has limited liquidity and predictive powers due to low caps and high fees. There’s also been no standout interface for accessing election odds from sites like PredictIt and Betfair. That’s where something like Political Alert Engine can shine.
Some have argued that we should downplay the prediction angle or even avoid the term “prediction market” to describe Augur, since it’s confusing or irrelevant to the value prop for the typical user. I think this is the right move when targeting the traditional betting crowd, since they don’t care about predictive powers or trading positions…but it’s a mistake on a broader scale.
Since the U.S. Presidential Election is the most-watched, most-predicted event in the world, playing up the prediction angle is a great opportunity to drive publicity and new users. Odds trackers, for example, make it easier for candidates like Andrew Yang to tweet their odds or mainstream publications to broadcast prediction market forecasts. This drives a virtuous cycle: more media attention equals more users equals better predictions equals more media coverage etc.
I love hearing from readers, so feel free to say hi with any thoughts or questions!