So, today I’ll briefly expand my running series of, “How can I make money in 2019?” where we’ve already covered DAI borrowing / lending, genesis vision fund management, security tokens, and mini ETFs with Set Protocol.
Today’s method is a simple one: gambling.
Or, Augur. Augur is a decentralized oracle and prediction market protocol, and it’s that latter bit we’re concerned about.
In its simplest way of looking at it, Augur allows participants (known as traders) to speculate on the outcome of just about any event. Those who speculate correctly win money, while those who speculate incorrectly lose money. The terms of that binary are defined by the Ethereum smart contracts Augur uses.
In fact, Augur was one of the first, if not the first, ICOs to run off of Ethereum.
Now, hopefully you’ve grasped that by using smart contracts, Augur allows gambling to be trustless because the conditions and payout are done on a decentralized network. But, hold on, if that’s the case, what’s the use of Augur? Why should you use it?
Well, normally on gambling websites there’s a very select range of topics to bet on, e.g., sports and games. With Augur, anything can be bet on. They’ve infamously had prediction markets regarding the assassination of Donald Trump.
According to the white paper, Augur’s markets always follow the same four stages:
- Creation – Anyone can create a bet around a future event (Sports, politics, you name it). Importantly this also involves the determination of a reference source, like bbc.com or “The United States Department of Energy”.
- Trading – Trading begins as soon as the bet is created, and is cheap compared to traditional competitors.
- Reporting – Once the event has occurred the oracles (ie. reporters who stake REP) learn the outcome.
- Settlement – Now that the result is clear, users can immediately receive their winnings.
Now, gambling is an area that’s sure to have its share of controversy, and the world’s first decentralized gambling platform that enables betting on anything is certain to attract its fair share of it.
After all, Augur does not enforce KYC, which could certainly hurt it moving forward as unsavory and downright scary entries are made on its platform, such as hitman contracts.
But, that doesn’t negate the ability to find some good opportunities. Gambling is, after all, one of the oldest ways of making money.
For example, there was a bet that Ethereum would be over $500 by the end of 2018. Over 2,500 ETH was staked in the outcome of the question, meaning that a stake of 1 ETH would have netted you 0.35 ETH if you were correct. Not a bad return for a little risk and a little foresight.
So, Augur still needs to net more users, even if it’s one of the most popular dApps. We’ll continue to see if it can make it, and just how popular its ideas can be.