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What is Augur and why is it cool?

Augur is a decentralized prediction market built on Ethereum. Think of it like a market place where you can bet on future events, like the outcome of the 2020 US Presidential Election. The benefits of this are 2 fold. First, Augur is a peer-to-peer prediction market place with all the benefits of a decentralized system, such as censorship resistance, lower fees, reduced trust reliance on a third party, and more. The second benefit is a little more technical.

Continue reading dApp Spotlight: Augur

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According to their website, Matchpool is “a decentralized matchmaking protocol which uses group dynamics to help participants match with each other”. The idea is that anyone can create and cultivate their own matchmaking community and make money doing so. Picture Meetup with a romantic angle and mix in a sharing economy. The online dating space is a billion dollar industry and Matchpool would be the first to be built on the blockchain.

Community building is emerging as a fantastic use case for blockchain technology. Contrary to centralized systems that provide the platform and extract value created from the users of the platform, the blockchain enables decentralized systems where participants in the network create value and also receive value in return. This is the sharing economy in its most basic form and it encourages voluntary, reputation driven communities and group participation.

Matchpool is still in development and they plan on doing a crowdsale in March. Check out their whitepaper here for more details.

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The Rudimental is a project that takes the ICO model and applies it to video content creators. The way it works is that you create a project and you can trade shares in your project on an open exchange. This provides a mechanism for alternative funding opportunities and allows users to be compensated for finding a diamond in the rough. Imagine if you could have invested in Justin Bieber when he was just a no-name kid putting music on YouTube? This is the new paradigm that the blockchain enables.

Another interesting aspect of this project is it’s integration with other blockchain projects such as Gnosis (prediction market platform) and Boardroom (blockchain governance suite). This will further these tools and the ecosystem as a whole by providing a real use case that people can learn and build upon for future projects.

The Rudimental will only focus on video media at this time but hopes to expand to additional media types. They also claim full SEC compliance for anyone concerned about the legality of exchanging equity tokens in this way. This project is nearing release and is promising to release some new information to the community very soon, and we will provide updates as that happens.

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A new project, otlw,  is trying to address one of the fundamental issues in our current education system: assessment and accreditation.  In simpler terms, how can we prove that a student has a particular skill and then communicate that to the relevant parties?  The current system of standardized tests and degrees from the educational institutions themselves comes with a number of problems.

One problem is when the institutions charged with educating the students are also charged with accrediting them, we have a conflict of interest.  The institutions are incentivized to teach for a standardized test, and if they make their own tests for assessments, to mold their tests to fit their teaching. A consequence of this is that it becomes too expensive to cater to the individual needs of the students.  To accommodate students individual learning styles or take a deeper dive into various topics is not economically viable if it does not align with the standardized test, or whatever is used as the assessment ‘test’.

otlw wants to use the Ethereum blockchain to create an accreditation reputation system.  By separating education and accreditation, students will be able to learn how they see fit instead of being forced down one particular standardized educational track.  For example, imaging being able to learn front end web development from any number of free courses available on YouTube, and getting good enough to become accredited through otlw, and then use that accreditation to get a web dev job.  It’s sort of a half-way step back to the old apprentice system of old, where reputation is codified in the blockchain.

The way it works is that individuals when someone wants to be assessed, a number of people who have already been accredited as knowledgable on a subject will be selected to perform an assessment. There will be a special Ethereum token used by the system to hold value. The assessors will be rewarded in tokens for giving the same assessment as the majority, and punished by losing tokensfor being very different from the majority.  By accrediting individuals themselves, they increase their own reputation, and they are rewarded with tokens that have a monetary value.

As is typical with these systems, the value is created and shared in a circular fashion.  The students benefit from being able to engage in self-guided learning of their choosing and can have their skills verified, the assessors are compensated financially and increase their own reputation, and the students benefit from their assessors having a higher reputation.  You could imagine such a system being the backbone on which other platforms are built, such as distributed classrooms that could compete with the large education systems from early childhood education, to higher education, and anywhere in between.

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