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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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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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The short answer: Game Theory.

Consensus networks like the Ethereum blockchain that record data and transactions as a single source of truth seems like it would be a great fit for multiplayer games. A natural suggestion would be putting games involving chance, such as poker, backed by the block chain and guaranteed to be fair by the blockchain network and cryptographic hashes. Why hasn’t the blockchain disrupted online poker and similar games?

The reason is not a technical problem, but more of a game theory problem. Due to the pseudo-anonymous nature of the blockchain, it is impossible to perfectly know the identity of each user and prevent collusion among participants. To put it another way, if you were to join an online poker table, it would be impossible to know whether the other players were other individuals, or if it was one guy with a dozen accounts. The fact that someone could create multiple identities and use that to his or her advantage is a difficult problem to solve.

People are working on solutions to this. Anyone dealing with any kind of financial regulation typically must comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) laws. While KYC compliance is not new, the tradeoff is that these processes are expensive and time consuming to implement. There are blockchain systems being developed that will rely on KYC to operate fairly, such as with FirstBlood, and it will be interesting to see what solutions they come up with.

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Someone cashed in for 636 Ether with a bet that Trump would win the election on PredictionToken, which allows you to make and take peer-to-peer bets on a yes or no outcome with the result verified in the blockchain.

The way it works is a smart contract mints Yes and No coins on the Ethereum blockchain whose value is tied to future events. Yes or No coins can be bought and sold on an exchange like EtherDelta. Once the event comes to pass, the result will be verified and written in the blockchain by Reality Keys. After that, the winning positions’s coin can be redeemed for 1 Ether each while the losing position’s coin are not worth nothing.

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