Decentralized prediction market Augur is setting its sights on a new field – sports betting.
Announced Monday, the six-year-old project is announcing the launch of Augur Turbo. Notably, the new sportsbook will live on Ethereum layer 2 Polygon, drastically cutting down on fees on the platform, which at times exceeded the winnings for users.
Prediction markets rely on the idea of the “wisdom of the crowd” or the idea that a collective group of people will have a more accurate assessment of a market than any lone expert. Key to that idea, however, is you have to attract a crowd. With the Polygon scaling solution, that concept could become more viable.
Augur Turbo will rely on Chainlink’s oracle network, or a way to feed external data into programmable smart contracts. With the Chainlink integration, users can create betting markets for the National BasketBall Association, Major League Baseball, Mixed Martial Arts and the Olympics. Support for the National Football League, college football, soccer, tennis, golf and esports will soon follow. Chainlink will deliver data such as schedules, post-game scores, team and player stats.
Augur Turbo’s prediction markets will rely on Chainlink data to settle bets immediately after a market closes.
The move to Polygon highlights Augur’s desire to capture more users. Fellow prediction market Polymarket built on Polygon (then known as Matic) last fall and found success in serving crypto-savvy election watchers.
Sports betting surging
Traditional sports books not only siphon off fees, they also limit what markets can be set.
Sports betting remains a lucrative market. Since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in 2018, which effectively banned sports betting, more than $20 billion has been bet.
Beyond its sports betting project, version two of Augur will continue to exist on layer 1 as Augur Pro. The prediction market lets anyone set up a marketplace to bet on everything from crypto to politics to current events.