Augur, a decentralized platform for creating predictions markets, just hit a major milestone.
"The first markets have successfully resolved," the project tweeted Wednesday. Payments of ether worth around $20,000 are now going out to the first brave crop of users, who used the betting platform without knowing for sure whether it would work as advertised.
The handful of early markets "seem to have resolved fine," Augur co-founder Joey Krug told CoinDesk. "A few [user interface] bugs I saw but nothing major."
Augur is a peer-to-peer platform where anyone can pose any question for anyone else to bet money on, such as the result of an election or the price of an asset on a given date.
It went live on ethereum last week, nearly three years after the initial coin offering (ICO) that funded its development concluded. Two of those years were spent in rigorous beta testing, which – so far – appear to have paid off, since the application has experienced only minor hiccups.
Only a couple of the markets that have now settled had any money staked on their outcomes. The most valuable market was for the outcome of the France-Belgium World Cup semifinal game. (France won).
More than one user in a community forum expressed relief and congratulated the Augur team on Wednesday.
One of these, Kitsana Dounglomchan, confirmed that he'd received the ether fees he was owed – users earn these fees for creating or reporting the outcome of a prediction market – as well as the "reputation" or REP tokens he'd staked. If users report an incorrect outcome, they risk losing their REP tokens, so there's an incentive to tell the truth.
"Hats off to the entire Augur team," Dounglomchan wrote.
Just getting started
The first round of market settlements on Augur was relatively small, Krug said, because "it was basically only markets where the event actually happened in the first 17 hours or so after launch."
Krug estimated that just over $20,000 worth of ether had been paid out, based on data from Predictions.Global, a site that displays Augur betting markets. He did not include the value of REP token stakes.
The amount of money staked on Augur prediction markets has ballooned in recent days. Predictions.Global shows 1,963 ether in total "open interest," worth nearly $1 million at the time of writing. That figure has nearly tripled since Monday.
For that reason, Krug believes the next round of settlements will far exceed this week's total. He told CoinDesk:
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