US Elections Push Augur's Total Ether Bets Over $2 Million

Betting on elections to the U.S. House has brought over $700,000 onto the platform, pushing the midterms market into the top spot.

AccessTimeIconNov 6, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:34 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

U.S. elections drama may be dragging Augur out of the doldrums.

The decentralized betting platform built on ethereum enjoyed a promising launch in July but then stagnated due to its clunky user experience and a general decline in the use of decentralized applications. As Tuesday's mid-term elections in the U.S. approach, however, money is pouring into the platform.

The market for "Which party will control the House after 2018 U.S. Midterm Election?" has 3,517 ether or nearly $727,000 staked on it at the time of writing, according to Predictions.Global, a website allowing users to view and search for Augur markets.

The market has surpassed "Will price of Ethereum exceed $500 at the end of 2018?" – for months the market with the most open interest by a wide margin, with $523,000 staked at the time of writing. The mid-terms market is also the most liquid on the platform, according to Predictions.Global, with target liquidity over 250 ether.

The rush of funds into the mid-terms market – which gives the Democrats a 66 percent chance of taking the House, compared to an 88 percent chance on FiveThirtyEight's poll-based model – has pushed the total dollar amount staked on Augur to a new record: nearly $2.1 million.

It should be noted, though, that Augur's open interest in ether terms (currently 10,134 ether) has been rising consistently. It was only due to ether's declining exchange rate that dollar-denominated open interest did not exceed its July high until the end of October, as data compiled by the Twitter user "defroi" shows:

augur open interest defroi
augur open interest defroi

As another chart defroi produced for CoinDesk shows, the increase in total open interest on the platform is due almost exclusively to the House prediction market, which began to surge on Oct. 22:

midterms augur defroi
midterms augur defroi

Augur's languid daily user numbers, however, have not noticeably taken off. According to DappRadar, they range from 19 to 56 users per day in October. The all-time high, hit the day of the platform's launch, is 256.

Even so, according to Predictions.Global co-founder Ryan Berckmans, the growth of the midterms market augurs well for the platform. "It used to be very concentrated" in the market for ether's year-end price, he said. "That's still a big market, but the diversification into different verticals is a very good sign."

By verticals, he explained, he meant the expansion beyond cryptocurrency price derivatives – the largest category by open interest and betting volume – and into other areas such as politics.

U.S. Capitol image via Shutterstock

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.