Venture-backed startup Veil has acquired Predictions.Global, the leading site for exploring data on Augur prediction markets.
"It’s certainly been the most used and popular third party-developed Augur product thus far," Veil co-founder Paul Fletcher-Hill told CoinDesk in an email.
Augur is a decentralized protocol on ethereum that makes it possible to create prediction markets around anything. Predictions.Global currently lists all the open betting markets running on Augur (388, as of this writing).
Augur was built with an initial coin offering in 2015. But as well as the protocol works, it's very technically demanding to use. Enter Veil, sporting a user interface that makes it much faster and easier to place bets on a limited number of topics. At launch, Veil revealed that it had raised a seed round from a group of investors that includes Sequoia Capital and 1confirmation.
For Veil's mainnet launch earlier this month, supported markets included crypto-derivatives for BTC, REP and ZRX; bets on which film will win Best Picture at the 2019 Academy Awards; and more recently, a market for the upcoming Super Bowl.
Veil hopes Predictions.Global will help drive users to its site. "One change you’ll notice is that markets that are supported by Veil will start to include a link to trade on Veil," Fletcher-Hill told CoinDesk.
Veil currently supports a fraction of the kinds of markets that currently exist on Augur. "Ultimately we want to support as many markets as possible," Fletcher-Hill said.
Veil promises users two benefits over using Augur directly: placing bets without paying gas fees and instant settlement for markets where Veil is confident the outcome will be clear at the end of the relevant event.
"Veil purchases the shares from users and then redeems those shares from Augur directly," Fletcher-Hill said. It costs users a 1 percent fee, but they don't have to wait.
That said, Veil is also non-custodial. Users don't have to give Veil control of their funds. On the other hand, this means they will have to use dapp wallets (which are their own UX headache), such as Metamask or Coinbase Wallet.
Nick Tomaino of 1confirmation compared the new company's potential to one of the industry's bigger success stories:
This story has been updated (Jan. 24, 16:33 UTC) with comment from 1confirmation partner Nick Tomaino.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.