Just two weeks after the launch of Augur, multiple assassination markets have appeared on Warren Buffett, John McCain, Jeff Bezos, Betty White and the president, Donald Trump (pictured).
Neither has any bets placed as far as we can see, nor can we independently verify from the Augur dapp itself. It is simply not showing such “markets” for us, which may mean they have been removed from the front end interface.
It does however show more proxy assassination markets, such as “will Donald Trump complete his first term as president of the USA?”
Nor is the Trump specific assassination market shown on Predictions Global, an online website that acts as an independent Augur front-end. They do however show this on Predictions Global, but not on Augur’s front end as far as we can see:
Augur’ s price is down some 15% today while much else is up, and the main reason may well be concerns over such “markets.”
The first question is whether the creation of this market, as in the individuals who asked the above questions, whether that act itself is illegal. We’re not criminal lawyers, but you’d think if it isn’t already then it would be if anything comes out of it.
A related question is whether anyone who bets in such markets is committing an illegal act under perhaps assisting murder.
A third question is whether this works at all from a purely technical point of view. The idea is that someone who doesn’t like Warren Buffet, or doesn’t like anyone else like a business partner or a coder, creates such market and then places a huge bet on no.
That, according to Jim Bell who popularized the term assassination markets, would create an incentive to murder as the killer would be able to bet on yes and thus collect the bounty.
In practice, however, speculators might try to front-run and themselves bet on yes, so diluting the bounty and perhaps even so cancelling it all out.
Moreover, considering the stupendous risk in such heinous endeavor, the “bounty” would have to be considerable, which it wouldn’t be if speculators effectively gamble.
A final question is whether such thing should work, and the answer to that is obviously no. In fact, this is the most stupid idea to have come from the 90s handwavy chatrooms of couch philosophers, not that it actually came from there.
Using force to get your way has been part of history since history begun. Prominently in the 70s such political assassinations were used by the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria and Egypt, which eventually ended with an utterly brutal collective punishment crackdown.
Guns should never be part of politics, and when individuals like Warren Buffet are included, then free speech itself is threatened, which obviously is barbaric.
We may disagree with Buffet on his views on cryptos, but we defend his right to express such views without qualification.
If grown men can’t take a little bit of criticism or differing opinions, then maybe they should go cry to mummy rather than take guns through convoluted ways. Because if words can’t persuade then the argument perhaps is simply wrong.
Trump, moreover, was legitimately elected. All necessarily do not agree with him, some of what he does or says may be controversial, but whoever is a public figure will have plenty who disagree and many who may very strongly disagree, yet that’s democracy.
And democracy is a very fine thing. One of the greatest achievement of men and women so far. It can also be a very fragile thing, it can descend into oligopoly or, when under threat, into a dictatorship like in Syria or Egypt.
Any argument therefore that such threats of assassination would keep people honest would persuade no individual who considers it even for a second. Not least because when it comes to politics money would be the most crudest of incentive.
Nor should anyone fear to express their beliefs and to peacefully work without any threat of force to achieve what they think would be best for themselves and all.
Thus any threat to freedom of speech is barbaric. It has no place in our civilization, and we hope it will have no place in any civilization, whatever religion or geographic area.
Where more technical aspects are concerned, these “markets” are not being shown on Augur as far as we can see, and they may be removed from Predictions Global too. The Trump one was.
Augur token holders can invalidate a market as unethical, thus not give out any “winnings.”
Old fashioned police still works in this area, and where it comes to such thing we would hope it works very well.
Nor does anyone seem to give such “markets” a market. Wikipedia says there was such market on Tor with bitcoin enabled in 2013 and some “bounties” were placed but never collected. The tor market became defunct in 2015.
People presumably know that this is simply wrong, and thus no one wants to participate in such anti-intellectual “markets.”