Augur rose another 20% today after gaining 30% yesterday, with the ethereum based prediction market token rising from $8 to $12 at the time of writing.
Part of the reason appears to be due to the launch of a centralized new interface which aims to make betting on Augur as easy as MetaMask and go, albeit after you go through a registration process.
The price rise may also be because a Venture Capital (VC) firm, 1confirmation, blatantly said Long Augur after announcing they themselves have already bought however much Rep they wanted to.
Far more interesting than any of that, however, might be a very new thing going on in Augur. A potential token split.
It took us quite some time to get our head around it, but thanks to some patience by Micah Zoltu and other Augur devs, we think we have the gist of it.
The matter concerns what appears to be a very simple question: “Which party will control the House after 2018 U.S. Midterm Election?”
Obviously the market maker meant which party will win control, but what he actually said is which party will control.
Obviously everyone was betting on “will win,” meaning democrats. Yet the question is the question and says “will,” meaning republicans as the democrats had not yet taken control after they won, with it to occur sometime this month, but after the expiry of the above market.
With a dispute now on the table, a process of effectively voting (staking) with your money has been on-going.
The way this works is somewhat simple. Someone staked 30 rep in favor of republicans to open the dispute with round 0. Democrats had to, and did, stake 60 in round 1. Republicans had to, and did, stake 90 for round 2 – plus the 30 of opening the dispute. Then dems 180 and so on doubling with the current round 5 requiring circa 720 rep from dems, worth about $7,000 something.
Each of these rounds is about 20 days, with it all so far remaining quite boring. What is interesting, however, is that they are racing towards a round where 2.5% of all rep, circa $3.4 million at current prices, is staked.
At that point, the rep smart contract will kind of freeze itself. You’ll still be able to move the ERC20 like a normal token, we’re told, but you won’t be able to stake it anymore so you won’t be able to use it on Augur.
That’s because the smart contract will automatically clone itself into two identical new smart contracts which have their own eth address, one for what we can call repr and one for repd.
Technically we’re told there can be 10,000 smart contract clones or more if the disputed matter was more complex and asked something like which will be nominated the best city.
However, someone has to initiate the clone and that someone – which can be anyone – has to pay the gas fee. So practically we’ll get repr and repd.
In a bitcoin or eth fork, you get a sort of airdrop as the coins themselves sort of double into eth1 and eth2. In this token fork, the coins split or – not necessarily halve – but they could kind of nearly halve.
The current 11 million rep supply could split into something like 6 million repd and 5 million repr. The repd and repr tokens are unique. Once you call a function to send it to say the repr smart contract, you can’t change your mind anymore. Your rep has forever transformed into repr.
In our above scenario, repd has won because it has received most rep. That means all current rep markets will settle on repd. Where new ones are concerned, however, they function identically in either repr or repd. Meaning why anyone would care whether they’re on a d or r, isn’t very clear.
Zoltu says the R reporters have shown a propensity to lie, so they’ll probably lie again, meaning bettors would want to go to the honest contract. Yet, did they actually lie?
Technically, R is correct. In a schism, therefore, it would probably be more of a choice of whether you like to be technical or whether you like to look at intention. Meaning its sort of a personality choice like the yellow hat or whatever.
The interesting part here is that these two clone contracts run on a complex web of smart contracts that make up Augur.
We’re told there’s 70 or so, interlinked, making this potentially the most complex dapp running on eth. A clone flood of 70 contracts won’t be seen in the case of a fork, however. That’s because almost all of them deal with matters that are shared by the two clones. So you only get the token address into a twin mode.
Smart contracts automatically acting by themselves based on an if trigger to launch a new smart contract is something we weren’t quite aware of.
In bitcoin or eth, however, you can ignore say a BTG fork or some other kids’ chain-split. Here, you’d think there would need to be a system wide migration because the original contract isn’t quite functional anymore.
Yet we’re told that you can automatically follow the fork based on a certain function that basically asks a prediction market what fork they on and what rep flavored token they using.
Each prediction market has its own smart contract with the one in dispute showing it has 5,800 cash. Cash being weth, or basically eth, but wrapped in a token. Meaning the mid-term elections smart contract is holding circa $700,000 at the current price.
One can wonder – if this gains huge usage – whether a new smart contract all the time wouldn’t basically clog eth node syncing. A satisfactory answer to that wasn’t available, but the Augur devs were happy with the rent storage and pruning proposal depending on how it is implemented. It doesn’t affect Augur, they said.
Making all this quite interesting and potentially profit making because those who vote for the winner get a 50% bonus of their stake in plain rep if it is settled prior to the 2.5% threshold.
That’s not just the final round stakers, but all stakers throughout all rounds with this 50% paid by the losing stakers, hence the doubling by round.
It isn’t clear whether it would make risk free sense in some instances to bet in what might reasonably seem like the final round. Nor is it clear whether this incentive, in fact, incentivizes forking.
That’s because in a split, R is winner in repr, thus the R stakers get a 50% bonus, and D is winner in repd, thus the D stakers get a 50% bonus there.
I addition, whoever participates during the 60 days fork voting process where the “winer” – as far as current open markets are concerned – is decided, gets a 5% bonus. That 5% is minted out of thin air to incentivize participation in the forking process.
We’re told that in the new version, the “original” rep which hasn’t moved to say D or R within 60 days will effectively vanish because Augur devs presumably find fork participation necessary.
For this potential fork, however, one can take the -5% punishment to sit and wait and then choose the “winning” side.
Yet it remains unclear what exactly would be “winning” here, with it even more unclear how exchanges would respond if we get this R and D rep.
Would they continue labeling one of them as Rep, and the other as repr or d, if at all. Meaning wouldn’t exchanges be the ultimate arbiters of truth. Something that applies really to any crypto fork with its own consideration of whether exchanges are not effectively becoming the new banks.
Yet at a technical level, while one can easily see how you can launch a new node manually, having this automatic split or action based on some trigger sounds quite fascinating for… well because presumably you could create an actual primitive living form in the same manner.