Thursday, August 20, 2015

New tech promises government-proof prediction markets

A group of developers have come up with a new concept called “Augur”, which they hope will make it nearly impossible for government to regulate “prediction markets.”

Prediction markets are websites where people bet on events like presidential elections and the Oscars. Such markets have proven popular and studies have found that the betting odds from such sites are even better at predicting election winners than polls are. But they face government regulatory hurdles, and three years ago regulators shut down the world’s largest one,

Augur aims to prevent such a shutdown from happening again by being a prediction market that operates as a self-sustaining computer program which would not need a corporation to operate it.

Governments might then be unable to stop it, because there would be no company to shut down. Instead, the regulators would be up against thousands of copies of a computer program located on personal computers all over the world.

“Hundreds of thousands of computers would have to be shut down in order for the system to be shut down,” Augur spokesman Tony Sakich told

Augur is expected to launch early in 2016. This week, it launched a crowdfunding campaign that raised $1.6 million by Wednesday.


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