On October 5, representatives of the Augur decentralized platform reported on their readiness for the first update of the system. The developers have launched “indicative planned changes” for the deployment of Augur v2, which will be simplified from a technical point of view. Which updates will affect the network?
Unfinished Augur v2
Augur is a well-known open-source P2P platform used for making bets and predictions (with a guarantee of payments in case of success) for any event. The system is based on hundreds of Ethereum smart contracts with their own REP tokens. Scheduled network updates, according to project developers, will help simplify the system and make it more friendly for new users. The upcoming Augur v2 version will include a number of improvements to the internal operation of the platform, which are designed to eliminate confusion, eliminate additional costs, and reduce risks.
In its blog, Augur explains that all changes are currently indicative and will remain so until the code is written and tested to the end. To deploy a network, additional manual REP migration to the new Augur smart contract set will be required, they will update all tokens and will become compatible with ERC777 and ERC20 standards. The update is compatible with the current version of the project and will support all of the original functionality, although "specific changes will affect the basic protocol."
There will also be a redesign of the inconvenient interface of the platform application, where there are now problems in the “position,” “transaction,” and FAQ sections. The head of Augur Tom Kysar said that all the wishes of the community will be taken into account in the new version.
Major Network Changes
Most of the attention will be paid to reforming processes and facilitating trade in Augur markets. For example, at the moment, the platform supports two versions of each trading function, which, as the Forecast Foundation project developer Alex Chapman said, “do not really work.” After one user allows another to set a gas limit, trading stops.
Another change will affect the "very inefficient and complex" system of compensating for the so-called "reporters," or users who provide information and input the results of events, who, for example, won the game or election. Now, the fees for compensation to these network members are sent to the upcoming contract, which changes every seven days. Reporters can get a share of these fees by purchasing Augur tokens or participating in disputes, and then buying out the tokens they receive in exchange. This is a very inefficient and difficult way to compensate reporters.
In the second version, the system will charge a fee for one contract and sell them for the main token of the REP platform. The smart contract itself will be destroyed. According to Augur representatives, this procedure is effective for the contributions of all REP holders with zero gas cost. Thus, a more favorable tax regime is obtained.
Other changes also focus on the costs of the transaction commission. Some reformation of smart contracts, although it is not indicated which one, will help reduce gas costs by 25 percent or more.
Attention to Risk
Some of Augur v2's planned changes are aimed at reducing and leveling the risks associated with using the platform itself. Thanks to the planned DAI integration with a stablecoin (positioned by developers as a cryptocurrency that solves the problem of high volatility of digital assets), Augur users will not have to undergo a permanent change in the cost of Ether. Thus, developers are planning to develop a concept of independence for projects that are created on the platform.
Other changes are designed to make Augur more understandable and objective in terms of information contained in projects created within the network. After all, it was originally planned that these markets would only refer to empirically-verifiable, real events occurring in life: whether it rains, whether the team won or the coin lost at a given price. In practice, users create projects based on rhetorical philosophical questions like “Does God exist?” or “How can I do right in any given situation?” and so on.
The question of whether the market will be invalidated is decided by the owners of the REP, whose tokens allow them to vote for blocking questionable projects. Uncertainty confuses users, as often many do not understand in which markets they can bet, and which they cannot. This reduces the interest in Augur, because users can lose their bets on those markets that will later be marked as invalid.
To provide some clarity, Augur plans to allow bets on market equity when users can see the decisions and opinions of other network members. The function of adding a message will appear, where everyone can argue their choice. Also, the creators of the market will be able to provide a higher bond of action to signal the authenticity of the market and the ability to trade on it safely.
Augur v2 plans to accelerate the betting process. At the moment, the “designated reporter” the address indicated by the creator organizer of the market, has three days to think about before other users can charge for reporting. Now the decision-making time is reduced to one day, all weekly waiting periods between rounds of disputes will be deleted automatically. The whale user will not be able to restrain the process.
Not What Was Asked
The upcoming changes proposed by the Augur developers will probably improve the user interface, add new features and make the work on the platform more understandable. But this is not exactly what the network members requested, as the requirements in the Wish List for Augur, which was posted on Reddit, are different. It says that the platform and the Augur application need to simplify navigation at the user interface (UI) level, and not to improve the efficiency of the Augur protocol itself, whose work suits the network participants.
Users said they want to be able to more effectively search for open truthful markets by keywords in the title, and not just by tags, as is being done now, and not sort them by volume, liquidity, or alphabetical order.