There’s Less than $100k at Stake on Ethereum Gambling DApp Augur

Tetras Capital Founding Partner Alex Sunnarborg has revealed that decentralised gambling platform Augur is suffering from the same lack of volume that continues to plague the decentralized application (dApp) ecosystem at large. Reacting to the platform’s weekly report released on January 9, Sunnarborg stated that the total volume of active markets on Augur is, in fact, less than $100,000.

In the report, Augur placed the total value of bets placed on the platform at $2,040,934.63 (13,451 ETH). This value was achieved across a total of 1,724 markets. Writing on Twitter, however, Sunnarborg tore into this valuation, stating that it includes already concluded bets which when removed present a different picture of the platform’s adoption.

DApp Hype Versus Adoption Reality

In his Twitter post, Sunnarborg said:

Buttressing his point about low Augur usage in another post on the same thread, he said:

It will be recalled that this is not the first time that the low adoption of dApps compared to expectations has attracted attention. In August 2018, reported that the number of dApps with more than 300 active daily users across both Ethereum and EOS came to just eight in total. This came in spite of the continued growth of dApp development, particularly on the Ethereum network, which hosts Augur. In November, Augur did record close to $2 million in bets on the US midterm elections, but this turned out to be a false dawn for the platform which has not taken off as many dApp developers hoped it would.

Augur Assassination Markets Spark Controversy

Augur users have placed bets on whether US President Donald Trump will be assassinated.

The platform has also faced controversy about the desirability of its advertised absence of censorship. At launch, Augur was marketed as a fully decentralised betting platform that would give users the ability to open markets on just about any kind of bet without the threat of removal. Predictably, this led to the embarrassing appearance of assassination markets on US President Donald Trump and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The platform also recorded bets on the survival of actress Betty White and the late US Senator John McCain.

Beyond ethical considerations and problems specific to Augur, Sunnarborg’s observations raise more questions about the long term usability of dApps. Some have pointed to such low user figures as proof of the fundamental failure of dApps to deliver on their promise. Speaking in August, however, Gnosis founder Martin Köppelmann insisted that the success of dApps should not be measured by user numbers. According to him, the true measure of dApps’ success lies is in how many dApps are created and use contracts from other dApps.

Amidst the lack of user enthusiasm for dApps, one bright spot over the past few months has been TRON. In December , reported that recorded over 100 million transactions in 173 days across 50 dApps and 1 million accounts. Perhaps buoyed by this, TRON founder Justin Sun recently issued a taunt to Ethereum and EOS, announcing his intention to launch a fund to poach developers from the two blockchain platforms.

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Last modified: May 20, 2020 1:38 PM UTC

January 10, 2019 8:15 PM UTC
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David Hundeyin @DavidHundeyin

I am a busy Nigerian writer, journalist and writer with an interest in tech and finance. When I'm not contributing to CCN and traveling around Africa, you can catch me contributing to CNN Africa, or in the writers room at 'The Other News', Nigeria's weekly answer to 'The Daily Show' with nearly 2 million viewers. My work on 'The Other News' was featured in the New Yorker Magazine, and that was then cited in the Washington Post so I'm not sure that counts as a feature but I'll definitely mention it too! I have been nominated by the US State Department to take part in the 2019 Edward R. Murrow Program for journalists under the International Visitors Leadership Program. I also like hamsters. You can reach me on Twitter at _David_Hundeyin