FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Define: Augur Protocol

Augur is a decentralized oracle and peer to peer protocol for prediction markets. Augur is free, public, open source software, portions of which are licensed under the General Public License (GPL) and portions of which are licensed under the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) license. Augur is a set of smart contracts written in Solidity that can be deployed to the Ethereum blockchain.

The Augur Protocol is an attempt to try to solve one of the most difficult problems confronting software engineers working to develop practical applications for blockchain technology, particularly smart contracts, the oracle problem. Augur is a trustless decentralized peer to peer oracle employed on a predictive market protocol. The Augur oracle allows information to be migrated from the real world to a blockchain without relying on a trusted intermediary or third party.

Augur is a protocol, freely available for anyone to use however they please. Augur is accessible through a desktop client app, similar to interacting with an Ethereum or Bitcoin node. Users of the Augur protocol must themselves ensure that the actions they are performing are compliant with the laws in all applicable jurisdictions and must acknowledge that others’ use of the Augur protocol may not be compliant. Users of the Augur protocol do so at their own risk.

The Augur protocol is a set of immutable contracts that live and exist on the Ethereum public blockchain. The Augur protocol has no upgradability, modification ability, or governance over the set of contracts and software that run and exist on the Ethereum blockchain. No single entity can modify, alter, update, upgrade, censor or make any changes of any kind to the smart contract’s software. The Augur protocol retains no “admin key”, “ownership key”, or similar centralized aspects that are commonly found in other early staged blockchain decentralized applications. Any changes to the Augur protocol require an entire redeployment of the smart contract set, and thus a manual, opt-in migration to that set of contracts by the users of the Augur protocol.

Define: Forecast Foundation OU

The Forecast Foundation is a group of developers and technology professionals who are passionate about the potential of decentralized applications. The Forecast Foundation does not own or lead Augur, and receives no fees from the use of the protocol, but rather supports and develops the free, open-source protocol that is Augur.

The Forecast Foundation’s mission is to support the development of open-source trading protocols, oracle systems and related technologies that advance transparent, open and financially sound markets, as well as their underlying protocols and toolings.

The Forecast Foundation has no role in the operation of markets created on Augur, and does not have the ability to spend funds that are held in escrow on-contract, does not control how markets resolve or are created, does not approve or reject trades or other transactions on the network, and do not have the ability to modify, cancel, undo, or interact with orders on the network. The Forecast Foundation has no power to censor, restrict, or curate markets, orders, trades, positions or resolutions on the Augur protocol contracts. The Forecast Foundation has no more control over the Augur protocol than anyone else using Ethereum.The Forecast Foundation is not a bank or financial institution and does not provide investment or financial advice or consulting services to users. The Forecast Foundation does not own or operate Augur.net, nor does it have administrative or moderation access to its public Discord, Reddit and other public communities and social media.

The Forecast Foundation writes and publishes open source software on Github. That’s it. The Forecast Foundation does not and will never host or operate any platform or version of Augur. The Forecast Foundation does not run or operate any website hosting the Augur protocol on the main network of Ethereum. In short, if the Forecast Foundation disappeared tomorrow, Augur could continue to function as it does today.

Define: PM Research LTD

PM Research Ltd is a group of early prediction market researchers who are committed to furthering the adoption, research and academic discoveries within predictive forecasting. PM Research Ltd operates educational and user resources for existing and promising applications of predictive software. PM Research makes no revenue from these web properties. PM Research Ltd owns and operates the augur.net landing page and various social media accounts. PM Research Ltd receives no funding from the Forecast Foundation (group of core developers of Augur) for these services.

Define: The Forecast Foundation & Augur Protocol Facts

  • Users of the Augur Protocol don’t make transaction requests to the Forecast Foundation, they transact themselves, directly, peer to peer, with the virtual network, Ethereum.
  • Users of the Augur Protocol don’t make transaction requests to the Forecast Foundation, they transact themselves, directly, peer to peer, with the virtual network, Ethereum.
  • The Forecast Foundation does not retain any information on Augur users, nor does it have the ability to.
  • The Forecast Foundation is not a financial intermediary. This is different than how other virtual currency exchanges operate. The Forecast Foundation and the Augur protocol never know any of the Augur protocol users’ private keys or identifying information. The Forecast Foundation cannot recover an Augur protocol user’s lost private keys or reverse actions performed on the Augur protocol.
  • The Forecast Foundation never takes control of or transmits the Augur protocol users’ virtual currency, nor does it have the ability to.
  • The Ethereum blockchain and the Augur protocol is non-custodial. Augur protocol users can transact and perform actions on the Augur protocol using one or more different industry standard wallets of their choosing, such as MetaMask, Ledger, Trezor, AirBitz and uPort.
  • Because users retain full control of their private keys, the Forecast Foundation and the Augur protocol cannot spend virtual currency on a user’s behalf or against the user’s wishes. Nor can it freeze or forfeit virtual currency on behalf of law enforcement.
  • The Forecast Foundation and the Augur protocol does not know users’ wallet balances, legal names, mailing addresses, social security or national ID numbers, or any other identifying information.
  • Users of the Augur protocol download the Augur software from Github, and bring their own Ethereum account to the protocol. Wallets and keys are decrypted in the users own browser, client side. Users send, receive, and perform actions on the Augur protocol with virtual currency using a wallet provider of their choice.
  • The Forecast Foundation has no control over the markets created on Augur and has the same access to information as anyone else on the Ethereum blockchain.

Who has the ability to access the Augur protocol and perform actions?

Augur is a set of smart contracts that can be deployed to the Ethereum blockchain. Any user who downloads and runs the Augur software has access to the Augur protocol on the Ethereum blockchain. There is currently no platform or deployment of Augur built or catered for specific users, locales or countries, and the Forecast Foundation does not host any deployment of Augur or the client used to interface with the Augur protocol. The Forecast Foundation has no control over what people choose to do with the Augur protocol.

The Forecast Foundation does not and will never host or operate any platform or version of Augur. The Forecast Foundation cannot monitor, control or restrict access to such software from certain users. The Forecast Foundation does encourage users to follow their respective local jurisdictional laws, rules and regulations, even though it can’t and doesn’t control their use of the Augur protocol. In short, anyone who can access the Ethereum blockchain can access Augur, because Augur is a set of smart contracts that exist on the Ethereum blockchain.

What is Reputation (REP) and (REPv2)?

Reputation (REP) and (REPv2) is a cryptocurrency, used by reporters during market dispute phases of Augur. REP and REPv2 holders must perform work, in the form of staking their REP or REPv2 on correct outcomes, to receive a portion of the markets settlement fees. If you do not report correctly, you do not get the fees. If you report incorrectly, you lose your REP or REPv2. If you don’t participate in a fork (when the network has a very large dispute over an outcome), you permanently lose your ability to migrate your REP or REPv2 to a forked universe, making it functionally useless within the used version of the Augur Protocol, and in theory making it worthless. Passive holders of Reputation (REP or REPv2) that are not using their Reputation (REP or REPv2) within the Augur protocol to stake on disputes and forks are penalized. The treatment of REP and REPv2 within the Augur protocol is governed not by the Forecast Foundation but by the protocols smart contracts as described in the Augur white paper and documentation.

Does the Forecast Foundation offer any products or services?

The Forecast Foundation does not offer any products or services. The Forecast Foundation develops free open source software, the Augur protocol. Augur is free software, which acts as a decentralized oracle and peer to peer prediction market protocol.

Is Augur itself a prediction market?

Augur is not a prediction market, it is a protocol for cryptocurrency users to create their own prediction markets. Augur is a set of open source smart contracts that can be deployed to the Ethereum blockchain. The Augur protocol is nothing more than open source software, and individual users of the Augur protocol are the ones that create prediction markets using the Augur protocol. The Forecast Foundation has zero involvement in the creation of individual prediction markets on the Augur protocol, and the Forecast Foundation is not "Augur".

Are markets on the Augur protocol binary options, derivatives, CFDs, futures, or options?

Markets on Augur are created by individual users of the Augur protocol. The Forecast Foundation does not operate or control, nor can it control, what markets and actions people perform and create on the Augur protocol. People who do create markets using the Augur protocol must ensure they’re in compliance with all their local jurisdictional laws, rules and regulations. Markets on the Augur protocol are settled in Ether [ETH].

What does the Forecast Foundation do and what does it not do?

The Forecast Foundation writes and publishes open source software on Github. There is a test website for developers at dev.augur.net running on the test network of Ethereum (play money), however the Forecast Foundation does not run or operate any website hosting a deployment of the Augur protocol on the main network of Ethereum (real money). The Augur protocol is a set of Solidity smart contracts that exist on the Ethereum blockchain.

Among other things, the Forecast Foundation does not:

  • Operate an exchange.
  • Route, process, store, transmit, or match orders on the Augur protocol.
  • Process trades on the Augur protocol.
  • Create markets or contracts on the Augur protocol.
  • Trade in markets or contracts on the Augur protocol.
  • Specify details of markets on the Augur protocol.
  • Escrow, custody, transfer, or otherwise handle funds or cryptocurrencies on the Augur protocol.
  • Manage or operate an order book on the Augur protocol.
  • Resolve or settle markets or settle trades on the Augur protocol.
  • Clear or process trades on the Augur protocol.
  • Block or reverse trades on the Augur protocol.
  • Perform actions that would classify acting as counterparty on the Augur protocol.
  • Control who accesses the Augur protocol.
  • Analyze or monitor users of the Augur protocol for compliance with applicable laws.
  • Know or have access to users’ identifying information.

Who does perform the actions listed above, if anyone?

Users who decide to run the Augur code are the ones who perform trades and create markets on the Augur protocol. All functions of routing orders, matching orders, processing trades, escrow funds, manage the order book and resolve and settle markets are all operated and run on the Ethereum blockchain itself through a set of smart contracts, the Augur core protocol. Miners running Ethereum nodes route, match, store and process orders, trades and markets on the Augur protocol. All funds are escrowed and transferred directly on the Ethereum blockchain itself.

Does the Forecast Foundation have any control, influence or power over markets created on the Augur protocol?

Augur is not a prediction market, it is a protocol for cryptocurrency users to create their own prediction markets. The Augur protocol is nothing more than open source software, and individual users of the Augur protocol are the ones that create prediction markets using the Augur protocol. The Forecast Foundation has zero involvement in the creation of individual prediction markets on the Augur protocol, and the Forecast Foundation is not "Augur".

The Forecast Foundation is a group of developers and technology professionals who are passionate about the potential of decentralized applications. The Forecast Foundation does not own or lead Augur, and receives no fees from the use of the protocol, but rather supports and develops the free, open-source protocol that is Augur.

The Forecast Foundation has no role in the operation of markets created on Augur, nor does it have the ability to censor, restrict, control, modify, change, revoke, terminate or make any changes to markets created on the Augur protocol. The Forecast Foundation has no more control over the Augur protocol than anyone else using Ethereum. Moderation or censorship could be performed by Ethereum miners, as they are the ones that process transactions and actions performed on the Augur protocol.

Users of the Augur protocol must themselves ensure that the actions they are performing are compliant with the laws in all applicable jurisdictions and must acknowledge that others’ use of the Augur protocol may not be compliant. Users of the Augur protocol do so at their own risk. Users of the Augur protocol who decide to be market creators are the ones who are actually putting such market into existence.

The Forecast Foundation does encourage users to follow their respective local jurisdictional laws, rules and regulations, even though it can’t and doesn’t control their use of the Augur protocol. In short, anyone who can access the Ethereum blockchain can access Augur, because Augur is a set of smart contracts that exist on the Ethereum blockchain.

How are shares in markets delivered and settled?

The delivery mechanism of outcome tokens purchased on the Augur protocol is performed by Solidity smart contracts deployed on the Ethereum blockchain, and these smart contracts programmatically match and settle users order. The Forecast Foundation does not match or deliver these orders, nor operate the Augur protocols contracts. Ethereum miners and node operators collectively perform these functions.

What’s different between Augur and other prediction market platforms?

The Augur protocol is the only prediction market protocol that the Forecast Foundation is aware of where the development team doesn’t do anything beyond writing the free open source code. The Forecast Foundation and the people who’ve written the Augur protocol code don’t create markets on the Augur protocol itself, they do not perform trades, or have the ability to monitor, control, censor, or modify any actions performed on the Augur protocol. Instead, the Forecast Foundation encourages users to perform these actions from jurisdictions where they have proper licensing and guidance, and where they can follow the appropriate regulations governing the actions they perform on the Augur protocol.

Does the Forecast Foundation collect fees from the Augur protocol?

Fees on the Augur protocol go directly to the market creator and REP holders who report and dispute outcomes. The Forecast Foundation does not recieve any fees from actions, trades, markets or use on the Augur protocol.

Can I fork Augur and modify it to my own needs?

Absolutely! Augur is free, public, open source software, portions of which are licensed under the General Public License (GPL) and portions of which are licensed under the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) license. You are free to fork the Augur codebase and modify it however you see fit as long as you respect the open source software licensing.

How do patches, downloads or updates get incorporated into the Augur client or Augur core protocol?

Updates, downloads and patches refer to the Augur UI Client. The Augur smart contracts cannot be patched or updated without an entire manual user opt-in hard-fork of the network and REPv2 token. Currently, Forecast Foundation employees have commit access to the main Augur repositories, and they push updates through there. The update to Augur Client is voluntary, and users must choose to download any update themselves. As such, updating is a voluntary process and the Forecast Foundation’s proposed updates for the Augur Client cannot be forced upon anyone.