Gitcoin Testimonials: Augur

How Augur is building the worlds first decentralized oracle and prediction market with Gitcoin

Ben Sparango
Jul 3, 2018 · 5 min read

Augur is building the world’s first decentralized oracle and prediction market. Prediction markets allow users to trade on the outcomes of events from things like a sports game to the weather for tomorrow. Individuals who accurately predict outcomes will be rewarded for their predictions and vice versa.

Prediction markets have been attempted a few times in the past, but have all failed for a few reasons in particular. Past prediction markets have garnered some scrutiny from governments due to their like-kind nature with gambling operations. Additionally, previous prediction markets were required to operate under their home government’s jurisdiction.

Augur’s decentralized nature aims to ameliorate these once fatal issues for prediction markets. A globally accessible prediction market is free from any one government’s regulation and will reduce barriers to entry for users around the world. Augur has a better chance to remain a secure, liquid, and manipulation resistant platform.

We recently discussed how Augur has been using Gitcoin to build their dApp with Augur’s head of operations, Tom Kysar. We also spoke with @cryptomental, a Gitcoin bounty hunter who took on $3,000 worth of Augur bounties in just a few weeks time.

Augur & Gitcoin

Tom: We first came across Gitcoin on Twitter! As distracting as Twitter can be, it does always seem to prove itself as the best platform for project discovery. We had used Bounties Network in the early days, however, Gitcoin provided that next level experience of attaching itself to specific GitHub issues and following it’s progress.

Gitcoin’s seamless nexus with Github was one of the primary reasons Tom and Augur decided to use the platform. In the months following, they started outsourcing some important projects to Gitcoin developers through bounties.

Tom: We’ve used Gitcoin for things like feature implementations, security issues, and general tasks that we’ve had on our internal development board but haven’t had the time to get around to pre-launch.

Some of these projects included Trezor Authentication, merging security analysis tools with the Augur contract suite, and miscellaneous UI improvements.

The Augur bounties that have been tackled recently have been those centered around auditing of the platform’s smart contracts. It is vitally important for a decentralized oracle and prediction market to be bullet proof in terms of contract design. Luckily, these security auditing bounties were picked up by one of Gitcoin’s best; Cryptomental.

Cryptomental: Initially when I saw those Augur bounties, I was completely new to Augur and decided not to take part. But, considering my professional experience, I was a perfect match for these tasks. I did similar integrations for different embedded projects and many frameworks, and I am quite fast in troubleshooting. In the end, I decided to give it a try.

Cryptomental went on to pick up three huge bounties for the Augur team that were all centrally focused on smart contract security.

Cryptomental: Augur is a great project. I really enjoyed the first bounty passing tests with Mythril. Additionally, the next bounties with SMTChecker and Maian also went also quite smooth.

Our conversation with Tom also touched on the imminent launch of Augur on main net Ethereum. He explained that, with development focuses shifting after launch, they will be utilizing Gitcoin specifically to help clear up overdue issues.

Tom: After the deployment of Augur, we plan on bounty-ing out a majority of the remaining issues in our backlog. Gitcoin has provided us a platform to scale the time it takes to chew through our issues and feature requests, by assigning an outside engineer the task.

The Gitcoin community is diverse and interesting, primarily focused on building open source. Tom mentioned a quick anecdote about a particular Augur bounty that reinforced this thesis.

Tom: One of the Gitcoin developers who took a pretty large task from us ended up being a high school student! Just goes to show that your work speaks for itself — if you can do the task, you can do the task. There is no ranking based on arbitrary pedigrees; just your Github profile and ability to push production code.

At Gitcoin, we’re proud to be in a position where we can facilitate relationships such as this; between projects and developers of all kinds.

Tom: In my opinion, more projects should be using Gitcoin for a number of reasons. One, it allows you to increase the rate of your development process. You just need to find the issues/tasks that are isolated enough, bounty them out, and in a few days it’s all complete. Two, it’s in alignment with the Ethereum ethos, encouraging public contribution to open source.

Projects should be aiming to have as many individual and unique developers contribute to their codebase. Finally, it gets your codebase looked at by eyes outside of your internal team. Someone may be working on bounty X, but find issue Y during their process of completing the bounty. The more eyes on your codebase the better, IMO. Gitcoin is the best platform we’ve found so far that encourages all of these features.

Interested in contributing to great open source projects like Augur? Keep an eye on the Gitcoin Issue Explorer and pick up an open bounty today! Additionally, subscribe to our newsletter and join our awesome slack channel to keep up with all things open source.


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