We’re making some big changes at Veil, and we want to make sure our users and the broader community know what is happening.
The most important update is that our team has decided to sunset the Veil product. This was a tough decision to make, but ultimately we failed to find a good fit between what we were building and the market as it exists today. We believe that cryptocurrencies and the decentralized web will have profound effects on our future. But today the community of users is small, and we think there are higher impact products and services we can build for the immediate future. (More on that later.)
In this post, we’ll do our best to answer questions about Veil and the sunsetting process. Let’s jump in.
What exactly is happening to Veil?
As of today, no new markets will be added to the platform. You can still trade in existing markets, but trading will be disabled in two weeks, on July 24, 2019. After that date, we will continue to host the Veil product at least until Augur v2 launches.
If you’re a user of Veil, we recommend you do three things right now:
- Redeem all your open positions in expired markets. Log in and go to your Portfolio page to see all your open positions. We’ve removed any settlement fees, so you can redeem your positions for free — even without paying gas.
- Withdraw any positions you have in active markets. Nearly all Veil markets are Augur markets under-the-hood, so you can convert your positions on Veil into positions on Augur. You can either sell those positions through Augur, or wait until the markets are finalized and redeem them through Augur then. To withdraw positions, go to your Portfolio page and click the “Withdraw” button next to any active market. You can also navigate to any market, click on the market’s “Portfolio” tab, and click the “Deposit / Withdraw Augur shares” button at the bottom of the list.
- Withdraw your Veil Ether and convert it to Ether. Veil uses a custom version of Wrapped Ether called Veil Ether that is pre-approved for trading on 0x. Like Wrapped Ether, Veil Ether can always be converted back to Ether. Log in to Veil and go to your ETH wallet to withdraw your Veil Ether.
Since Veil is non-custodial, all of these steps can technically be taken anytime by interacting with the Veil smart contracts. However, we recommend taking these steps while the Veil UI is still available.
Where should I create new Augur markets?
You’ll no longer be able to create markets and list them on Veil, but we’ve decided to open-source our market creation tool so anyone can continue to use it. The new tool is available at create.veil.co.
This new version of market creation interfaces directly with Augur, but you can still use it to create a draft market before activating it on Augur. We’ve found this feature is really useful for getting feedback on new markets to make sure we create markets that will be popular and valid.
Keep in mind that Augur has implemented a cut-off to markets for Augur v1. New markets cannot expire past September 15, 2019, until Augur v2 is launched.
The market creation tool is entirely open-source, and we encourage anyone interested to fork it and relaunch it in their own way.
What should I do about my AugurLite positions?
As soon as Augur v2 is launched, we will deploy a tool to let anyone who holds a position in any AugurLite markets to convert that position into an Augur v2 position. The only market on Veil that uses AugurLite is the 2020 Democratic nomination market. Our team will create copies of the AugurLite markets on Augur v2 when it launches and use 0x to help users migrate their open interest from AugurLite to Augur v2.
What will happen to Predictions.Global?
We will continue to host Predictions.Global. It’s a valuable explorer for the Augur ecosystem, and we’re happy to continue supporting it. Thanks to Ryan Berckmans and Jorge Olivero for creating Predictions.Global.
We’ve also decided to open-source the Predictions.Global website and share it with the community. You can find the code here, and you’re welcome to fork and redeploy it.
Why didn’t Veil work?
We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this question. While our answer is still evolving, we think we faced three main issues:
- We tried to do too much. Prediction markets are a generalized form of betting, derivatives, insurance, and more. Focused versions of any of these verticals may be better for users than the generalized form.
- We didn’t offer a good onboarding experience. Crypto as a user base is still early, and we didn’t make it easy enough for users without crypto or a wallet to get started.
- We weren’t decentralized or regulated. Some users want a fully decentralized, unstoppable product and others want a regulated product. It’s hard to offer something in between that people find valuable.
In the coming weeks we plan to publish a more in-depth postmortem on the Veil product. Our hope is that our insights from building and running Veil will help prevent the community from repeating some of the mistakes we made — or maybe inspire other teams to pick up where we left off.
So what are you doing now?
Our short term focus is to make sure that all Veil users successfully withdraw their positions and have their questions answered. In the long term our goal is to help crypto and the decentralized web grow — that’s been our goal since we founded Hill Street Labs. So while we’re sunsetting the Veil product, the Veil team and company will continue as is. We’re lucky enough to have great partners and we have a number of projects we’ve been working on internally that we can’t wait to share with the community.
How can I get involved in what’s next?
We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback! In fact, we’re looking to do 45 minute user interviews with as many people as possible over the next month. If you regularly use cryptocurrency — or would like to — we’d like to talk to you and get your feedback. See this post about our user interview series and sign up to talk with us.