Augur Assassination Markets

Augur Assassination Markets


Twitter user, WhalePanda, tweeted,

It didn't take long... there are now multiple assassination markets live on @AugurProject. (not posting a screenshot/link for obvious reasons) $REP $ETH

It goes without saying that this is a huge problem. The idea of assassination markets isn't new. Jim Bell first developed the idea in 1992. The paper called, "Assassination Politics" laid out the benefits of how a cryptocurrency could enable this type of market. 

This overall system achieves a number of goals. First, it totally hides the identity of the predictor to the organization, which makes it unnecessary for any potential predictor to "trust" them to not reveal his name or location. Second, it allows the predictor to make his prediction without revealing the actual contents of that prediction until later, when he chooses to, assuring him that his "target" cannot possibly get early warning of his intent (and "failed" predictions need never be revealed). In fact, he needs never reveal his prediction unless he wants the award. Third, it allows the predictor to anonymously grant his award to anyone else he chooses, since he may give this digital cash to anyone without fear that it will be traced.

For the organization, this system also provides a number of advantages .By hiding the identity of the predictor from even it, the organization cannot be forced to reveal it, in either civil or criminal court. This should also shield the organization from liability, since it will not know the contents of any "prediction" until after it comes true. (Even so, the organization would be deliberately kept "poor" so that it would be judgment-proof.) Since presumably most of the laws the organization might be accused of violating would require that the violator have specific or prior knowledge, keeping itself ignorant of as many facts as possible, for as long as possible, would presumably make it very difficult to prosecute.

Augur creates the system that Jim Bell predicted 26 years ago. An anonymous person can offer a bounty that incentivizes someone to assassinate a person with no way of tracing who committed the act. However, could the law hold Augur responsible, more specifically, the Forecast Foundation for allowing these types of markets? This market will genuinely test the decentralized nature of Augur. Will the government be able to shut it down? 

Matt O'Dell tweeted,

Augur is the type of project you should launch anonymously without a centralized kill switch.

The only reason they didn't go that route was because of $$$. Anonymous teams don't get those big ICO hauls. Extremely shortsighted.

Bitcoin launched anonymously and has been the most successful application of blockchain so far. I think the anonymous bootstrapped launch is going to be the best way to create decentralized applications.