Augur, a prediction marketplace lauded as one of Ethereum’s most promising dapps, is “being gamed,” but not quite in the way people think.
Yesterday, a Reddit post titled, “Augur is being gamed!” laid out a scam in which individuals create prediction markets with “very subtle mistakes in the description (like non-native English language).” The scammers then bet on outcomes that won’t win before the market is declared invalid. When a market is declared invalid on Augur, all of the staked funds get distributed equally across bettors. This means the scammer gets a payout that they wouldn’t have gotten if the bet was deemed valid, since they bet purposefully on the losing outcome(s). Some people, like prominent blockchain skeptic David Gerard, were unsurprised that “statements in words” used on the predictions platform “may have exploitable ambiguities.”