According to reports by Mashable media, so-called “ assassination markets have popped up on blockchain event betting platform, Augur. The mainnet-powered predictions platform was launched on July 9. If the user believes that an event will take place, they buy shares with ETH. If they think that an event will not occur, they can sell shares and short the bet. In any case, if the prediction is right they can profit from the result. On the platform, users are betting on when certain public figures will die.
Users on Augur’s subreddit suggested that something should be done about assassination markets. But, according to Augur website, a person cannot single-handedly change Augur or shut it down, given the decentralized nature of the platform.
However, this is not the first case of an assassination market. Back in 2013, an online market was set up where users set out to fund the assassinations of Ben Bernanke and American president Barack Obama. While the markets on Augur merely place a bet on whether an event will happen.
For ensuring that a bet is settled properly, Augur created a system of “reporters” who state the true outcome of an event. Reporters are holders of Augur’s REP token.
To report an event, users should stake REP on an event’s correct outcome to receive any of the settlement fees. If REP holders incorrectly state a result, it results in loss of their tokens.
If not participating in a ‘fork,’ or a highly disputed outcome to an event, they lose five percent of their REP. Passive holders of REP not participating in the bet settlement process are also penalized.