New Prediction Market ‘Veil’ Wants To Improve on Augur
A new app called Veil is about to go live, and it will make use of several existing blockchain platforms including 0x, Ethereum, and―most importantly―Augur. Veil claims that it will be able to bring prediction markets and crypto derivatives to the mainstream, something that Augur has largely failed to do.
But Veil is one week away from launch, and it is largely unheard of. Can it really beat Augur at its own game?
The Augur Connection
Veil is primarily built on top of Augur, an Ethereum-based prediction market that was launched in July 2018. Although it was highly anticipated, Augur achieved limited success and attracted criticism due to its general inaccessibility. Furthermore, the nature of betting means that Augur works over long time spans and does not require constant use―a scenario that is not ideal for attracting mainstream attention.
But now, Veil thinks it can improve on the model that Augur introduced. First of all, Veil will improve transaction speed. Veil will rely on the 0x protocol, which allows Ethereum-based tokens to be moved faster than Ethereum itself. Like Augur, Veil is entirely decentralized, and neither platform maintains control over user funds―that much remains the same.
Veil will also make market settlement much faster. Whereas it can take weeks for an Augur market to be resolved, Veil is confident that it will be able to settle markets immediately and correctly. This will allow users to receive their funds instantly and evade price fluctuations. This does, however, require some degree of trust in Veil and is entirely optional.
For clarity, Veil is not simply a frontend for Augur, although it does provide that as well. Instead, Veil will run its own mainnet, which will augment Augur: Veil’s own markets will be “represented as Augur markets on Ethereum,” according to the announcement. Veil can be accessed through three of its own interfaces: a basic frontend for mainstream users, an exchange-like interface, and a developer API.
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Launching Soon―But Not In the U.S.
Veil certainly has potential. In the months leading up to its launch, Veil has received investments from big names like Paradigm, a crypto investment firm founded by Coinbase and backed by Yale. Veil has also received funding from Sequoia Capital (notable for its investments in several mainstream tech projects) and 1confirmation (which has invested in a number of minor crypto projects).
Despite these investments, the platform will face a major roadblock: Veil will not be available in the U.S. and several other countries when it is launched on January 15th. This is due to restrictions imposed by the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), a government body that introduced limitations on cryptocurrency in December.
As such, it is dubious that Veil will be very successful in the short term. Augur itself is not a terribly large project and has a market cap of $109 million. Other crypto betting platforms are faily niche as well: Wagerr has a market cap of just $12 million. Still, these accomplishments should not be ignored, and Veil could quietly improve on some of the problems hindering adoption―even if the regulatory landscape stifles it.
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