Augur, an Ethereum blockchain implementation of a prediction market system, hosted one of the first initial coin offerings (ICOs) of Crypto Industry in 2015, long before the ICOs became a fad.
During its ICO, held between 7th August and 5 September 2015, Augur issued 8.8 million reputation (REP) tokens from the total supply of 11 million tokens, priced below $0.60, and raised over $5 million for the project.
Implemented by a very small team, Augur implemented a decentralized protocol where outcomes of events could be forecasted in a trustless, P2P environment and participants could be rewarded for accuracy with the financial incentive of a native cryptocurrency (REP): in other words, Forecasting/Betting, but without the worrying about the risk of platform providers, government bureaucrats and scammers taking control of your assets.
Three years after it’s ICO, Augur now has a team of 15 with developers, designers and researchers, collaborating with the IDEO Design group to roll out its Beta product UI.
Augur also boasts names like Vitalik Buterin and Elizabeth Stark as their Advisors. It’s now expecting to launch its main network in July 2018, which the industry would be looking forward to, as an assertive blockchain implementation.
The Augur Lawsuit
Amidst all the good news, Augur recently had a lawsuit filed against them, by an early member of the project.
Matthew Liston has accused Four founding Augur Associates in a civil lawsuit of committing fraud, breach of contract, and trade theft in connection to the Liston’s Termination from the company and his stake in Augur’s Token Distribution which he asserts wasn’t provided to him.
The four associates accused by Liston are Angel Investor Joseph Ball “Joe” Costello, and three other founding members, Jack “John” Peterson, Joseph Charles “Joey” Krug, and Jeremy Gardner.
The lawsuit also includes accusations that after his removal from the founding team, Liston was compelled to sign a settlement agreement containing terms Peterson appears to have broken earlier. Specifically, Liston says that the Augur team revoked a promise to acknowledge him as a co-founder, preventing him from earning the professional recognition among industry peers on the pretext of Augur and in turn tarnishing his reputation in the Industry.
Till date, the total market capitalization of REP was $462 million. Liston is seeking $38 million in general damages and $114 million in punitive damages, totaling to $152 million in collective damages — more than one-quarter of REP’s market value.