Augur ICO – One of the First ICOs
Augur, a prediction market platform that has been implemented on the Ethereum blockchain, launched an ICO – just a few years before they became a craze. Approximately $5 million were raised via its ICO when 8.8 million Augur (REP) tokens were sold to investors. With the programming efforts of just a few developers, a decentralized system was created for forecasting the outcome of markets.
Not only was the predictions market platform peer-to-peer and trustless, but users were also incentivized with REP tokens for accurately predicting future events. So essentially, this enabled users to place bets while not having to be concerned about governmental authorities or the platform’s own development team interfering in their activities.
Augur’s Beta Version Coming Soon
Notably, REP tokens have been traded for as much as $100 each which suggests that people who took part in Augur’s crowdfunding efforts, or ICO, could have received a staggering 200x gain on their initial investment. Over the years, the manpower behind this platform has grown substantially to include a number of talented designers, a dedicated research and development team, and 15 programmers. This group, now working on Augur, has partnered with the IDEO – a global design and innovation organization – to launch the beta version of its product interface.
This project has also managed to bring on board Elizabeth Starks of Lightening Labs and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin as project advisors. The scheduled release date for the platform’s mainnet is slated for July 2018. Notably, a number of crypto experts consider this platform to be one of best possible use cases for distributed ledger technology.
Founding Members Go to Court
Now though, things have gotten quite ugly for this promising predictions market platform as its project member Matt Liston has dragged four other colleagues to court. Liston has accused other founders Jeremy Gardner, Joseph Charles Krug, and Jack Peterson of multiple counts of fraud. These fraud allegations include: contract violations and trade theft, reportedly as a result of Liston’s dismissal from the Augur team. Apart from the individuals just mentioned, investor Joseph Ball Costello has also been accused in court documents of taking away Liston’s share in the Augur’s tokens.
Furthermore, court papers filed by Liston’s lawyer O. Shane Balloun state that he was forced into signing some sort of agreement that reportedly Peterson has violated. Liston claims other Augur team members have gone back on their promise of giving him recognition as one of the project’s founders. The court document alleges:
“Ironically, Matthew Liston has suffered damage to his reputation.”
Allegations of Illegal ICO-related Transactions
Also dragged into the court case is Dyffy, Inc., which is the company through which the Augur project first began. Liston has accused the firm of not paying him money they had agreed to paying him. The lawsuit goes on to accuse Forecast Foundation operations companies, based in Estonia and Portland, Oregon, of conducting unlawful ICO-related business. While carrying out their illegal business practices, Liston alleges, they also embezzled his stake in Dyffy, Inc.
Now, Liston is demanding $114 million in punitive damages and an additional $38 million in “general damages.” The defendants have already come forth with their own version of the story. They claim that Liston’s allegations are “inaccurate” and “baseless”. Krug also says that Liston:
“accepted a cash severance payment and he signed a full release with Dyffy, and we’re appalled that he’s turned around with a lawsuit three years later [and that] there hasn’t been a single GitHub commit by Liston, on any of the Augur repositories. He’s not a founder of Augur.”
A court hearing is set for September, 2018. This vicious battle has been developing over the past few years and it only seems to be getting uglier and uglier.