Cryptocurrency Gambling Turns Dark with Bets on Assassination Attempts

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Up until a few years back, cryptocurrencies were often tainted with a lot of bad press. This was mostly due to the wide-spread use of digital coins like Bitcoin in illegal markets on the dark web where guns, contract hits, and other illegal items or activities could be paid for with cryptocurrencies. For the most part, those days are far behind us as the majority of top coins are nowadays largely used only by investors and people who want to gamble with cryptocurrencies online. Most darknet criminals, on the other hand, have moved on to using more obscure crypto assets or other forms of payments.

However, every once in a while comes a news update that shows that cryptocurrencies are still not completely detached from being used for shady purposes. One such example is the latest report about Augur – a prediction marketplace that was launched very recently and a site that allows people to bet on whether celebrities will be assassinated or not.

Give People Freedom and They Turn Dark

Augur isn’t really one of the many new cryptocurrency online casinos that have recently appeared on the web. On the contrary, it is more like an uncensored platform where users can launch their own prediction markets on any topic. The site was launched a short while back after raising funds from an ICO campaign that began in 2015. The whole platform is based on the Ethereum protocol and as such it allows users from across the globe to create smart contracts for launching prediction markets, thus bypassing gambling restrictions by technically not breaking any laws.

Even prior to its launch, users on the site’s forums speculated how long it would take before prediction markets appeared for assassination attempts. It turned out that the answer was coming very soon as members on the site have already created a number of such markets. Some of these markets predict whether US President Trump will be assassinated by the end of the year while others predict the deaths of people like Warren Buffet or actress Betty White.

Although Augur’s assassination markets attract very few bettors, as opposed to its large World Cup markets from this summer, they still have caught the public’s eye with their macabre predictions. Some reports suggest that even proposing such bets could stimulate individuals to attempt an assassination if a payout for the completion of the bet is high enough to motivate them. Luckily, the current amount of wagers spent on such markets is really small.

Not Only Wrong But Also Illegal?

Not only do they seem wrong but Augur’s markets may also be breaking some legal restrictions, particularly in the US. Prediction markets in the country are technically illegal since a clear distinction between online gambling and prediction markets is yet to be set by the legal system. Furthermore, the platform also allows users to place bets on the values of commodities in the future. This particular activity is very similar to binary options trading, which is illegal without prior approval from the CFTC which the site lacks.

August 8, 2018: • No Comments

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