The rise of an “Assassination Marketplace” shows the dark side of decentralized networks

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Right now, there’s an online bidding war over whether or not Donald Trump will die before the year is out. All a would-be assassin has to do is stake a whole bunch of money on “yes” and they’d make a fortune.

These not-quite death threats reportedly lodged against the president and other public figures, including Jeff Bezos, John McCain, and Betty White, can be found on Augur, a decentralized app recently launched by the nonprofit Forecast Foundation. Augur is a protocol through which people can create prediction markets, which are crowdsourced platforms where people stake cryptocurrency (in this case Ethereum and the Augur-specific token Reputation) on a prediction’s most likely outcome.

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