The 2020 Elections Are Boosting Crypto Prediction Markets

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In simply over three weeks, the buying and selling quantity on decentralized betting platform Polymarket went from zero to nearly $three million. 

As of Monday, Polymarket’s “Will Trump win the 2020 U.S. presidential election?” had over $2.eight million value of bets positioned, with every guess (for doable solutions “sure” or “no”) costing lower than a greenback. The platform permits customers to put crypto bets on highly-debated present occasions and public subjects together with politics, popular culture, enterprise and well being, based on its web site. 

Polymarket is a non-custodial platform, that means it doesn’t maintain or retailer user-funds, and bets might be positioned within the dollar-backed stablecoin USDC. 

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Polymarket Buying and selling Quantity Progress

Prediction markets, the place customers can guess on the result of future occasions, are a key utility of Decentralized Finance (DeFi), which permits customers to conduct monetary transactions with low charges and with no intermediary. Elections and political debates entice excessive numbers of merchants to those platforms; decentralized prediction platform Augur launched 5 years in the past, however struggled to take off till U.S. midterm election betting gave it a push in 2018. 

“To me, the presidential election is the Tremendous Bowl for prediction markets. Each single one is experiencing an enormous uptick in quantity. It’s solely pure that crypto follows swimsuit,” David Liebowitz, vp of enterprise improvement at decentralized encyclopedia Everipedia, advised CoinDesk by way of Telegram.  

Elections additionally appear to draw new customers to crypto betting platforms.  

“There are people who find themselves utilizing it, who aren’t even crypto native customers. They don’t even absolutely perceive crypto however they’re nonetheless utilizing Polymarket,” stated Shayne Copland, founding father of Polymarket.

Simply over every week in the past, Polymarket introduced it had secured $four million in its newest spherical of funding, attracting excessive profile traders from the business. Augur launched its new and improved Model 2 in July this yr.  

Learn extra: All-In on DeFi: Why the Days of Centralized Exchanges Are Numbered

After Elections

Customers are taking a look at numerous betting and prediction markets within the runup to Tuesday’s election. Nameless crypto betting platform YieldWars launched its election battle final night time and has since attracted over $50,000 in bets. Customers can stake both the platform’s native $WAR token or $ETH. 

YieldWars’ co-founder, who goes by Owl, advised CoinDesk by way of Telegram that the sudden rise in quantity is much from stunning given the dimensions and significance of the election. 

“Crypto-based prediction markets ought to be flourishing on blockchain proper now however have didn’t ship up thus far. The election has breathed life into prediction markets however what’s going to occur when it ends? Are folks going to be as smitten by them?” Owl stated. 

Owl additionally stated YieldWars might have discovered the “secret sauce” to maintain folks curious about betting, by creating Battle Royale-style tournaments for betting, superb for sporting occasions. The election face-off is a one-time battle, the place two swimming pools are working concurrently, one in every foreign money. 

The platform has partnered with Everipedia to make use of Related Press (AP) election information for resolving its election betting market.

Learn Extra: Prediction Markets’ Time Has Come, however They Aren’t Prepared for It

In October 2020, the reputed wire-service AP, in a primary, partnered with Everipedia to create Oracle, an immutable file of 2020 election outcomes on a blockchain.  

“I don’t assume there may very well be a extra trusted supply than the AP and seeing that the Oracle was constructed utilizing Chainlink infrastructure, it was solely logical to go along with this selection,” Owl stated.  

In accordance with Liebowitz, blockchain has lengthy been seen as one of the best platform for prediction markets to thrive. However centralized betting platforms like PredictIt are nonetheless main the sport. PredictIt has 214 “markets” or betting eventualities in comparison with the new-kid-on-the-block Polymarket’s 19 markets. As of Monday, PredictIt’s prime occasion “2020 Presidential Election Winner?” had 116.7 million shares traded. 

Copland declined to say how that in comparison with Polymarket, calling it a “weird metric” including his platform solely tracked dollar-trading volumes, and it didn’t have an equal.

Then, there’s the expectation that elections will increase betting volumes. 

“It’s solely going to get larger from right here, particularly 4 years from now when the following election comes round,” Liebowitz stated. 

In accordance with Copland, the demand for blockchain-based betting markets has all the time been there. 

“It was simply clear that there was quite a lot of demand for this. I’d say, the previous week or two, the demand has really materialised. Nonetheless, these are simply the very early days,” Copland stated. 

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