You probably thought that crypto couldn’t overtake any other areas of your life. We hate to be the ones to break it to you but you thought wrong. Just about any big decision out there can be added to the world of crypto market predictions. Who could’ve seen that one coming?
As a result, the question has shifted from what can I use crypto market predictions for where can I make crypto prediction markets. After careful consideration, we have narrowed it down to our top picks for crypto market prediction platforms. But for the newbies out there, we’ll start on the topic of what.
Prediction Markets Defined
Will American citizens re-elect President Trump in 2020? What will Bitcoin’s price be by the end of 2020? Intriguing questions, right? Of course, we all have an opinion. And we might even be willing to bet some money that we are right. So where can we go if we want to do that very thing?
Well, there are many places we can go to place a bet, some legal, and some not so legal. And we can even start our own pool in our office, or among our friends. But what if we can do it on a platform that ensures that the process will be secure, transparent, and decentralized? If you said, that sounds like a blockchain platform, then you are absolutely right.
In this blog, we will talk about prediction markets that trade on a blockchain platform. Prediction markets currently exist for the purpose of trading a contract on the outcome of a future event. The future event can be about anything that you can imagine: the results of a presidential election, the outcome of a horse race, commodity prices, even the weather. The sky is the limit, so to speak.
Prediction Markets Meet Blockchain
The prediction market’s use of blockchain technology makes it unique because it offers a number of advantages. One of the main advantages is that it is decentralized. This means that there is no middleman or central authority. All information is publicly available to everyone, without censorship, so no one has an advantage. Also, without a third party taking a cut of the fees, trading fees are significantly less than in a traditional market.
Nobody can distort the results on a blockchain platform since it is transparent. We can also have comfort in knowing nobody can destroy the results even by administration prohibition. You can also say whatever you want (even if your opinion is far from popular). Why? The blockchain assures that there is a high level of anonymity.
The actual outcome of an event is fed back to the market by means of oracles. Oracles put simply, are the third party source that retrieves and verify the external data that is fed back to the blockchain. The information they provide is vital in determining the conditions under which a smart contract will execute.
Making Money on Prediction Markets
So how do they work? Well, it starts with someone proposing a question. As we said before, it can be on any topic. For example, will Trump be re-elected in 2020? After asking the question, you would determine a set end time. In this case, when the election results come out might make sense. All users will bet on whether this prediction will be true or false, by trading tokens that represent the outcome of the event. As time progresses, some events become more likely to happen than others, thereby increasing their value. In theory, the price on the market will reflect the collective best guess of how users feel about the probability of this event. If the final outcome ends up in your favor, you will earn more tokens. But if it does not, you will lose everything.
Having said that, there are actually two ways to make money on a prediction market. The obvious way is to make the correct prediction. The less obvious way is to trade the outcome tokens as market conditions change. This is because as time progresses, one outcome becomes more favorable than another. This is evident by how much others are willing to pay to have a share in that outcome.
How Do Prediction Markets Work?
Prediction markets work on the premise of something called Wisdom of the Crowd, it states that the collective opinion of a group of individuals is more accurate and reliable than the expertise of one individual. The price at which an event trades on the prediction market will reflect the crowd’s opinion of the likelihood of that event coming true. And because there is money involved, users are incentivized to participate only in markets that they have unique insights into. The idea is that they have an incentive to vote correctly and to only participate because they are knowledgeable in that area.
Besides being a place of betting, prediction markets are used by major corporations such as Google and Microsoft as a tool for decision making. Corporations such as these have used prediction markets internally amongst their employees to make decisions on future projects to proceed on. Prediction markets would also be useful externally as a way of gauging public opinion on various topics.
Prediction Markets Example
As an example of an event on a prediction market, let’s propose the hypothetical question: Will the TSX index drop below 10,000 in the next six months? We could set the end date as August 2020. The outcome is either yes or no. As time progresses and more information comes out, for example, as the number Coronavirus cases decrease, or there is a resolution to the oil price war, more stimulus by the government, etc., one outcome will trade more favorably than another. The price reflects the collective best guess of ‘experts’ who are knowledgeable in this area. Those who participate are so sure of their opinion that they are willing to wager their own money. At the end of this event, oracles will feed the correct outcome, a smart contract will execute based on the info, and winners will receive their payout.
Before we get started in the crypto prediction world, we have to inform you that there are many options out there. That’s why we put together a list of some of the best platforms for crypto market predictions out there.
First on our list is the platform, Augur. The company was founded in 2014 and continues to be known as one of the first decentralized blockchain prediction markets. It combines the use of smart contracts and oracles to allow users to wager on topics ranging from sports, politics, finance, and more. Its use of an Ethereum blockchain eliminates the need for third-party involvement.
Augur describes itself as “the world’s most accessible, no-limit betting exchange”. Users can bet from anywhere in the world, no matter where they live. There is also no limit on how much one can bet or a cap on how much can be won. Steps in the model include:
- Create a market – propose a question, choose an end date.
- Trade the market – users are free to trade based on what they feel will be the true outcome.
- Report the outcome – once the event has occurred, oracles determine the true outcome, and settlement takes place. If your prediction was correct, you will receive Augur REP tokens as a reward.
Augur states that it will soon be releasing Augur V2.
Gnosis is another blockchain software company that offers an Ethereum-based prediction market. In 2017 the company came into existence and continues to be headquartered in Gibraltar. This company is not only a prediction market, but also provides a framework that users can use to build their own prediction market apps. As a result, Gnosis describes its architecture as having three layers:
- Core layer, which contains smart contracts for events, outcome tokens, settlement, and market mechanisms. A maximum fee of 0.5 percent is charged to users who purchase outcome tokens.
- Service layer, which offers services such as chatbots and stable coins.
- Applications layer, which offers customized front end apps built on top of the Core and Service layers. Gnosis will build some apps, but the majority will be from third parties, who will charge for the use of their apps.
In April 2017, Gnosis raised $12.5 million in their initial coin offering (ICO) of GNO tokens, which are ERC20 tokens.
Next on our list is prediction website, Stox. Stox is an Ethereum based prediction market developed in collaboration with the Invest.com Group, a developer of financial solutions. Similar to Augur and Gnosis, Stox gives users the ability to make predictions on the outcome of events in almost any category. To give you an idea of where you can start giving your opinion, categories include sports, finance, politics, election results, and even celebrity marriages and weather.
Stox completed an ICO in August 2017, raising a total of $30 million. The platform launched in 2018. It is open source, and is compatible with all major operating systems and interfaces. You can trade by using STX tokens.
The Stox ecosystem consists of three levels: providers, operators, and end users. Providers develop the tools for working on the platform and market to the end users, operators initiate the prediction events, and end users participate in those predictions.
Becoming a Stox Operator
Any individual or entity within the Stox network can become an operator. The operator creates the event, determines the participation fee, and resolves the actual outcome. After an event is initiated, an oracle is chosen. An oracle is a body or a person that reports the actual outcome of the event. You can still challenge the results of the event within 24 hours of reporting the outcome. This adds to the reliability and transparency of the prediction. However, there is a cost associated with launching an appeal, to discourage the filing of false complaints.
Users can participate as either a creator of events or as a participant of events. As participants, users will tend to gravitate towards those areas to which they have a strong affinity. They will buy shares of the outcome payout. If the event resolves in their favour, the user will collect their share of the payout according to how many shares they have. If the event resolves against them, they will lose all their shares, and any tokens placed on them. The price of the outcome share will fluctuate as time progresses, and more investments are made.
Delphy launched in June 2018, and is one of the newer blockchain prediction markets that allows users to bet on real world events. It has a simple, highly intuitive user interface, which makes it easy for users to trade predictions. The platform is especially great for those who are predicting on the go, as a large emphasis has been placed on smartphone usability. In 2018, it earned the title of ‘best prediction platform’. Although catering to a global market, it is the only service of its type available in China.
Delphy is based entirely on the Ethereum blockchain. It uses a P2P protocol to allow direct interaction between nodes on the blockchain. This gives it the flexibility to scale up or down as required. It also uses a localized service client for better remote accessibility. As well, Delphy acts as a social platform where individuals can come together to chat with each other.
Delphy has the ability to allow users to create markets using the same event but with different parameters such as varying loss limits, different deposit amounts, and malleable delivery dates. As well, there is an event filter which prevents betting on illegal or unethical events. Every prediction then goes through regulatory and legal checks before being published on the marketplace.
The Delphy app is available on smartphones and can be retrieved from “imToken, MyToken, Bitpie, and Medishares. Delphy uses its own token, the ‘DPY Token’, which trades on OKEx, Gate.io, and Cybex. Tokens can be purchased using Bitcoin or Ethereum. A P2P payment module built into the system allows for instant money transfers.
BlitzPredict is a Las Vegas based blockchain predictions market that is specifically dedicated to sports, gaming, and politics. It launched its alpha testnet version in April 2019. The platform was built on the Ethereum platform and utilizes the Augur and Ox protocols. In ua blog to its readers, BlitzPredict states that this integration will allow them “to offer betting at the speed of traditional systems along with the security blockchain technology provides.” It completed an initial coin offering in March 2018 for its BPZ token which is ERC20 compliant.
In its blog, BlitzPerfect explains that its exchange will “allow users to either post a bet they would like to make…or take the other side of an already posted bet.” It will include features such as “a portal for Augur reporters, the ability to trade purchased shares, the ability to claim winnings, and the ability for users to create markets.” Some of the benefits BlitzPerfect offers over traditional markets are customizable tools run by smart contracts, instant payouts, and access to advanced analytics.
Leveraging Smart Contracts
BlitzPerfect provides smart contract tools which will improve interactions with prediction markets and sportsbooks. Users can set up smart contracts which will only execute if certain criteria are met. Smart contract will also allow for automatic payouts.
In a centralized, traditional market, users may be required to deposit their money for long periods of time, and withdrawals can be cumbersome, often taking weeks. Also, money can be lost if the sportsbook collapses or defaults. With BlitzPerfect, there is no central authority with custody of a user’s funds, and no central entity setting the odds. BlitzPerfect keeps a liquidity reserve for instant payouts. This reserve is verifiable and publicly audited. Users can exchange their tokens instantly without having to find a buyer or using an exchange. BPZ tokens can also be used for wagers on partner platforms and sports books.
BlitzPerfect will make predictions simpler by becoming an aggregator for prediction markets and sportsbooks. It will always provide the best possible odds by constantly refreshing those odds.
BlitzPerfect is working to create a community where sports analytics experts are incentivized to make predictions. One of these incentives includes BPZ tokens. Users will pay with BPZ to access their information. Currently, each sportsbook has its own analytics, leading to many different predictions for the same event. The result is a fragmented outlook and many inefficiencies. Incentivizing expert knowledge will do away with this inefficiency. Experts will be able to work alone or together to develop predictive models, with the most successful models gaining the most community support, while ridding the platform of inferior predictors.
Of course, while we’re on this topic we couldn’t miss talking about our very own HedgeTrade. This platform serves as a place where the world’s best traders can share their knowledge with other crypto enthusiasts. Platform users post predictions into a smart contract-powered Blueprint that other users can access. Traders are incentivized to make accurate predictions, as accountability is maintained through a unique smart contract staking model.
The platform is also a great tool (I mean we are just a little biased) because it enables you to make trading predictions from anywhere! It’s user-friendliness, allows you to make predictions on your mobile device based on information you receive in real-time.
Bodhi is a decentralized market prediction platform that has been operating on the Singapore-based Qtum blockchain since April 23, 2018. The Qtum platform combines the Bitcoin Core infrastructure with Ethereum Virtual Machine. With this platform, developers can build DApps that can run on mobile devices, and that are still compatible with other major blockchain ecosystems. Bodhi is currently working on expanding its DApp to the Ethereum network.
Although Bodhi has global users, its primary focus is the Chinese market. Users can trade on the outcome of sports, finance, politics, and other global markets. Bodhi uses its own QRC20 token, BOT, as well as QTUM to run on the Qtum network.
As with other decentralized prediction markets, a forecast is defined by means of a smart contract. Users can wager their bets on the outcome with digital currency, in this case, QTUM. When the result is realized, a credible third party oracle determines the outcome and distributes the funds. In the case of a dispute, vested parties can deposit Bodhi tokens to initiate an arbitration. Voting then takes place with all token voters to determine the results, and the process continues until there are no more disputes. Participation in the arbitration process is incentivized by rewarding participants with Bodhi tokens.
Making a Wager
The current version of Bodhi supports wagering with QTUM, but can be scaled in the future to accept other stable coins This will result in a larger community where more people can contribute their expertise, and lead to better prediction results. Forecasting of events that are deemed to be immoral are moderated by the community itself through a voting process.
In the future, Bodhi plans to develop a social media plug-in for the DApp, starting with the social media platform, WeChat. As founder, Xiahong Lin, explains, “the Bodhi social media network plug-in will allow users to create a prediction market directly within a social network and easily share it with friends to participate.” As well, there are plans to link a user’s social network account with their Qtum/Ethereum wallet so that it can automatically sync your input within a social network with Bodhi’s prediction market.
Hivemind, formerly Trustcoin, in an open source, peer-to-peer prediction market based on the use of oracles. It was designed as a side chain of Bitcoin, and has the same transparency, robustness, censorship-resistance and monetary effects as a result.
Hivemind’s focus is on governance issues. It seeks to address the problems associated with multi-factor decision making, which are often inefficient and conflicted due to the influence of other perspectives. Its founder, Paul Sztorc, envisions Hivemind as a platform for deciding political and governance issues, through the use of a prediction market. Prediction markets force a clear definition of ambiguous and general topics. It curates and aggregates expert data to converge on a single probability.
As with other platforms, any user can create a prediction market. The user provides the seed capital to “make the market’. They are also responsible for enforcing the market and all resource costs associated with making it.
Taking Your Pick
We know, we know. You just wanted to put some crypto towards betting on how many donuts Kevin from accounting would eat today. Unfortunately, with so many platforms fighting for your attention today, the decision is a little bit harder. Take it from us, this list is a great place to get you thinking about what options are out there. With this list in hand, you are well on your way to start weighing out the pros and cons of each.
We haven’t placed our crypto bets on where you’ll end up yet. That’s for you to decide.