Using a Soho start-up that lets users bet on outcomes such as whether Britney Spears can break free from her father’s control, gamblers can now add news events to their wagering options.
Polymarket offers odds on a variety of events, including COVID-19 vaccination rates, the next “Jeopardy” host, and the winner of the 2024 presidential election.
In Spears’ case, it lets you wager on whether her father, James Parnell Spears, will resign or be fired as her conservator by Oct. 1.
Investing in the popstar turns out to be a long shot, with Polymarket estimating that she has a 28 percent chance of success by that date.
Even so, if your $100 bet pays off, you’ll win about $257.
If you instead bet on James and he wins, your $100 bet will win about $38.
Shayne Coplan, the CEO of Polymarket, told The Washington Post that his company serves as a public barometer for all kinds of predictions, allowing anonymous gamblers — identified only by numbers and letters — to set the market for what might or might not happen across the political, economic, and social landscape.
The 23-year-old entrepreneur, whose company launched in 2017 and raised $4 million from venture capitalists last year, claimed, “It actually gives the most accurate forecast of the future — by letting people bet.”
Coplan, a computer science student at NYU who dropped out to start the company, claims that his service is useful not only to bettors, but also to anyone interested in researching current events. Like on Wall Street, with round-the-clock buying and selling of “shares,” the odds are constantly changing based on user activity.
You have the option to sell your shares at any time, giving you the opportunity to profit if the market moves in your favor.
Wagering on Polymarket is similar to horse racing, sports betting, and blackjack in that it allows you to quickly win or lose a large sum of money.
According to Polymarket Whales, a website that tracks bettors, the all-time leader has claimed winnings of $566,080, while the biggest loser has lost $1,093,669. A total of $130 million has been spent on the site.
The company is built on cryptocurrency that can be exchanged for cash.
Users must purchase two of them to participate: USDC, which is one-to-one pegged to the dollar and used for buying and selling stocks; and Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin, which is required to cover the “gas,” a crypto-network transaction fee.