InTrade was among the most popular prediction exchanges in the world for a number of years. From Super Bowls to climate change, the platform allowed members to put money down on their convictions and compete on a host of different outcomes and events. Unfortunately, InTrade was forced to halt operations in 2013 citing financial irregularities. And since then, services similar to InTrade have been plagued by legal issues and technological challenges. With the advent of the blockchain, innovators have been given a whole new architecture on which to fashion prediction markets.
Prediction Markets and the Blockchain
Every prediction market requires a payments system to purchase tokens and a means to disseminate earnings to participants. Blockchains are inherently well-equipped to handle both of those requirements. Since the technology was invented to support cryptocurrencies, payments can easily be handled using bitcoin or alt-coin. Additionally, as blockchains are trustless, smart contracts ensure that those with the most accurate predictions receive their payouts at the end of competitions, without having to rely on a counterparty’s ability to pay. We’re already beginning to see applications that leverage the blockchain to create prediction-based competitions with the advent of platforms like Augur, ZeroSum, and others.
The prediction markets are just the start of what will shape up to be a huge evolution in the trading industry.
Fantasy Trading As A Means of Evolution
As all active cryptocurrency, stock or Forex traders know there are bull and bear markets, and every trader will both gain and lose over the course of their trading life. The idea of Fantasy trading represents an evolution in the field – as it gives all traders the ability to learn, test, and execute strategies without taking large positions or encurring huge trading fees.
Applying similar concepts from Fantasy Football – players are able to circumvent traditional market forces that are stacked against them. As an example, trading in the Forex market traditionally requires a significant ($5,000) capital investment. To compound this barrier to entry, trading fees range from $2 on the very low end, to $39+ – meaning that both new and experienced traders will quickly erode their capital if they execute too many trades.
It gets worse. Lifting the curtain of trading reveals that retail traders are often up against HFT Firms (High-Frequency Trading Firms), Banks and preferred clients who have better / faster / quicker access, and even their own brokers – who can execute a retail traders trade before the retail trader is able to. Fantasy trading aims to evolve the process.
While it won’t eliminate these barriers, and it won’t eliminate the unfair advantages in the market, it will enable traders to learn, practice, and evolve their skill – preparing or enhancing them for the real market.
The Future of Crypto Trading
Prediction Platforms and Fantasy Trading Platforms give us a glimpse into what will undoubtedly shape the future of the crypto trading market. Powered by the Ethereum backbone, decentralized prediction and fantasy platforms can help onboard users with cryptocurrency and help evolve skill.
And as data feeds become more accessible traders will have the ability to create competitions on anything that has a reliable data feed. The old adage “software is eating the world” is becoming more and more applicable here, and more applicable with blockchain technology. As it does, we’re sure to see an influx of new traders entering the cryptocurrency trading arena, and the general skill of traders to rise along with it.
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