The past few years have been explosive for the crypto space, with innovative protocols and programs pushing the boundaries of what can be on the blockchain. One of the most promising growing sectors of decentralized protocols is the prediction market. While decentralized prediction markets have been around for years, Occam Finance promises an exciting and more accessible approach.
What is a prediction market?
Prediction markets are a form of market where the outcomes of future events can be traded. Predictions come in all shapes and sizes — you can trade shares on who the Biden admin will confirm for cabinet positions, who will win the big game, or whether or not it will rain tomorrow. Ultimately prediction markets are not just interesting as a form of betting, but also as a crowdsourcing operation. When experts put their money where their mouth is, you can use prediction markets to see the likelihood of something happening. Prediction markets are often more accurate than polls or the words from a pundit’s mouth.
The central problem with centralized prediction markets
In all traditional prediction markets, traders rely on a singular market maker or entity. Websites and authorities determine what events will be predicted and also determine what the outcome is. They are also the ones to make sure you do — or don’t — get a payout. As sports betting fans will know, there are many online sportsbooks which seem legit, but then take forever to pay out or never do at all. Ultimately, every time you trade a share on a prediction market or place a bet, you are trusting someone or some institution to decide to pay you.
What if instead you could be certain that the terms of the trade would go the way they are supposed to–without having to trust a faceless corporation to do right by you? That much and more is possible with smart contract and blockchain technology.
Smart contracts and prediction markets
A smart contract is a self-executing contract built on the blockchain. That means, when the conditions are met it automatically fulfills the contract. You don’t have to trust someone else to hold onto your money or pay out when they deem the conditions to be met. The whole system is then entirely trustless and decentralized. Smart contracts are built on the Ethereum platform and allow for the network to perform many different kinds of transactions and functions.
Smart contracts, then, can be used to create prediction markets that are entirely peer-to-peer and take out much of the risk in centralized markets. Anyone can become a market maker or market player without the need for a middleman.
There are several decentralized prediction markets already out there — like Augur and Gnosis. Augur is the current leader in the field — but they’ve been plagued with instances of scammers and a rigid schema that make it so that the platform appeals only to a narrow crowd.
What if prediction markets weren’t institutional trading sites full of ‘experts’ (decentralized or not), but a pool of the smartest minds in the crypto-sphere?
Enter Occam Finance
Occam Finance is the blockchain’s newest and most exciting prediction market. With Occam Finance, anyone can make a prediction and anyone can trade shares. The key word here is participatory — Occam Finance is building a platform where users can put on a number of different hats and use their knowledge to win big and predict the future.
Imagine a prediction market in which you can use astrological projections to predict the price of bitcoin. Or where you can interface with diehard football fans to predict the yards passed by an upstart new QB. Or where savvy traders can take both sides of a bet and end up on top. If a question can be answered definitively yes or no — it can be made into a market. And the limits of what those markets can do, for the intelligent user, are endless.
What makes Occam Finance so revolutionary in the prediction market sphere is the introduction of gamification. Instead of a crowd-sourcing operation only, Occam Finance is introducing the ability to throw your weight behind super-predictors and analysts. Think you know more than everyone else? You can make a team and your supporters will win NFTs if you predict correctly.
A cutting edge protocol, Occam Finance opens up what it means to be a prediction market. With the introduction of new ways to play the prediction market, and a new gamified set-up, Occam Finance is creating a community of the smartest market players from all walks of life–all on the blockchain.