Fake news and misinformation are an increasingly relevant and significant part of our modern lives. Fact-checkers can only do so much, and, for lack of a better term, a fact revolution needs to take place in order for people to regain their grasp on what is true and what is not. There have been a lot of theories presented by experts as to what could help combat fake news and misinformation. One intriguing and potentially groundbreaking suggestion is the widespread adoption and acceptance of information markets.
Put simply, information markets allow users to buy shares in future outcomes of events. As aggregators of information, information markets are not susceptible to fake news, presenting a constantly evolving and increasingly accurate look at the truth. The possibilities are endless, and there truly is an “information markets world” out there waiting for us, but there haven’t really been any specific platforms that have made the leap to mainstream acceptance as of yet. But that seems to be changing very quickly.
Polymarket, a decentralized information markets platform, recently announced it has closed a new $4 million funding round led by Polychain Capital. Other investors include Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan, Robert Leshner, Tarun Chitra, Josh Hannah, Meltem Demirors, 1confirmation, ParaFi, Jack Herrick, Kal Vepuri, Stani Kulechov, Kain Warwick, Samir Vasavada, Marc Bhargava, and Calvin Liu.
Polymarket lets users bet on the world’s most highly-debated topics, from politics to Coronavirus to crypto and more. It turns trading activity into real insights on what matters most to society. They encourage people to put their money where their mouth is and challenge others to do the same. Polymarket, as arguably the premier information markets platform out there, has the inside line to combating misinformation and fake news, and introducing a healthy dose of accountability into the social news cycle.
Anyone with an educated opinion on a notable topic is presented with an exciting way to profit, helping each and every market that Polymarket runs to give onlookers a real-time forecast of future events. Polymarket makes it easy for regular people to garner insights from the market activity and cross-reference with the news in order to support or invalidate media claims, empowering them to better plan for the future.
Many technological innovations make Polymarket possible, including the Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts. Polymarket also recently entered Stage 2 of their open Beta. Notable features here include ten-times liquidity, zero transaction fees (a big step up from other platforms), and debit and credit card usability. This new Beta stage has made Polymarket the most user-friendly information markets platform in existence, and it brings us closer to the vision of information markets solving fake news and misinformation than we have ever been.
Blockchain experts are just as bullish about the future of the technology as they have ever been, despite the uninformed expecting revolution in a matter of seconds. What these experts have realized, however, is that what’s holding back blockchain isn’t the technology itself. Instead, mainstream usability and acceptance are the remaining hurdles to overcome for the blockchain industry. Essentially, the average consumer needs to not know they’re using a blockchain product. Polymarket has clearly kept this in mind throughout their Beta, and features such as zero-fee trading and debit and credit card usability are now live. Just about anyone who wants to participate in Polymarket can. If you’re an insider or well-read in a certain current event topic, this is your opportunity to profit off of it. If you’re longing for an unbiased picture of the real odds of an outcome, Polymarket’s rise to prominence will offer you exactly this.
Since launch, Polymarket has had over $1,000,000 worth of trading volume on their platform, and ran successful markets on the topics that people really care about, like Coronavirus, the 2020 US Presidential Election, the US’s unemployment rate, Microsoft’s failed acquisition of TikTok, and so much more. As they expand and become more familiar to the average person, we’re likely to see many different types of markets, offering everyone an appealing way to put skin in the game and get their friends and family to do the same.
The possibilities with Polymarket are endless, and it’s presumably why they’ve ended up with such a strong list of investors both inside the world of blockchain and outside. While Polymarket’s vision for world information market domination seems doable, in the shorter term we are likely to see users increasingly use Polymarket as a way to fight fake news and misinformation. The 2020 US Presidential Election’s storyline is undoubtedly the craziest I’ve ever seen, and misinformation and lies abound. Polymarket’s “Will Trump win the 2020 U.S. presidential election?” market is a prime unbiased source of the bigger picture of who will win in November. I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on its every movement.