With the price of the wagers, it seems unlikely that the bettor was looking for a sidestep.
Yesterday, an anonymous bettor on Polymarket – an Ethereum-based betting market – put down $25,000 that Joe Biden will not be inaugurated “in-person” outside the Capitol this morning.
It was a bet the person made multiple times before, together with another more generic wager that Biden wouldn’t be inaugurated in any manner today. And then it accompanied hundreds of thousands more in bets from November and December that Donald Trump will be inaugurated today alternately.
That whale is now in a $1M hole on Polymarket, according to the data compiled by Polymarket whales, losing $354,229 on bets that Trump will win the election. The losses were further compounded by $622,223 in misbegotten wagers that Trump would be inaugurated – all made after the networks displayed that Biden is the winner.
Polymarket is a betting platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. Patrons buy shares in either a yes or no – both if they’re still having second thoughts – the outcome of a particular event. When that event does or doesn’t happen, those shares will go to $1 or become worthless. However, because this is a betting market, those shares’ price fluctuates depending on how other people are betting.
For instance, if most people think Kamala Harris will be president in 2024, shares in her victory will be even more expensive. If many assume that someone else will win, the price will drop. The Trump-inclined bettor bought around 3.9M shares in a Trump inauguration at an average price of just under $0.16. It means that the market viewed Trump’s chances of becoming sworn in at about 16%. Last November 19, the whale also bought shares at close to $0.20.
If Trump were sworn in today, the bettor would have been in line to pocket $4.3M in winnings, not including the initial bet.
It can have been a hedge, and the specific bettor – together with others who have lost significant amounts – can be playing a game of arbitrage. However, Jeff Rossiter, who tracked large trades for Polymarket Whales, thinks it’s unlikely.
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