Manifold Markets lets anyone create a prediction market on any topic. Win virtual money betting on what you know, from chess tournaments to lunar collisions to newsletter subscriber rates - or learn about the future by creating your own market!

What are prediction markets?

Prediction markets are a place where you can bet on the outcome of future events.

Consider a question like: "Will Democrats win the 2024 US presidential election?"

If I think the Democrats are very likely to win, and you disagree, I might offer $70 to your $30 (with the winner taking home $100 total). This set of bets imply a 70% probability of the Democrats winning.

Now, you or I could be mistaken and overshooting the true probability one way or another. If so, there's an incentive for someone else to bet and correct it! Over time, the implied probability will converge to the market's best estimate. Since these probabilities are public, anyone can use them to make better decisions!

How does Manifold Markets work?

  1. Anyone can create a market for any yes-or-no question.

    You can ask questions about the future like "Will Taiwan remove its 14-day COVID quarantine by Jun 01, 2022?" If the market thinks this is very likely, you can plan more activities for your trip.

    You can also ask subjective, personal questions like "Will I enjoy my 2022 Taiwan trip?". Then share the market with your family and friends and get their takes!

  2. Anyone can bet on a market using Manifold Dollars (M$), our platform currency.

    You get M$ 1,000 just for signing up, so you can start betting immediately! When a market creator decides an outcome in your favor, you'll win Manifold Dollars from people who bet against you.

More questions? Check out this community-driven FAQ!

Can prediction markets work without real money?

Yes! There is substantial evidence that play-money prediction markets provide real predictive power. Examples include sports betting and internal prediction markets at firms like Google.

Our overall design also ensures that good forecasting will come out on top in the long term. In the competitive environment of the marketplace, bettors that are correct more often will gain influence, leading to better-calibrated forecasts over time.

Since our launch, we've seen hundreds of users trade each day, on over a thousand different markets! You can track the popularity of our platform at http://manifold.markets/analytics.

Why is this important?

Prediction markets aggregate and reveal crucial information that would not otherwise be known. They are a bottom-up mechanism that can influence everything from politics, economics, and business, to scientific research and education.

Prediction markets can predict which research papers will replicate; which drug is the most effective; which policy would generate the most tax revenue; which charity will be underfunded; or which startup idea is the most promising. By surfacing and quantifying our collective knowledge, we as a society become wiser.

How does betting work?

  • Markets are structured around a question with a binary outcome.
  • Traders can place a bet on either YES or NO. The trader receives some shares of the betting pool. The number of shares depends on the current probability.
  • When the market is resolved, the traders who bet on the correct outcome are paid out of the final pool in proportion to the number of shares they own.

How are markets resolved?

The creator of the prediction market decides the outcome and earns 4% of trader profits. as a commission for creating and resolving the market.

This simple resolution mechanism has surprising benefits in allowing a diversity of views to flourish. Competition between market creators will lead to traders flocking to the creators with good judgment on market resolution.

What's more, when the creator is free to use their judgment, many new kinds of prediction markets can be created that are less objective or even personal. (E.g. "Will I enjoy participating in the Metaverse in 2023?")

What kind of betting system do you use?

Manifold Markets uses a special type of automated market marker based on a dynamic pari-mutuel (DPM) betting system.

Like traditional pari-mutuel systems, your payoff is not known at the time you place your bet (it's dependent on the size of the pool when the event is resolved).

Unlike traditional pari-mutuel systems, the price or probability that you buy in at changes continuously to ensure that you're always getting fair odds.

The result is a market that can function well when trading volume is low without any risk to the market creator.

Read our technical guide to find out more!

Can I create private markets?

Soon! We're running a pilot version of Manifold for Teams - private Manifold instances where you can discuss internal topics and predict on outcomes for your organization.

If this sounds like something you’d want, join the waitlist here!

Who are we?

Manifold Markets is currently a team of three:

  • James Grugett
  • Stephen Grugett
  • Austin Chen

We've previously launched consumer-facing startups (Throne, One Word), and worked at top tech and trading firms (Google, Susquehanna).

Talk to us!

Questions? Comments? Want to create a market? Talk to us!

Further Reading