In brief

  • A new betting protocol just got $4 million in funding.
  • It's called Polymarket. It's a competitor to protocols like Augur and FTX.
  • DeFi leaders are among investors.

If you’re looking to wager cryptocurrency on anything from the upcoming US election to the date Satoshi Nakamoto returns, there are a growing number of options on which to place your bets. Polymarket is one of the newer protocols on the block, but it just got a sizable boost in capital to help it make its mark among prediction markets.

Polymarket, a betting platform based on the Gnosis decentralized exchange protocol, today announced that it has raised $4 million in funding some from heavy hitters in crypto.

The funding round for the protocol, which runs on Ethereum, was led by Polychain Capital. Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList also invested, as did heads of the decentralized finance industry. 

Robert Leshner, founder of decentralized lending protocol Compound invested, as did Stani Kulechov, who founded DeFi lending protocol Aave. Tarun Chitra, founder of DeFi governance platform Gauntlet participated, as did Kain Warwick, the founder of synthetic asset platform Synthetix. Crypto VC Twitter staples Balaji Srinivasan and Meltem Demorors also joined in the fun. 

With the money, Polymarket plans to expand its beta to make it easier for new people to use it. Among new features are free trading, debit and credit card deposits, and email signups. It’s also hiring.

Polymarket must compete against several betting market protocols. Joey Krug’s Augur is one of the most famous, though a large chunk of crypto betting these days—pitched as “knowledge markets” to differentiate themselves from casinos—takes place on Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX

Though the technology’s different, both FTX and Polymarket’s betting markets arrive at the same outcomes. You bet on something, such as the US election, and your bet only has value if you’re correct. FTX users do this by trading futures contracts and Polymarket lets users trade “Outcome Shares,” redeemable for $1 each if the outcome is correct.

Polymarket is in beta and so far relatively unpopular compared to its competitors. Its users have bet $110,095 on the US election so far. However, on FTX, there’s $1.9 million of open interest on Biden winning the election. 

That said, FTX’s Biden ticker started in February and FTX launched in 2019. Polymaket’s election market started a week ago, and the platform’s been in beta for three months.

In total, Polymarket has received a little over $1 million in volume.