The player behind the alias Ideological Sock scored by far the highest number of OLY in Gnosis Olympia, our first prediction market tournament, and hence took home the 🥇 first prize of 10 GNO. Curious about the person behind the Olympia winner and his winning strategies, we jumped on a call and pestered him with a bunch of questions.
Who’s behind ‘Ideological Sock’?
My name is Sebastiano, I’m Swiss, 34 years old, and I live in the Italian-speaking canton Ticino together with my wife and 10-month old daughter. Graphic designer by training, I currently work as a video technician for a Swiss television channel.
How did you get into blockchain?
Seven years ago, I launched a website for Dutch auctions in Switzerland. When I was looking for a currency to participate in the auctions, I stumbled over Bitcoin and found that it works perfectly with what I had in mind. Then, Bitcoin started to get momentum in 2014 — that’s when I began to also mine it. I’ve never really believed in Bitcoin, though, I haven’t mined much of it. I’m more interested in the progress of projects building on Ethereum, such as Gnosis.
When did you first get into prediction markets?
Five years ago, I started to get into the concept of prediction markets through sports betting, particularly for tennis matches. I got involved in courtsiding: I was present at the tennis match sending back live data to my betting partner (who was at home in front of his computer), as each player scored a point. While I was watching the match live, my partner was betting against other players on several exchanges, offering constantly changing odds on a player winning or losing as the match progressed. The purpose of being present at the match was that I could send back information a lot faster than TV or betting companies could.
Did your experience from being a courtsider help you in making predictions in Gnosis Olympia?
Gnosis Olympia didn’t cover any sports events, but the way I placed the predictions was pretty similar to my time as a courtsider. I frequently refreshed the site to see which predictions have been placed by other players. Once an event had a 55% chance to occur, I bought the opposite outcome to bring the prediction down to 50%. I basically bought and sold outcome tokens within a very short time period (often within just a minute).
I bought into an event at a low price, then waited until someone predicted the same outcome or chose the opposite, and according to the other participant’s choice, I closed the position by selling or buying more outcome tokens.
Can you share some best practices when trading in prediction markets that would help users make more strategic investments?
Participants of the tournament played with a set idea on the outcome of an event. Generally, players don’t consider the possibility that they might be wrong. I’ve always tried to invest in all possible outcomes — once the probability of an event’s outcome is very low, I buy that outcome token to bring the probability up. Then I wait until someone predicts the opposite again, and I’ll sell my position. If you buy an outcome token that has a 1% chance of winning, and this outcome increases to 90% at some point in time, you can make a lot of OLY.
My strategic recommendation for investing in prediction markets is to take on and close all possible positions, and hence to not be focused on one outcome only. Time will show which prediction is the right one. For example, it was statistically unlikely that New York will have a white Christmas last year, but I would’ve never settled on buying and holding No outcome tokens in this market. I bought the No outcome token when the probability of it was low, and waited until someone invested a lot of OLY to predict Yes—then I sold my No outcome tokens and thus closed my position. It’s all about buying in low and selling high.
What would you improve in Olympia to make it easier for users to understand and interact with?
I think it hasn’t been made obvious enough in Olympia’s interface that players could also close their positions, hence sell outcome tokens. The possibility to sell positions should be made as obvious as buying in. If that would’ve been the case since the very beginning, I probably wouldn’t have won that easily! As it is currently designed, you really had to dig deep to find the spot to sell your position, so I guess not many people actually found that (especially those who aren’t experienced traders).
Apart from that, I’d also love for the tournament to be more engaging and playful, maybe using more pictures, videos, and illustrations.
Would you like to make your own prediction markets? What topics are you interested in?
I’d love to create prediction markets myself! I’d be particularly interested in prediction markets on sports — 2018 is a huge year! The Olympics will start soon, as well as the FIFA World Cup in summer. These events could make great markets on Gnosis Olympia!
You won 10 GNO, congratulations! Will you cash out your prize or “hodl”?
I will definitely hodl! I’m heavily invested in Gnosis since the ICO — 85% of my crypto portfolio consists of GNO tokens! I’m very much looking forward to following your development progress.
Thank you so much for the interview, Sebastiano! We’ll soon be launching a new Olympia tournament and can’t wait to see whether you’ll conquer Gold again🏆!
How ‘Ideological Sock’ triumphed in Gnosis Olympia was originally published in Gnosis on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
<div class="infobox"><span class="appendinfo">This article was originally published on: <a href="https://blog.gnosis.pm/" target="_blank">The Gnosis Blog</a> on </span></div>