May 23, 2024
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Polymarket Raises $70 Million Amid Political Betting Surge

Peter Thiel’s venture capital firm, Founders Fund, and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin have led a substantial $70 million fundraising effort for Polymarket, a platform enabling betting on political events.

As the 2024 U.S. presidential elections approach, the interest in political betting has intensified, driving Polymarket’s latest Series B funding round, which raised $45 million under the leadership of the Founders Fund.

Defying Regulatory Challenges

Despite proposed bans by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on political contest betting, Polymarket continues to thrive.

Joey Krug, a Partner at Founders Fund, commented on the resistance to prediction markets in the U.S., attributing it to “puritanical thinking about betting.” He emphasized that while Polymarket is currently focusing on non-U.S. markets due to regulatory constraints, there is optimism for future participation by American users.

Polymarket has previously faced fines from the CFTC and had to limit its U.S. services as part of a settlement. To navigate regulatory challenges, the platform has appointed former CFTC head J. Christopher Giancarlo as chairman of its advisory board. This strategic move aims to improve relations with regulators and ensure compliance.

Surge in Electoral Betting

Founded by 25-year-old Shayne Coplan, Polymarket has seen a significant increase in betting volumes, particularly around the U.S. presidential elections. The platform, which allows users to place bets using Circle USD without taking custody of funds, has facilitated over $170 million in wagers on the upcoming elections.

Krug highlighted that the investment in Polymarket marks Founders Fund’s first venture into event-betting contracts, indicating a strong belief in the potential of prediction markets.

Despite the platform’s recent success and substantial fundraising, regulatory issues have impacted its valuation, previously estimated at around $1 billion.

Looking ahead, Polymarket’s leaders maintain confidence in the viability and growth of prediction markets, anticipating that regulatory environments will eventually adapt to include and support such platforms.

Image by freepik

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