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Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Vitalik Buterin Lead $45 Million Funding Round for Polymarket

ByDayne Lee

May 15, 2024
Peter Thiel's Founders Fund and Vitalik Buterin Lead $45 Million Funding Round for Polymarket

Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Vitalik Buterin Lead $45 Million Funding Round for Polymarket

Polymarket, a prediction market platform utilizing cryptocurrency, is experiencing significant growth during the lead-up to the U.S. presidential election. The platform recently secured $45 million in a Series B funding round, attracting attention with high-profile investors.

Shayne Coplan, the founder of Polymarket, revealed that the Series B funding round was led by billionaire Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. Notable participants in this round include Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, 1confirmation, ParaFi, and Dragonfly Capital. This funding round follows an earlier, undisclosed $25 million Series A, led by General Catalyst, with a cumulative fundraising total exceeding $70 million since its inception.

Strategic Hires and Expansion

To steer its next growth phase, Polymarket has appointed Richard Jaycobs as the head of market expansion. Jaycobs, with a notable background as an executive in traditional finance firms including Cantor Exchange and The Clearing Corporation, is set to enhance the platform’s market presence.

Polymarket has emerged as a leading platform for prediction markets built on crypto infrastructure, allowing traders to place bets on a variety of real-world events. These range from political outcomes to sports events. For instance, a notable market on Polymarket involves speculation on whether the U.S. SEC will approve an Ethereum ETF by the end of May, with shares indicating a 16% probability.

Impact and Market Insights

Beyond entertainment, these prediction markets are praised for providing insights into public sentiment and offering forecasts that may be more reliable than traditional polling or expert opinions. This year, more than $202 million has been staked on Polymarket, with significant attention on the U.S. presidential election.

Despite its successes, Polymarket faces significant regulatory hurdles in the U.S., having been barred from operating with U.S. residents following a 2022 settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This regulation has opened opportunities for competitors like Kalshi, the only CFTC-regulated prediction market in the U.S., which handles bets in USD rather than cryptocurrency.

The Future of Polymarket and Prediction Markets

While Polymarket operates outside of U.S. jurisdiction, the CFTC’s recent moves to propose a ban on election-related bets may impact its competitors more directly. This dynamic could position Polymarket uniquely if such regulations are enacted, potentially limiting direct competition in its operational regions.

Polymarket continues to navigate the complex landscape of global finance and regulation, bolstered by substantial investment and strategic leadership additions. As it moves forward, the platform aims to solidify its status as a premier venue for betting on global events through its innovative use of blockchain technology.

Featured image credit: Business Wire

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.

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