Stox is an innovative use of blockchain in the prediction markets, a joint initiative between senior members at invest.com, that rewards you for your knowledge. The CEO Yossi Peretz, will be discussing the Stox project with us in this interview with TechBullion.
1) Could you please tell us about yourself and your role at Stox?
My name is Yossi Peretz and I’m the CEO at Stox. I’m responsible for the overall strategy and direction of the business. Previously, I was the COO of invest.com, a digital trading and investment platform.
I have been involved in fintech, IT and security for more than 15 years and am fascinated by new technologies that force us to rethink current processes.
2) What inspired you to help build a prediction platform for the cryptocurrency market?
Stox was launched following a joint initiative between senior members at invest.com to help realise the potential of prediction markets. Prediction markets have been around in one form or another for thousands of years – people have always been interested in speculating the outcome of future events. However, they’ve remained largely dull, to be frank.
The entire purpose of public use prediction market platforms is to create a space where people from all over the world can harness the wisdom of the crowd, by creating their own predictions.
With Stox, we realised a new opportunity with the blockchain. Before, predictions were controlled and ultimately benefited central authorities. The blockchain, however, removed this power and delivered it to the community.
3) How does Stox work?
Stox is a decentralised platform for prediction markets where people can predict the outcome of events in almost any category. Who will win the World Cup? Will Democrats or Republicans win the next election? How long will it take for an ICO to reach its cap? If users are interested in predicting future events, it’s likely that we have something for them.
It’s easy to use our platform, too. Sign up to an account on stox.com, put in some STX tokens via a wallet, and you’re ready to go. Select a prediction and enter the amount of STX you’d like to place, and you’re all done. Wait for the results once the prediction is closed.
Stox is built to reward people for their knowledge – users can enjoy predicting everyday events in real time and profit from the outcome. What’s more, it’s risk-free! Once a prediction closes, all tokens are returned, even if the prediction was unsuccessful. We also have a leader board where we hand out prizes to our top predictors every month.
4) How will blockchain technology help Stox achieve this goal?
The blockchain inherently has numerous benefits – decentralisation, liquidity and smart contracts. As a result, Stox is able to offer a truly peer-to-peer trading experience.
Users of Stox’s prediction market platform can purchase STX directly via many currencies. Smart contracts enable built-in price discovery and a guaranteed liquidity mechanism for tokens. These smart tokens hold one or more other tokens in reserve and enable anyone to instantly purchase or liquidate the smart token in exchange for any of its reserve tokens. The liquidation is done directly through the smart token’s contract, at a continuously calculated price, according to a formula that balances buy and sell volumes.
STX holders can use crowdsourced information and their own predictions to forecast the outcome of any event, across a wide range of categories. The blockchain-based platform will be fluid, meaning that prediction patterns and assessments will change in real-time. The decentralised nature of the blockchain enables users to create prediction polls and allows them to take positions on specific events at any time. Entry prices, for example, for any specific poll, will be able to change and fluctuate based on the predicted values.
Importantly, the blockchain ensures that users are paid on-time.
5) How is your prediction market platform different from traditional online wagering sites?
Stox runs on the principle of a single token economy. A single token economy is designed to scale a platform fairly and reward ‘good’ behaviour. What this means for our users is that the more they use the platform, the more predictions will be offered and the more they are likely to win.
Effectively, Stox is run by the people and for the people. We have opened the ‘Create Your Prediction’ portal to all our users so they can leverage the power of crowd sourced wisdom for themselves via our platform.
We realise the traditional market has its place. Stox was born out of the vision to provide an alternative decentralised solution, not compete with traditional incumbents.
6) Do you have any competitors in the market, what are some of the problems you see with other similar platforms and crypto market predictions?
There are a number of platforms emerging due to the rapid growth in prediction markets.
What makes us different is our background in online business, which puts us on the right footing in terms of global partners and regulation as the platform grows. Founded by ambitious, key industry players in high tech and finance, and backed by a powerful team of advisors, we were able to launch our ICO and hit our hardcap of 148,000 ETH in only 34 hours.
Unlike other prediction market platforms, our version was up and running from day one. The Stox platform is the most widely used and fastest platform in the decentralised predictions market space, offering new predictions on a daily basis. Our platform is designed for mainstream users who will be able to easily access their funds and our partnership with Changelly.com allows anyone with a credit card to purchase STX tokens in mere seconds.
Blockchain-based predictions markets, and blockchain companies more generally have several challenges when trying to achieve long term success.
An obvious one is liquidity. Platforms need to generate transactions on the platform in order to survive. Companies may also look to diversify their business model in order to mitigate the risk of crypto price volatility, which affects us all to some extent.
As Blockchain is an emerging technology, it’s constantly changing and evolving. This creates a challenge when aiming to effectively utilise it on a large scale. Keeping a finger on the pulse of blockchain technology and being proactive in improving a platform is essential to scaling the technology to meet demand and beyond. We have managed to stay ahead of the curve and created a platform that can handle an elevated amount of activity and large transactions. During the FIFA World Cup for example, a total of 85 million STX ($7.2m) were used across 176,000 votes. During this period, we topped 5 million STX ($2.5m) in trading volumes.
Regulation is also constantly changing. Companies with an international user base will have to constantly keep an eye out for developments in crypto and blockchain regulation across several jurisdictions. Staying informed and creating a flexible business model that can bend in accordance with changing regulation takes a great deal of time and consideration.
7) How are you able to offer “risk-free” predictions? What is your business model?
Stox challenges the ‘house always wins’ doctrine by rewarding users for their knowledge and insights into future events. We are able to offer risk-free predictions as we partner with ICOs and companies to host sponsored predictions, which puts no onus on the STX user. For instance, we partnered with BetOnChart and Kuende, during the World Cup and US Open, respectively. As a result, whenever users implement their STX to make a prediction, STX are returned following the close of that prediction.
8) Apart from making profit from predictions on Stox platform, what other benefits does your platform offer?
First up, it’s a great way to earn money for those making predictions!
The Stox platform allows users to participate in events that they’re passionate about. For instance, if they are interested in certain sports, Stox is a great way to get involved in predicting future outcomes on behalf of their favourite team.
For the ICOs and companies who use us, prediction markets utilise the wisdom of the crowd, which can often provide valuable insight into what the market is thinking, as well as the likelihood of certain events happening.
We have also launched our official mobile app on GooglePlay, allowing our platform to go mainstream.
9) On the Stox Sponsored Predictions, how do you help other crypto companies succeed with their projects?
Stox hosts many sponsored predictions for ICOs and Token Generation Events. What this means is that users are able to predict how successful they believe an ICO will be. The possible outcomes and amount of predictions are also customisable.
The benefits of this are multifold. The sponsored prediction creates a buzz and increases anticipation for projects. It increases awareness, followers and participants for the ICO. It also provides preliminary insights into the potential success of an ICO, allowing teams to develop their businesses.
Altogether, our sponsored ICO service has resulted in over 150 predictions being created and 150,000,000 STX tokens being staked, giving all Stox platform users the opportunity to make a profit and build their cryptocurrency portfolios.
We have partnered with many blockchain-based companies during this process, some of which can be found here: https://www.stox.com/sponsored-predictions/
10) How does the STX token work? Why should we be interested to purchase it?
STX is the digital token that is the power behind our platform. All activity in the system revolves around STX, including using it to make predictions and acting as the primary form for fees. Once a prediction closes, you’ll be returned all the STX you initially staked, plus any more rewarded for successful predictions.
11) Tell us more about the STX Coin Exchanges, where can we find you?
STX tokens can be purchased from a number of leading exchanges. For more information, visit: https://www.stox.com/exchanges/.
Our platform accepts and converts STX to, and from, the majority of crypto and fiat currencies.
12) There was much hype over your ICO in 2017. How has your market and your business transformed one year on?
A lot has changed for us! From one of the most successful ICOs to date, we’ve hosted more than half a million predictions, grown by an average of 550 users per day, partnered with +50 ICOs, traded predictions worth 210 million STX, and continuously developed our platform for users.
Throughout all of this, we believe that we’ve remained true to our vision: to change the way predictions are conducted so that the player, instead of the house, always wins. Our community has helped redefine the way that predictions are conducted in a global decentralised economy.
13) Do you expect tighter regulation concerning prediction markets in the future? Would you welcome this move?
As the world of prediction markets is rapidly becoming crowded, Stox has consistently listened to its community and worked tirelessly to improve its platform and expand its predictions for the benefit of its users.
Whilst there is constant speculation, ICOs have taken a number of twists and turns in a few years alone. It’s hard to say exactly what regulation is expected, but we know that authorities are keeping a close-eye towards ICOs. With a team of worldwide professionals, Stox is well-positioned to accommodate regulations that take effect in the future.
14) What do you have next on the Stox roadmap and where do you see the business in the coming years?
In just one year, Stox has progressed to a powerful platform with over 200,000 registered users! Plus, we have opened the ‘Create Your Prediction’ portal to all our users so they can leverage the power of crowd-sourced wisdom for themselves, which makes predictions more relevant to a wider audience. The plan is to continue our growth rate by bringing in new verticals and products which meet crowd demand.
We are also focusing our efforts on providing an internal predictions service, where companies can use Stox to create an internal platform to poll their employees on anything from worker satisfaction through to supply chain processes, making the company a better, and more efficient entity.
As always, we will be inviting our community’s feedback, developing our platform and onboarding more predictions than ever before. We’re excited about our journey ahead!
Visit Stox: https://www.stox.com/