Manifold for Good, Manifold for All
Above the Fold: Donate M$ to charity; open source; subsidize questions; free daily markets
Hey there! Two huge announcements today, along with a fresh round of bounties and some product improvements~
Manifold for Good: Send your M$ to charity!
Prediction markets succeed when they require people to bet something they value, like money. But past attempts at real-money prediction markets like Intrade have been shut down by the CFTC. At Manifold, we currently allow users to trade on Manifold Dollars (aka M$ or “mana”), an in-game currency specific to our platform. But one of the most common criticisms we hear is: “Why should I care about trading fake currency?”
It would be nice to find a middle ground where users can bet something of real value which doesn’t run afoul of financial regulations. Thinking about this, we were inspired by donor lotteries: if you can gamble with charitable donations, shouldn’t you be able to make bets with them? Thus, Manifold for Good was born.
You can now donate your M$ winnings to charity! Through the month of May, every M$ 100 you contribute turns into USD $1 sent to your chosen charity - we’ll cover all processing fees!
Manifold for Good solves two problems with today’s prediction markets. First, it allows you to bet using something valuable to you (i.e. donations to your favorite charity), which increases the incentive to bet correctly, relative to just virtual points. Second, it respects existing financial regulations, which has proven difficult for prediction markets in the past.
By providing an entertaining and impactful way to allocate money to charity, Manifold for Good can also increase the total amount of money donated. Just as donors participating in a charity bingo night are willing to pay extra for the value of entertainment, so too can Manifold’s markets provide a fun, motivating reason to participate in charitable activities.
Think of Manifold for Good as an experiment! We’re seeing what the level of demand is for this kind of redemption for Manifold Dollars; let us know if you have any thoughts or suggestions.
In the future, we’d like to grow the program to increase the number of available charities. We currently support 30+ charities; if you have a charity recommendation, let us know and we’ll pay a M$ 500+ bounty once we add it!
We’d also love to offer donation matching to cause areas or charities — we think this would get users even more excited about forecasting and donating! If you would like to partner with us to fund an experiment like this, or be featured as a charity, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: we are not affiliated with most of these charities, other than being fans of their work. As Manifold itself is a for-profit org, your M$ contributions will not be tax-deductible.
Manifold for All: Our codebase is now open source!
At Manifold, we’ve always aimed to be transparent about the way we do things. Some examples:
We post markets on our product and business decisions
We have internal team discussions on our public Discord
I’m excited to say that we’ve taken the next step forward: open sourcing our entire codebase! Check out our Github repo here.
This effort was spearheaded by Marshall Polaris, to whom the whole Manifold community owes a huge debt of gratitude. Marshall has been behind the scenes, doing the necessary work to prepare us for this big step forward:
Ensuring our user data is secure against attackers
Expanding our documentation to help new contributors get up and running
Improving our processes to scale up with many new potential contributors
I can’t wait to see what features you build, bugs you fix, or projects you start, now that our code is open to you!
Manifold for Info: The liquidity must flow
Have a question you really want answered? Now you can pay for it!
Users can now directly subsidize markets that they are interested in by providing liquidity for traders. The way it works is simple: You simply add cash to the market’s liquidity pool (which is then used under the hood by our automated market maker to adjust how fast the probability moves when traders place a bet).
The more liquidity you put up, the more incentive for traders to participate, the more accurate the market probability will be, and the faster your question will be answered!
Manifold for Free: A free market every day!
We’ve all made bad investments with our mana, and not everyone can afford to buy more! Mana scarcity can make it scary to make bets at all, and unpleasant to create or subsidize a market. Enter: a free daily market 🎉!
We’ll be giving every user the ability to create one market for free each day, with liquidity provided by the house. The timer resets every night at midnight, so go forth and create a market about your date tonight, or your cat’s mood, or anything! It’s no big deal if your market flubs, because you can always try again tomorrow 😁.
Bounties Round 2: Electric Boogaloo
It’s been a while since our last round of bounties; here are some of the amazing things the Manifold community has accomplished recently!
🌿 Announced on 2022-05-02
Marshall Polaris: M$ 200K
For spearheading the effort to open-source Manifold, by documenting our processes, triaging bugs, and improving the new contributor experience.
Marshall contributed over 2 weeks of part-time volunteer work; as such, we are awarding an amount that reflects the extraordinary amount of effort he’s put in.
Vincent Luczkow: M$ 10,000
For building and releasing https://github.com/vluzko/manifold-markets-python, a super cool Python visualization of the calibration accuracy of all Manifold markets. Turns out we’re doing okay!
Akhil Wable: M$ 10,000
For writing up Akhil’s Product Suggestions, an extensive, thoughtful list of improvements we could make to our platform.
Alex K. Chen: M$ 6,000
For the creation of a metric ton of innovative, long term questions. At the time of award, Alex was singlehandedly responsible for 20% of all markets posted in April.
ZorbaTHut: M$ 5,000
For testing out futarchy on an important problem for the community of The Motte.
Tetraspace: M$ 3,500
For the creation of a focused set of questions on UK politics, with relevant real-world predictions.
tcheasdfjkl: M$ 2,500
For calling out numerous areas of improvement, e.g. around our profit numbers being wonky, and problems with the DPM ⇒ CFMM market conversions.
Jack: M$ 500
For recommending we list the Long-Term Future Fund as a supported charity.
N.C. Young: M$ 500
For recommending we list the Givewell Maximum Impact Fund as a supported charity.
Eh, this post has gone on long enough. We’ll be back with the usual roundups of links and shoutouts next week.
Thanks as always for asking thoughtful questions, betting on markets, and driving the Manifold community forward; I’m excited now to see y’all donate to charity and contribute code!