Thingish Things

American Civics Exchange Launches (Beta)

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Apr• 23•12

One of the smartest guys I know, who also has one of the coolest names going, Flip Pidot (Pid-Oh), has just launched a beta version of the first US-based commercial market for political futures. The American Civics Exchange, which is using play-money for now, will enable “businesses and investors to reliably hedge financial exposure to changes in public policy, using binary futures contracts tied to the outcomes of underlying events, including changes in tax policy, enactment of proposed legislation, issuance of regulatory decisions, etc.”

In other words, you can bet on stuff that may or may not happen, with real money speculating coming later in the year. It is no different than hedging other market movers as is readily done today. 

Some basic information from the site:

Trading on this demo site differs from our pending real-money exchange trading in a few ways:

  • All transactions on this site are denominated in fictional dollars
  • Real-money trading will take place on a regulated designated contract market (DCM), with all trades cleared by a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) and subject to regulation by the CFTC.
  • This site makes use of an automated machine-based market maker.
  • Certain trading activity (and comments, discussion threads) are viewable by other market participants, in order to foster an ongoing conversation about existing and prospective traded products.
  • Real-money trading will include products/outcomes not included in the demo, likely including additional tax contracts, regulatory outcomes related to Dodd-Frank, items related to the federal budget, and more. If you’ve got an idea for one you don’t yet see on the site, you can create your own.
One thing I’ll bet on off the bat: If Flip Pidot is behind this, it will be a massive success. Trust me; he’s thought it through. 

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