Hillrise Research
Published in

Hillrise Research

AMA Highlights — PlotX

By Daniel Dal Bello, Director.
February 23, 2021–6 min read.

On Thursday 18 February, we welcomed Ish Goel and Kartic Rakhra from PlotX into the Hillrise Group Telegram Chat for an AMA. Ish and Kartic are both cofounders of PlotX.

PlotX is bringing non-custodial prediction markets to Ethereum, allowing users to bet on unique outcomes, all while earning rewards along the way.

They liken themselves to the Uniswap of prediction markets as they also use automated market-making to settle markets and distribute rewards without counter-party risk.

As prediction markets are slowly gaining traction, we’re excited to learn more about PlotX and the way they take on challenges in the current blockchain climate.

In this post, we have compiled key questions and answers from the event.

Daniel Dal Bello
Welcome to you both and thanks for joining us today!

I’d love to start as always with some introductions to you both and background on how you came to be working on PlotX.

Ish Goel
I was the CTO of Nexus Mutual (I see Hugh in this group too!). Then moved on in February 2020 to build our vision of PlotX. Kartic, myself and Nitika (our tech cofounder) have been working together since 2017 after we won the London Blockchain Week Hackathon!

Kartic Rakhra
We’ve gone through our fair share of ups and downs over the years. We were always enamored by prediction markets and post-Nexus-Mutual, we decided to go deeper into trying to make this niche accessible to a wider audience by standardizing the markets and simplifying the UX.

Daniel Dal Bello
Your team has a notable crypto-native background with experience at Nexus Mutual and GovBlocks–who ran the largest crypto-event in India in 2017.

We’re curious to know how your past experience has helped you thus far in the launch of PlotX.

Ish Goel
Nexus Mutual and GovBlocks taught us a lot. The grit required to keep building technology until you hit product-market fit is something we’ve experienced.

Plus coming from insurance, it was a logical step to innovate with prediction markets because both of them have risk hedging parallels, but capital efficiency is handled differently.

Funnily enough, the idea of PlotX was born at an internal hackathon in March 2020 when we thought, why not build a platform where people could predict the future price of any asset?

Since then, we’ve been building out PlotX. Launched a beta version in October 2020 and have been improving on the identified challenges over the last four months.

Raymond Reijnders
We have seen related projects such as Hegic Options quickly gain traction, and further — Whiteheart building on top of Hegic. No doubt is this necessary for any project to innovate and grow far beyond its original scope.

Are there any teams currently building on top of PlotX and how do they fit in?

Ish Goel
That’s a good example! We’re 4 months old right now and the protocol layer is evolving at the moment. We launched on Ethereum, but high gas prices have kept the liquidity in markets quite low.

Once we solve that part (which happens with our shift to layer-2), I expect new teams to start building a variety of solutions on top of the protocol layer.

Raymond Reijnders
On the topic of layer-2… you’ve integrated with Magic to allow easier entry into layer-2 scaling solutions.

What considerations went into selecting Magic for this purpose? Could you also tell us about the status of the layer-2 partnership with Polygon (previously Matic) made in 2020?

Ish Goel
The decision to use Magic Link as a preferred way to “Connect Wallets” came because of 2 reasons:

  1. Layer-2 chains don’t have direct support in MetaMask. Users need to change the RPC port and this acts as a massive UX overload.
  2. We wanted to abstract the “gas cost” from the end-user. I think it is absolutely critical for mass adoption that the end-user doesn’t even get to know that he’s interacting with a blockchain infrastructure in the background.

Magic enables us to do both of these. No more signing from Metamask required. Still non-custodial, still permissionless. Just a more standard experience for the user where the wallet is mapped to their email address.

On the status of the layer-2 partnership with Polygon (Matic) — it’s been a wonderful journey. We started researching various parameters of moving to a layer-2 with Matic back in 2020.

These parameters were around:

  1. DeFi composability with Ethereum,
  2. Cross-chain swaps,
  3. Availability of meta-transactions,
  4. Availability of oracles, and
  5. Extent of decentralization.

We’ve successfully bridged the PLOT token on Matic testnet, and it’s going to launch on the mainnet soon!

Daniel Dal Bello
The prediction markets space has grown with a number of projects, some we have even had AMAs with here before. You’re all vying for attention from a crowd of somewhat fleeting market participants.

Do you see PlotX collaborating with other prediction platforms and what might that look like? Is this a case of a winner-take-all space?

Kartic Rakhra
I think we’re all in this space together and we’re happy to see other attempts being made in the niche.

DeFi as a space has way too much room to grow to consider any niche a winner-take-all at this point in time.

Ish Goel
Absolutely. A lot of innovation in the prediction markets have been done by the awesome folks at Augur & Gnosis. In fact, we’re in touch with Gnosis to try out their conditional tokens framework for PlotX.

And I don’t think it’s a winner take all space, it’s still growing so much so that it’s actually critical to have multiple attempts so that we learn from each other.

Most of the projects have taken a different approach.

  • Gnosis is making a development tool kit for prediction markets.
  • Augur is making a generic prediction markets platform where anyone can launch any market.
  • PlotX has taken inspiration from Uniswap in building an AMM for crypto-price predictions only.

Kartic Rakhra
In terms of collaborating with other prediction markets, we are always open to the idea if it adds value to the end-user. Our conversation with Gnosis, as Ish mentioned above, lends to that fact.

Daniel Dal Bello
Being a prediction market, getting reliable price feed data is extremely important. Chainlink has been your oracle provider so far.

How has the experience with Chainlink been? Have you looked into other oracle providers?

We have a portfolio company that is working on oracles with Polkadot’s infrastructure to build on Chainlink’s drawbacks.

Ish Goel
Yep, decentralized oracles are critical. Chainlink has been a pleasure to work with. They are also available on Matic so it became a default choice.

However, it is important to note, that prediction markets are created on PlotX based on how the community votes on them.

For example:

  • You raise a proposal on govern.plotx.io that you want to see a prediction market for NXM/USDT.
  • In that proposal, you might want to put an oracle as Nexus Mutual’s On-Chain API, instead of Chainlink.
  • If the vote passes, perpetual markets of NXM / USDT will start getting created.

So it really depends on the community in terms of which oracles do they want to use.

@Lookat9
Will we see meta-transactions on the layer-2 version of PlotX?

Ish Goel
Yep, meta-transactions with which users will get gasless transactions.

@RonTheCryptoBuilder
Will there be any change in the transaction fees on PlotX like we see on Polygon?

Ish Goel
The transaction fee will substantially reduce when we shift to Polygon. More details on this soon.

@cryptotrader79
Since there’s a lot of growth potential on Polkadot and BSC (Binance Smart Chain). Is there any plan for the PlotX App to support multiple blockchains like Polkadot, BSC etc.?

Ish Goel
We’re working on a cross-chain swap technology that allows instant bridging of tokens across multiple chains. So for example, you can move PLOT from Uniswap (Ethereum) to QuickSwap (Matic) to PancakeSwap (BSC), in the blink of an eye.

So you can expect to see PlotX prediction markets on almost all chains soon!

Hillrise Group supports ambitious Web3 startups with early-stage venture capital and fundamental research.

PlotX is a non-custodial prediction protocol that enables users to earn rewards on high-yield prediction markets.

Connect with Hillrise Group
https://hillrise.group
https://hillrisegroup.medium.com
https://twitter.com/hillrisegroup

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store