Stox (STX) is an open source, Ethereum based platform for prediction markets where people can trade the outcome of events in almost any imaginable category – sports, celebrity marriages, election results, and even the weather. The platform targets mainstream audiences and allows investors to leverage their knowledge and profit from prediction events. Stox is a spin-off of invest.com, an online financial company operating since 2014, which employs over 200 employees across 5 countries, and whose trading platforms accommodate over 3 million registered users.
Prediction markets are an exchange where any individual or organization can tap into the “wisdom of the crowd” to ask any question or predict the result of any event – users trade on the outcome of the event in to form of a stock exchange. Similar to financial markets, which assign a price to the future estimated earnings of a stock, prediction markets assign a traded price to a belief about the future or the probability of an event outcome. Individuals buy and sell outcome shares based on what they see as the probability at any given moment. For example, a price of 0.6 indicates a 60% chance of occurrence, and this price fluctuates along with changes in perception or additional information. Prediction markets are known to be useful not only for understanding the crowd mindset on certain topics, but also as effective prognostic tools (in a similar fashion to economic markets), and are used by large institutions and companies to predict the outcomes of business or product development courses.
The end goal for Stox is to create the leading decentralized prediction market used by mainstream audiences, by maintaining a thriving ecosystem of users looking to invest in event outcomes and providers looking to create events and be compensated for operating them. The main role of Stox is to develop the open source technology required for running the decentralized Stox platform and network and create a successful model incentivizing both users and providers to join the network.
Stox will be powered by the STX digital token, to be used for all activity in the network, including fees and collaterals as well as the currency for predicting event outcomes. STX value is designed to grow along with demand as more users and providers join the ecosystem. By combining expertise in regulated markets with blockchain technology, Stox incentivizes providers with existing customer bases, such as invest.com itself, to join and drive traffic to the network; indeed, Stox will feature invest.com as its debut provider. Providers will be motivated to cooperate as part of a larger network, while users will enjoy a well-rounded selection accommodating their diversified interests.
While committed to following all required regulations, Stox recognizes that it is still unclear how this activity is to be treated from a regulatory viewpoint. In decentralized applications, however, separate functions in the system can operate in isolation and possibly be provided by different vendors, making it easier to comply with the regulations of each field of activity or jurisdiction.
Also, since STX is a flexible exchange-rate currency, it is exposed to general liquidity and volatility risks, which could deter investors and users from participating. To avoid the adverse effects of separating the operational currency from the investment currency, Stox will rely on Bancor (an ERC20-compatible token template that offers continuous liquidity via an on-chain market maker) as the token platform for STX to resolve liquidity risks, and on the initial activity volume brought by invest.com to mitigate volatility. Furthermore, in order to appeal to a wide, mainstream audience, the acquisition and utilization of STX will be made as straightforward for users as using tokens in an online game.
Stox is introduced to a market already offering two prominent decentralized implementations – Augur and Gnosis – both of which have carried out successful ICOs. Stox self-identifies as having three distinctive characteristics: its single token economy, unique business model, and mainstream user facing design. Stox views prediction markets as a business, one which enables individuals to leverage the information or knowledge they possess for personal material gain by investing STX in event outcomes. For this, the trade engine must be practical and operate quickly and easily enough to satisfy its users. Therefore, Stox has designed its oracle mechanism under the assumption that it would usually use a centralized oracle, which – although contrary to the decentralization ideal – mainstream users do not normally consider a disadvantage.
Stox’s roadmap is made up of five milestones: development of the Stox Platform, development of the Stox App, launch with invest.com customer network, development of an ecosystem member SDK, and growing the ecosystem. In order to finance this roadmap, Stox will conduct a token sale of an initial supply of STX tokens. STX will be sold at a constant price (in ETH) and the initial supply will depend on the amount of STX sold. As of the conclusion of the sale, the distributed STX will constitute the entirety of the available liquid supply. A portion of the supply would be preallocated to invest.com (as the founding member of the ecosystem) in a long term vesting schedule. A major portion of the allocation to Stox Ltd. will be used for bringing further strategic partners to the platform. Also, after the end of the sale period, Stox will deposit 4% of the STX market cap in BNT as the currency reserve of STX, thereby activating its Bancor Smart Token features.
Ophir Gertner – Founder (at both invest.com and Stox), Chief Strategist – an entrepreneur with a track record of developing market-leading products and services, a wealth of international experience including leadership roles and over 15 years’ experience in financial markets.
Yossi Peretz – Chief of Operations and Technology (also at invest.com) – a COO and business development professional with a proven track record in the financial services industry; skilled in leading global business activities, operations management, technical support, service management, IT security & strategy and providing solutions.
Leonid Beder (CoinTree) – Blockchain Security Architect – a seasoned professional of system security, cryptocurrency systems and various blockchain protocols, architecture, and implementations.
Oded Noam (CoinTree) – Blockchain Architect – founder of VidWatch and PhraseTech technology startups, and has held senior engineering and management positions at Mobixell Networks, Adamind, Schema and Gate42.
Assaf Moalem, CPA – Financial Controller – has 6 years experience in online trading markets as a CFO & Head Finance Controller.
Jose Danon Saltiel – Online Marketing Wizard – an online marketer with over 10 years experience in gaming, gambling, fintech and more; has a deep understanding of the industry, particularly affiliation, media buying, social and RTB; experienced in the English, Spanish, German, Dutch and French markets.
Shay Cohen – Master of UX & Design (also at invest.com).
Oren De-Lange – Community Manager – active crypto enthusiast since 2014; holds an LLB in Law.
Ilya Kolesnikov – Core Developer (also at invest.com) – a highly effective software engineer with over a decade’s experience mainly in ecommerce and fintech; has managed international teams of developers.
Eran Klein – Head of Product and QA (also at invest.com) – has almost 20 years experience in high tech companies; an expert in product and QA who specializes in online products.
Yevgeny Michlin – Support Engineer – has over 8 years experience in technical support.
Israel Shenkar – System Administrator – has over 10 years experience.
Nissim Ben Alush – Support Team Leader
Konstantin Rezhets – Mobile Developer – has over 5 years experience in startups, specializes in building lean, optimized and secure applications from scratch.
Liron Golan – HR Manager (also at invest.com) – has over six years experience in HR.
Rutty Yeziorsky – Office Manager & PA to CEO
Eyal Perera – Analyst – an experienced stockbroker and investment portfolio manager with over 7 years’ experience in the financial markets.
Eyal Hertzog – Foundation Council of Bancor (Bancor co-founder, product architect) – venture backed technology entrepreneur for over 20 years; previously founder of MetaCafe and Contact Networks.
Uriel Peled – CEO of CoinTree – head of operations at CoinTree; previously co-founder and CPO at Visualead.
Joe Chen – Founder, Chairman & CEO of RenRen – a pioneer of China’s internet industry; also a board member at invest.com.
Moshe Hogeg – Founder & Chairman of the Singulariteam Group – a serial entrepreneur; also a board member at invest.com.
Itai Avneri – CEO of invest.com – entrepreneur and experienced executive, expert in players/traders lifecycle for the gaming and finance industries; previously CEO of Playtech Marketing.
Eduardo A. Schilman, Ph.D. – Behavioral Psychologist at Playtika (sold for $4.4B).
|Technical White Paper||The Stox whitepaper is extensive, focusing more on the business model but addressing also technical issues. Answers to regulatory challenges are still vague.|
|Team||Mostly transparent involvement, mainly through the Stox site, less through LinkedIn. Quite a few invest.com team members on the business side, plus CoinTree talent on the blockchain side.|
|Location||Not sure. Invest.com’s HQ are in Cyprus.|
Note, however, that Stox is in Israel.
|Blockchain||Ethereum ERC20 + Bancor for smart contracts, IPFS for content discovery|
|Project Code||N/A. Planned to be open source.|
|Prototype||N/A, but there are concept screenshots (both web and mobile).|
|Token Rights||All financial activity within the Stox network (predictions, fees, collaterals, …).|
|Token as Asset||Exchange.|