Introduction to Zeitgeist

Last Modified:
March 1, 2024

Zeitgeist is a blockchain platform that allows users to bet on the outcomes of events. It facilitates the creation, trading, and resolution of prediction markets.

What is a prediction market?

A prediction market is a type of financial market that allows participants to earn by correctly predicting the final result of an event, such as an election, a basketball match, a new government policy, a change in stock price, etc. Each possible outcome is treated as an asset. Users buy or sell shares of the outcome they predict will come true. If the predicted outcome comes true, they can redeem the shares they bought for cash. On the other hand, if the predicted outcome does not happen, the shares lose their value. 

The value of a share in a prediction market depends on how likely it is for the particular outcome to take place. For example, if the market in general feels there’s a 90% chance of a presidential candidate losing the election and a 10% chance that he loses, the value of the “Candidate X will lose the election” share will be higher than the value of the “Candidate X will win the election” share. In this situation, if the candidate does end up winning the election after all, someone who buys many shares of the outcome “Candidate X will win the election” will reap a huge profit. 

Prediction markets can be very useful for:

  • Evaluating social behavior (such as whether or not breaking news about a global conflict will affect market prices)
  • Forecasting the outcome of events that rely heavily on public sentiment (such as whether or not a candidate will win a popularity contest)
  • Making informed policies (decision-makers may propose a policy and let the citizens’ responses via the prediction market determine its success or failure)

An example of a Web3-friendly platform that lets users participate in prediction markets is Zeitgeist. Zeitgeist operates as a parachain on Polkadot, and ZTG is its native token with a genesis supply of 100,000,000. ZTG is used for transaction fees, governance decisions, and as the base currency in prediction markets.

Here's how to get started:

Step 1

Access Zeitgeist on your browser and select "Enter App."

Step 2

Connect your crypto wallet.

Select your wallet and account from the list.

Step 3

Get ZTG, DOT, or USDT tokens to participate.

You may either buy tokens or deposit funds from another wallet or exchange.

Step 4

Under Markets, find an entry to make a prediction on. You will need either ZTG (Zeitgeist’s native token) or DOT (Polkadot’s native token) to participate. Most entries require ZTG.

Step 5

Finally, select an outcome from the choices. Purchase your chosen “outcome asset” using your tokens. You can sell these shares later when you wish.

Overall, Zeitgeist is a simplified, blockchain-backed way to earn income from making predictions about the future.