The AGORA market for pubs reopening has settled

Mark Roulston, Senior Data Scientist •

Blog 1

The first demonstration market on the new version of Hivemind’s AGORA platform has settled after British pubs were allowed to reopen on 4th July.

On 4th July English pubs were allowed to reopen to serve drinks on the premises for the first time since the Government ordered them to close in March to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Hivemind has been running a demonstration prediction market on its AGORA platform to predict when pubs would be allowed to resume business. At the beginning of June, this market implied a 31% chance restrictions would be lifted in July. This probability rose to 77% by 19th June and, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the 4th July reopening date on the 23rd June, the probability climbed to 85%.

The market still allowed for the possibility that the date would be pushed back if the downward trend in cases stalled but this did not happen and, on the designated Saturday, people could once more buy and consume beer at hostelries in England. Scotland must wait until 15th July for the indoor areas of pubs to reopen, although beer gardens there opened on the 6th July.

Throughout the duration of the prediction market participants could buy and sell contracts corresponding to a particular month for reopening. When the market settled, participants saw all contracts containing the correct month of July converted to 1.00 on-platform credit while all other contracts become worthless.

After settlement, the participant with the most credits was the data science team at the Epic Institute, a California-based organisation that is tackling the problem of decarbonizing the economy using market-based and commercially-proven technologies. Epic is interested in using prediction markets to improve climate scenario analysis and for providing forecasts of the evolving costs and adoption rates of new technologies.

While prediction markets can only aggregate whatever knowledge the participants may possess they are an effective way to obtain a concise quantitative summary of that knowledge.

If you would like to take part in demonstration markets on AGORA, or if you’d like to create your own markets and invite friends or colleagues to participate, then sign up to be a beta tester, or AGORA about AGORA.