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The Big Take

A New Prediction Market Lets Investors Bet Big on Almost Anything

Recently approved by the CFTC, Kalshi lets people place five-figure wagers on the outcome of the Grammys, the next Covid wave, and future SEC commissioners. What could go wrong?

Kalshi’s founders Luana Lopes Lara (left) and Tarek Mansour. 

Kalshi’s founders Luana Lopes Lara (left) and Tarek Mansour. 

Source: Kalshi

On Nov. 3, 2020, Election Day, two young entrepreneurs received a call from the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with some important news. Luana Lopes Lara and Tarek Mansour had spent the past 18 months trying to get permission to start an ambitious and controversial new type of financial exchange—one where, rather than betting on equity prices or commodity futures, people could trade instruments tied to the outcomes of real-world events, such as the passage of legislation, the weather on a particular day, or the winner of best actor at the Oscars.

New Prediction Market Lets You Bet on...