Kalshi Lets Exchange Traders Predict Price of Gas, Eyes New Event Outcome Trading Market

Posted on: June 8, 2022, 05:00h. 

Last updated on: June 9, 2022, 01:30h.

As gas prices continue soaring to record high prices daily, it may be hard for many Americans to figure out how they can beat the pain at the pump. One website, however, is offering people a chance to profit from the situation.

Gas prices
A Circle K sign shows the price of gas and diesel at the Louisville, Ky., convenience store. Kalshi, an online financial exchange, is offering a market that allows people to predict what the average cost of gas will be this week. (Image: Casino.org)

Kalshi is an online exchange that offers trading on event outcomes. The concept is similar to PredictIt, the political exchange. While the two sites have some markets that overlap, Kalshi’s offerings cover more than just government and politics and include financial markets, weather, and economics.

This is where the price of gas comes into play.

One of the current opportunities Kalshi is offering is the chance to guess what the average gas price will be for this week, using data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The agency is scheduled to post the average price for this week on Monday, June 13.

The ‘New’ New York Stock Exchange

There are six options on Kalshi, ranging from more than $4.75 to more than $5.00, and each option offers two-way yes-or-no action.

Traders buy shares at market value on the outcome they expect. If they’re correct, they get a dollar for each share. So if the trader bought 100 shares at 50 cents each, they would double their money.

In a recent blog post on the trading site, Kalshi’s leaders said they were “building the New York Stock Exchange of events.” The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a federal regulatory agency, approved Kalshi to operate as an exchange in November 2020, and last July, the company launched online.

From the onset, Kalshi’s mission has always been clear: allow people and businesses to mitigate and take control of risks that relate to them,” the blog post stated. “Financial firms and banks have designed complex, indirect products to allow large institutions to get or hedge exposure to events, a deeply powerful tool. The question we asked: why shouldn’t everyone have access to this?”

By Wednesday afternoon, trading volume has surpassed $12,000 on this week’s gas price market. Other markets have more substantial trading. One market on whether the US will enter into a recession by the end of the second quarter of this year has generated a handle in excess of $455,000.

Kalshi Backed By $30M Investment

Kalshi was founded by Tarek Mansour and Luana Lopes Lara in 2018. They saw a market for event outcome trading after researching such products for institutional investors at Goldman Sachs and Citadel.

In February 2021, Kalshi’s founders secured $30 million in Series A funding. Among those involved included Charles Schwab, chairman, and founder of the eponymous discount brokerage.

At the time of that announcement, Mansour said “markets for information” would be as valuable as markets for traditional investments, such as oil and farm crops.

“These contracts will become a powerful instrument in the modern investor’s toolkit,” he said.

Gas Prices Show No Signs of Dropping

Gas prices continued to go up across the country. On Wednesday, AAA reported the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded was $4.955, up from Tuesday’s average of $4.919. Last week, consumers were paying $4.671.

As of Monday, the EIA – the agency Kalshi uses to grade its gas price market – listed the average retail gas price at $4.876 for last week, up more than a quarter from the previous week.