OpenAI CEO Drama Makes a Market for Blockchain Betters

Over $250,000 in liquidity was built up in prediction market contracts on Polymarket over the weekend, from the serious to the absurd.

AccessTimeIconNov 20, 2023 at 7:44 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 1:56 a.m. UTC

Nobody knows why Sam Altman was forced out of OpenAI. But betters on decentralized prediction platform Polymarket are putting their money where their mouth is when they take a guess.

Over the weekend, Altman, the Chief Executive of the multi-billion artificial intelligence startup behind ChatGPT, was forced out of his role because he "was not consistently candid in his communications" with the board.

While the memo was not specific about why Altman was forced to depart from the company, this was no reason for gamblers on Polymarket not to spin up prediction market contracts to bet on why he left – or what he plans on doing next.

Currently, the market with the most liquidity is one that asks betters to predict if Altman will be back as CEO by the end of the year. While "Yes" shares are trading for 10 cents – representing a 10% chance – this outcome flipped over the course of Sunday U.S. time when Bloomberg reported that former Twitch boss Emmet Shear had been appointed to the role.


Another contract asks if Altman would be criminally charged by Nov. 30, with Yes currently trading at 1 cent. A report from Axios, citing a leaked memo, says that Altman's firing "was not made in response to malfeasance or anything related to our financial, business, safety, or security/privacy practices."

Contracts are also asking betters if, for example, Altman will announce a new company by Nov. 24 (Yes is currently trading at 24 cents), if Altman will sue OpenAI, or if Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI's chief scientist, will still be at the company by Jan. 1. More than $250,000 in liquidity was spread across eight prediction contracts on Sunday.

Some reports say that Sutskever was instrumental in removing Altman from the company.

Meanwhile, AI-themed tokens rallied over the weekend as Musk announced X was a shareholder of XAI, and OpenAI's Macbethian corporate drama intrigued traders.

Edited by Omkar Godbole.


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