Polymarket Traders Betting on Sam Altman's Fate Have Become Bipolar

24 hours ago, prediction markets were almost certain that Altman wouldn't be back as OpenAI's CEO. Now the market's answer to that question has changed twice.

AccessTimeIconNov 21, 2023 at 7:33 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 1:59 a.m. UTC

Betters on decentralized prediction platform Polymarket really aren't sure if Sam Altman will be coming back as OpenAI's chief executive amidst ongoing corporate drama.

On Polymarket, shares of the Yes side of the contract "Sam back as CEO of OpenAI" are currently trading at 55 cents, representing a market belief that the Yes side has a 55% chance of being correct. That's a significant upward revision from the 10% probability priced 24 hours ago.

Altman, the chief executive of the artificial intelligence startup behind ChatGPT, was forced out of his role over the weekend reportedly due to lack of consistency in candidate communications with the board.

Since Altman's expulsion, OpenAI has been facing a significant internal revolt, with most employees demanding the resignation of three directors, following the controversial removal of CEO Sam Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman, leading to a potential leadership change and questioning the company's future direction, the Financial Times reported.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg said OpenAI is engaged in intensive negotiations to resolve internal conflicts and reunite its team following the controversial dismissal of CEO Sam Altman and the interim appointment of Emmett Shear, amidst employee threats to quit and efforts by investors and Microsoft to reinstate Altman potentially.


As the Monday business day in the U.S. dragged on and backroom corporate politics continued, the Yes side went as low as 18 cents by mid-day before rising back up to 50 cents, then hovering between 48 and 53 as the afternoon wore on. Later, it flipped again in late American hours as Bloomberg published its story.

So far, traders have bet $210,579 in this contract alone, with liquidity surging in the past 24 hours.

At the same time, another Polymarket contract, with much less liquidity, asked betters if Emmet Shear – appointed to replace Altman – would be the CEO of OpenAI by week's end.


The Yes side of that contract is currently trading for 68 cents and went as low as 32 cents during Monday's U.S. trading hours.

Aside from the ongoing competition for OpenAI's top job, The Information reported that FTX-backed Anthropic's CEO Dario Amodei rejected a merger offer from OpenAI's board, which included replacing Altman as CEO, amidst negotiations complicated by FTX's $500 million stake in Anthropic and legal issues surrounding the exchange's bankruptcy last November.

Edited by Omkar Godbole.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.