Whales vs. Minnows: Will traders hold at least 10000x as many YES shares as there are traders holding NO shares?
resolved Apr 30

Team Whale gets 1 point for each 10,000 YES shares they collectively hold.

Team Minnow gets 1 point for each trader holding NO shares.

The team with the most points at close wins.

The market stops normal trading activity at 18:30 Pacific time on April 24th. At this time, it enters "pseudorandom close mode", where it closes as soon as a bitcoin block is mined with a hash that ends in "00". (With 144 blocks per day and hexidecimal hashes, this means it'll likely resolve within 2 days.) I probably won't be online at the exact time the block is mined, so I'll just resolve the market whenever I get back and see that this has occurred. (It'll resolve based on the state it was in at the time the block was mined; any new investements from team Whale or new traders on Team Minnow afterwards won't count.) The information source on bitcoin hashes and mining times we'll use is here.

All NO shareholders count towards team minnow's points, except:

  • Any account that has declared itself to be an alt, and is not a bot account.

  • Accounts that have been banned from Manifold.

A "bot account" refers to any account with the "bot" tag that is clearly not human-controlled and has a good reason to exist as a separate account. (e.g. @acc and @Botlab)

If anyone is suspicious that an account may be an undeclared alt being used to unfairly inflate team minnow's points, (which is a violation of Manifold's community guidelines), they should report that account to Manifold using the "report" button on that account's profile page. Market resolution may be delayed for up to a month after close to allow Manifold to investigate these reports.

The resolution council may choose to disqualify some suspected alt accounts, even if Manifold has not banned them.

Note that I phrased the market description in terms of "points" to make it more intuitive, but the title is the technically correct resolution. i.e. Team Whale can get fractional points, and they'll win a tie. (But a tie is extremely unlikely, since buying just 1 more share can break the tie.)

Given the disagreements and ambiguity about this market's close date and resolution criteria, and the fact that I'm both the market creator and one of its largest shareholders, I have delegated its management to @jack, @Conflux, and @MartinRandall. They have final say over all descisions, and it's effectively "their market".

🏅 Top traders

#NameTotal profit
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bingeworthy avatar
bingeworthypredicted NO

Video summary of this market that I made

42irrationalist avatar
42irrationalistpredicted NO

Mantic Monday 5/22/23
Mantic Monday 5/22/23
Whales v. Minnows // US v. Itself // EPJ v. The Veil Of Time // Balaji v. Medlock
42irrationalist avatar
42irrationalistpredicted NO

This market made it to a post by Scott Alexander: https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/mantic-monday-52223

IsaacKing avatar
Isaacpredicted YES

Ok, I believe this is the final list of everyone I owe mana to for selling out of their NO position. (It includes all the mooks since I was too lazy to filter those out. They obviously don't get a payout.) If you're on this list, (or aren't on this list and believe you should be), please PM me on Discord so I can send you your manalink. My Discord ID is IsaacKing#7376.

AK: M$1667

Ben Mc Gloin: M$527

Primer: M$992

Bruno Ursino: M$1144

Neon Nuke: M$502

Alt102938: M$550

Humble Farmer: M$793

Williams Keller: M$503

Mohammad Bin faysal: M$503

Carson Gale: M$502

Nadja_L: M$502

Tоm: M$502

Tassilo Neubauer: M$502

Rik Kolin: M$502

Sam Sarjeant: M$517

aggreeegator: M$513

Kongo Landwalker: M$513

Michael: M$510

Cris: M$502

James Lee: M$558

Berg: M$507

Carla Calero: M$529


Gabriel Flores: M$528

Smartlance Agency: M$528

Danielka Espinoza: M$528

Lisa Marsh: M$527

Hazel Vivas: M$526

Scott Lawrence: M$526

Akharume Ak Faruk: M$526

JGY: M$526

Great Enulee: M$526

Jeleelat Bolaji: M$526

Ayomide Olabode: M$525

Dah Blakk: M$525

Safurat Bamigbade: M$525

Adeola Owolabi: M$525


Hollahmielekan Aliu: M$525

Adelani Ayobami: M$524

Janjan Alo Cabanlit: M$523

Heis Raphxn: M$523

Samuel Christianah: M$523

Denîse Guevara: M$530

johnlee jumaoas: M$523

Shiena Ilagan Omboy: M$522

Ayiesha Marie: M$522

Adebisi Basirat: M$522

Blessing Eguh: M$522

Tonie Labutap: M$522

Ola Smart: M$522

Hikaru Montejo Kojo: M$522

Kelvin Isibor: M$522

Mario Vallejo: M$528

Jay Jumao-as: M$521

Nina Tanjay: M$521

Paolo Labutap: M$521

Botratombo Fanambinantsoa Anth: M$521

Tricia De Luna: M$521

Kit Ochea Batiquin: M$521

Marie Vanessa Tsarazafy: M$521

Julita Labutap: M$521

Anna Arisoa: M$521

Abubakar Joyia: M$520

Mürinö Yöng: M$520

Arts Dan: M$520

Muhammad Imran Malik: M$520

Muhammad Ahmad: M$520

Omorodion Osas: M$520

Azhar Farooq: M$520

Zion Drake Ecoy: M$520

Mudassir Ali Kulachi: M$520

samarelmansy: M$520

Abubakar Uzair: M$520


Ikhide Helen: M$520

Khurram Rashee: M$520

A Ashfaq: M$520

Isaac Zicko Anthony: M$520

Luke Aigbe: M$520

Russel Resubal: M$520

Mohsin Khan Joyia: M$520

Dilawar Khan Abbasi: M$520

Usama Jabbar: M$520

Nourwalid: M$520

Ch Ùsàma Numberdaar: M$520

Kashif Khan: M$520

Mohsin Ali: M$520

Rashid Khan: M$520

Hasino Aliyu: M$520

irakli abuashvili: M$520

Muhammad Mughees Farhan: M$520

Jun Resubal Jr: M$520

Arman Ray Nisay: M$520

Abdelrahman salim: M$520

Muhammad Tayab: M$520

Usman Farid: M$520

Ubaid Tariq: M$520

Muhammad Umar Alam: M$520

Muhammad Ali CH: M$520

Sajid Karim: M$520

Junaid Iftikhar: M$520

M Ahmad: M$520

Shah Zaib Rafi: M$519

Glory Ofure Akao: M$519

Bolaji Samuel Abiodun: M$519

Fahim Shahzad: M$519

M Shahzad M Riaz: M$519

Muhammad Umer Ch: M$519

Rana Zubair: M$525

AOun Niaz: M$519

Azam Sandhu: M$519

Rehan Yousaf: M$519

Adnan Ali: M$519

Saeed Anwar Dawar: M$519

Numan Nomi: M$519

Christopher Romero: M$519

Muhammad Zubair: M$519

Melvin Sequeira: M$518

Itz Joezy Eyo: M$523

Akinloye Khadijat: M$523

Idagu Janet: M$521

Eneh Doris: M$522

Kerby Daniel: M$522

Akintunde Bankole: M$522

Edel Jhonrex Santino Sarzuelo: M$522

Kathalella Montiel: M$516

Ramon Galeano: M$516

Key Castillo: M$516

Urakih Wang: M$520

Muhammad Bilal Joyia: M$520

Romina Bemarina: M$520

Gladys Tamayo Resubal: M$520

Ahmad Bilal: M$520

Waqas Ahmad: M$520

Rana Mujahid Hussain: M$520

Muhammad Shahid: M$520

M Wisaal Yar: M$519

M Ayoob khan: M$519

Muhammad Akhtar: M$519

Fidelis Osi Aliu: M$519

Asad Shirazi: M$519

aime anne resubal nisay (aime): M$519

Rose Rodríguez: M$514

Nino Kapanadze: M$514

Muhammad Hanzla: M$519

Mariam Kapanadze: M$514

Ano Khazhomia: M$514

Marita Demetrashvili: M$514

Joseling Silva: M$515

Tee King: M$556

Shanomi Emmanuel: M$553

Young Gailean: M$1341

duck_master: M$541

Saif Ullah: M$540

Farukh Javed: M$540

joseph odhiambo: M$540

Jonathan Emode: M$539

Higgs Casey: M$539

Hal Davies: M$564

Godswill Ukeagbu Uche: M$539

Festus Osasenaga: M$538

Amayogbe Ernest: M$538

Fátima Pérez Duarte: M$549

Ali Hassan: M$549

Boris Montenegro: M$530

Jamaica Jumao-as: M$540

Sarah Banzon Bartolome: M$539

Innocent: M$539

M Hassan Tariq: M$539

Imran Mughal: M$539

Alejandra Ferrufino: M$538

Nderitu Muya: M$561

Muhammad Touqeer: M$560

Hafiz Syed Yahya Abid: M$560

Liss Sequeira: M$559

Patrick Ani: M$575

Ali Haider: M$572

Isaac Butcher: M$578

zwee: M$597

Dach: M$597

Mf-info Antalaha: M$561

aghu: M$636

Cristhiam Lazo: M$548

T: M$583

Sayad Tarif Hasan: M$605

E. G.: M$667

Chinmay: M$628

Reed Donner: M$829

Kyle Gian: M$605

Betty Nyanchama: M$625

J: M$777

Aaron Williams: M$726

Snowy Hill: M$657

Robert Cousineau: M$1500

Juan Gil: M$722

Nuno Balbona: M$701

Sakib Ali: M$620

Zidny Rayhan Aleen: M$644

Sheikh Shamim: M$628

ALC234: M$612

Aminu Mariam: M$715

Joampry Digitals: M$864

ItzNetwork: M$1544

PersonMan: M$1400

Jonah Krompart: M$1168


Donald: M$783

Pickle: M$2150

Arun Johnson: M$1108

Amelia: M$1496

Kola Abe: M$1120

Christin Abt: M$1832

John Thomas: M$1656

cloe: M$1833

trooper: M$2338

BenjaminIkuta avatar
Benjamin Ikutapredicted YES

@IsaacKing You're an honorable man.

MayMeta avatar
MayMetapredicted NO

@IsaacKing bro 162 of those are your own bots, why did you even list them?

MayMeta avatar
MayMetapredicted NO

at least 162*

IsaacKing avatar

@MayMeta If you had bothered to read the second sentence of the comment you're responding to, you would know the answer to that.

firstuserhere avatar
firstuserherepredicted NO

Today in between my breaks, I hacked together this quick narration based on @Conflux's summary below of the Whales vs Minnows market, with ChatGPT, midjourney, and voice cloning adding to the creativity.

In the voice of David Attenborough

chilli avatar
chillipredicted NO

To resolve this market (https://manifold.markets/chilli/will-the-whales-vs-minnows-market-b).

Will the "Whales vs. Minnows" market be good for Manifold?

chilli avatar
chillipredicted NO


chilli avatar
chillipredicted NO


JosephNoonan avatar
Joseph Noonanpredicted NO

@chilli Hm, my first instinct was to vote No because of the real-world harm that the market did, but given that you specifically asked about whether it would be good for Manifold, I don't think Isaac's loss of RL cash falls under the scope of the question. For the same reason, charitable donations don't fall under its scope as a potential good done by the market. So, I came up with a list of pros and cons that are in scope.


  • Brought new people to Manifold

  • Caused Manifold to implement new policies about alts, and probably some new policies to prevent excessive spending on whalebait markets, and make the site more prediction-focused rather than gambling focused.

  • It was fun for plenty of users, including a lot of the new users.

  • Way more people had profits than losses, so all the profiteers have that as a benefit.

  • It made money for Manifold (technically good for Manifold, even if the money was made in a bad way).


  • One of Manifold's most prolific creators can't make markets anymore because he has a negative balance (though I think he has a plan to come back).

  • All the drama made Manifold less fun for some users, and some might be reluctant to keep using Manifold because of the drama.

  • Makes Manifold seem less focused on actual prediction when this and "The Market" are the biggest events of 2023

  • The harm caused by this market may be outside the scope of the question, but any bad publicity it causes for Manifold is definitely in-scope.

  • Some of the pros could actually be bad (e.g., some of the new users come from toxic places online and could make the site worse; new policies might make the site less fun).

ElmerFudd avatar
elmopredicted NO

@JosephNoonan Some of the cons could be good. Manifold learned that fun markets are catnip to current users and should consider how to balance those with prediction. Drama is fun, all publicity is good publicity, and so on.

JosephNoonan avatar
Joseph Noonanpredicted NO

@ElmerFudd Yeah, similarly to how I mentioned that some of the pros can be bad, most of the things I listed aren't totally clear cut as all good or all bad

Jason avatar
Jasonpredicted NO

@JosephNoonan Con: A regulatory agency might see the big loss as evidence that Manifold is more like a gambling site or quasi-securities market than it purports to be. (Definitely not legal advice, but I think refunding most of Issac's cash was a wise move from a risk-management perspective. Without conducting further research and examining possible precedent, I'd guess Manifold is in a gray area and is best served by erring on the side of appearing responsible.)

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randallpredicted NO

@chilli Experience is the best teacher, not the kindest.

I think there's lots to learn for Manifold devs and the Manifold community, but we're not as well placed to benefit from it as I'd like.

The devs learned some things about handling downsides but they're still trying to get market fit and implement core features (good multiple response markets please!) and pivoting to fix some of these downsides now is badly timed.

The community learned some things but we're not empowered to use that - we don't have community moderation tools, don't have a wiki, don't have good market-tagging tools, etc.

JosephNoonan avatar
Joseph Noonanpredicted NO

@MartinRandall Hm, that's a good point. Even if the new rules themselves are good, they could be a net detriment if they delay the development of other features.

Odoacre avatar


Con: the economy was screwed up. A lot of people made lots of mana but the value of the redistribution is questionable

Con: manifold refused to step in and fix the mess, creating an unfortunate precedent. You could say this is a pro, but in my opinion for a young community it is important to set guidelines and manage defining events like this one. It seems manifold has chosen to just let stuff happen. And this in now pretty clear to all.

AlexK avatar
Alexpredicted NO

@JosephNoonan I'm out of the loop; what was "The Market"?

firstuserhere avatar
firstuserherepredicted NO
ScroogeMcDuck avatar
Scrooge McDuck
Frankt avatar
Franktpredicted NO

@Jotto999 What about 500% leveraged Kelly?

ScroogeMcDuck avatar
Scrooge McDuck

@Frankt That way lies death

A vast hell-themed graveyard with demons.
JacyAnthis avatar
Jacy Reese Anthispredicted NO

@Jotto999 The Kelly Criterion is based on a logarithmic utility function. If your utility function is superlogarithmic, you should bet more than Kelly suggests. If your utility function is sublogarithmic, you should bet less than Kelly suggests. That's just math.

Frankt avatar
Franktpredicted NO

@JacyAnthis Take the linear utility function, assuming whatever mana you make will be donated anyway. With the consideration that Manifold is going to bail you out and refund you when you lost, it make sense to go 500% leveraged. Should have just gone for the maximum leverage possible

ScroogeMcDuck avatar
Scrooge McDuck

@JacyAnthis I'm very skeptical when people claim to have a e.g. linear utility function. Whatever rationale they give, in the real world, that tends to end disastrously. And the bigger the bettor, the more an excessive bet produces bad side-effects/externalities onto others when it eventually goes bust. Isaac was likely traumatized by his mistake here, and it didn't need to happen at this scale. He may recover but...you have to survive mistakes, for superlogarithmic utility to be useful.

Note that there are situations when going somewhat above Kelly can be better. E.g. in some evolutionary situations when the goal is relative wealth instead of absolute.

But when some people say it's worth to just max out bets in a directly linear fashion for charity, they're kidding themselves. They sound like SBF. They blow up eventually, and the bigger they were, the more of a negative externality their foolishness becomes.

ScroogeMcDuck avatar
Scrooge McDuck

@Frankt In a sufficiently-synthetic list of assumptions, maxing out could be the most-productive thing. But given real-world uncertainty and side-effects, alas...

Frankt avatar
Franktpredicted NO

@Jotto999 nah SBF was just unlucky. Obviously people with actual linear utility function would rationally bet all their wealth (or more than that), and of course you will see 99% of them end disastrously (e.g. going bankrupt) because that's what happens when you bet all your wealth repeatedly. But in an alternate universe, where Bitcoin kept rising, SBF might have already became the richest man on Earth after he doubled his wealth 10 times.


TobyBW avatar
TobyBWpredicted NO

I don't know about all this Kelly and logarithmic, I just like putting money on NO so that what I did. If you always bet everything on the side that is going to win, you'll never lose.

ScroogeMcDuck avatar
Scrooge McDuck

@Frankt They push it well into net negative (for society at large) when they're doing this at big scales. SBF didn't just get rich and donate billions to charity in that 1% of worlds, and then harmlessly fade in the 99%. He cost society billions in those 99% of outcomes.

Usually I think rationalists have great judgment. But this acceptance of destructive position sizing is just nuts (particularly when done at large scale). When they're betting $5 at a carnival, they can get away with "linear utility". The bigger the scale, the more they're just being insane and dooming a lot of value to a negative-sum bet.

@TobyBusickWarner Alas, if someone is committed to nuking themselves, so be it.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randallpredicted NO

@Jotto999 I think the better lesson is, don't get into dollar auctions. Or don't play chicken.

JosephNoonan avatar
Joseph Noonanpredicted NO

This market brought a lot of new users to the site, so some of you probably don't know that you can donate your mana to charity (100 mana = $1 donation). You can choose which charity you want it to go to and how much you want to donate here: https://manifold.markets/charity

Let's make sure something good comes out of this market.

Jason avatar
Jasonpredicted NO

Does anyone feel a bit compromised for having made mana in this market? Intellectually, I shouldn't because I bought before the big mana purchase and without any reason to suspect someone might do that. In addition, there's no real nexus between purchasing small amounts of NO and encouraging the cash purchase.

I was probably going to donate some or all of my ~4,000 M profit to GiveWell anyway, but my compromised feeling probably contributed to, or at least made made more confident in, my decision to donate it all.

42irrationalist avatar
42irrationalistpredicted NO

@Jason I don't feel compromised. On the net I lost more mana than I won in stupid zero-sum markets. Even for the markets Isaac was involved in it's break even (The Market).

JosephNoonan avatar
Joseph Noonanpredicted NO

@Jason Yeah, same feeling here. Feels bad to make a profit in a market that hurt someone in real life, but at least we can make the best of it by donating it to charity. I was just about to post the link for all the newcomers who joined the site for this market.

f avatar
RealLiespredicted NO

@JosephNoonan kinda feels like C: The Money of Soul and possibility Control

Traveel avatar
Traveelpredicted YES

Rip Isaac’s mana. This is why you shouldn’t gamble, kids.

Radicalia avatar
Radicaliapredicted NO (edited)

Edit: I feel bad about what I originally said here after seeing the real emotional effect this had on Isaac. I think Isaac had behaved dishonestly in the past in a way that cost me Mana, but I think I was too mean here. I’m sorry Isaac.

Conflux avatar

The Story of Whales vs. Minnows

A lot happened in this market, so I wanted to ""quickly"" summarize the main plot points so everyone's caught up. After "The Market" resolved, @IsaacKing "found it interesting that this market ended up getting framed as 'the whales vs the masses,' despite the largest whale actually being on team YES. So here's one where that's actually true." It was framed in terms of Team Whale and Team Minnow, but it quickly became clear that Team Whale was a team of one: Isaac King himself. There emerged concerns about highly ambiguous resolution criteria — initially the market would wait to resolve until no one was betting, except if "after a week it looked like it wouldn't be closing any time soon", at which point it would close once a Bitcoin block was mined with hash ending in 00. A week after what? It also was unclear how exactly alt accounts would be counted and removed from counting for the Minnows. Therefore, Isaac delegated resolution to a resolution council of myself, @MartinRandall, and @jack. We sold our shares to remove conflicts of interest (and I offloaded a private loan that I had that gave me indirect interest in NO). We established when the Bitcoin process would begin and set some standards for determining alts.

In any case, the Minnows had taken a healthy lead — each NO bettor required an investment of Ṁ10,000 on YES, after all — and @tornado embarked on a plan to spend real money to hire people from developing countries to make accounts and bet NO. However, Isaac had also been hiring people, and he had them give him his API keys, allowing him to bet for them using a computer program. He initially had them bet NO, to make it seem like the Minnows' lead was safer, but once the random resolution process began, he had them all sell and bought enough YES to put Team Whale into the lead. He spent USD$30,000 on mana for this market, perhaps thinking of it as an elaborate way to make a charity donation: after all, he couldn't lose...right? The market hit 100.0%. We on the resolution council lamented that we couldn't buy NO, but debated whether we'd sell at 96 or 99.

However, Isaac (and we) underestimated the resilience of Team Minnow's recruiting efforts; in particular, recruiting from the Destiny community, whose conceptually flawed early "stock" markets were often won by Isaac. In any case, he then realized that spending additional thousands of dollars to gamble on Manifold was unwise. Manifold graciously decided to refund Isaac $25k of his purchase, and also announced some steps to turn the website back toward real prediction, such as their new Showcase group of markets with Ṁ10,000 subsidies. (Are you a newly rich user looking to maximize profits? You can now do it with prediction instead of whaling on self-resolving markets!) They also changed their alt policy to make it clear that using alts to manipulate markets is banned.

Anyway, the Bitcoin process. Hashes are in hexadecimal, so the chance of a hash ending in 00 is 1 in 256, and there are typically 144 hashes in a day, so the expected time was about 2 days. Instead, it lasted about 6. The chance of this is pretty low, around 9% I think someone said. But that's how it goes sometimes! The market drifted around 10% during that period, on the outside chance that the Whales would mount a comeback, or that more accounts were alts than so appeared. But such a comeback did not materialize.

Whales vs. Minnows (1366 traders, Ṁ6,341,376 volume) was, for better or for worse, quite epic. There's still a lot of detail I was unable to include in this summary (I also wrote it somewhat quickly), but you'll have to wait for the video essay, I suppose...

JonahKrompart avatar
Jonah Krompart

@Conflux I ain’t readin all that shit but very cool 👍

cos avatar

@JonahKrompart Have you considered watching the documentary instead?

JonahKrompart avatar
Jonah Krompart

@cos Ok I watch that now

Conflux avatar

My god, this market was such a mess. But at least the Minnows made it easy to resolve!

Resolution Reasoning

Before looking at alts, the Minnows have 949 points and the Whales have around 575. So to resolve YES, the Minnows needed to contain at least 374 alts. The resolution council has done some cursory alt checking, and there simply aren't even close to enough possible alts to make a difference. We said that if anyone was suspicious of an account being an illegal alt, they should use the "report" button to report it. However, we found that there were only about 100 alt reports, before even cross-referencing whether they're on the Minnows team, or doing any checking at all to see if the reports are legitimate. Considering self-declared alts, there are 11 hits on the word "alt" in usernames or bios. Even if these numbers are slightly wrong, they're still not anywhere in the ballpark. In addition, we did some checking of suspicions that a majority of new accounts were alts, but we concluded that they were most likely real new users from the Destiny community who wanted the anime supervillain to lose. In any case, it's a Minnow victory, and a NO resolution!

Official Alt Counting

We're aware there are some secondary markets on the exact number of officially determined alts on this market, or on the exact score. We don't plan to give an official estimate — it's not really in our job description, since the market clearly resolves NO — but we may give an unofficial estimate, depending on demand.

Despite the tumult, I'd like to thank @IsaacKing for making a market that led to fun for many, and for acting in what I believe to be good faith throughout. I'd also like to thank @MartinRandall and @jack for being really helpful members of the resolution council, and the Manifold team for helping out and building a platform that can be used for silly and stupid things alike. Have fun out there, and remember not to spend money you can't afford to lose!

Conflux avatar

Well, the hash happened! Finally. Ignoring alts, the Minnows have 949 points and the Whales have around 575. We'd be pretty surprised if more than 40% of the Minnows are alts, but we still want to confirm we believe this before resolving the market. It shouldn't take too long!

Thanks everyone for bearing with us, and tentative congratulations to the Minnows! The King has been dethroned.

nickten avatar
nicktenpredicted NO at 8%

@Conflux Long live the king Catnee (Bot) i guess

tornado avatar
tornadopredicted NO at 8%

ButtocksCocktoasten avatar

@tornado Glad to see that the blockchain god showed us his rational00ssy

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