Why I Bet $10K Against Trump’s Truth Social

This is a story about how YOU can make thousands of dollars predicting politics without having any actual political experience. The focus is on:

TRUTH Social | Truth Social

And Polymarket’s bet:

First, some background: On January 6th, it was widely reported that Donald Trump’s Truth Social app would be released in the iOS App Store on February 22, 2022.

If you Google Truth Social Release Date, this is one of the first results you get:

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I didn’t take an interest in the market right away. But I did when I saw this tweet and related article about Truth Social’s CEO, Devin Nunes (yes, that Devin Nunes).

The article links to this January 13 radio appearance, in which Nunes said the release date will be “by the end of March.”

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I thought it was fairly safe to assume that although February 21 was technically “by the end of March,” the actual release date would likely be close to the end of March at the earliest since that’s how much time Truth’s own CEO was giving himself.

So now we’re left with the word of the CEO vs. the date in the App Store

So, who do we trust? This is the challenge of predicting. At some point, you must decide which incomplete forecast is the correct one and stake your money on it.

But before you do that, dig deeper.

With some more research, I found that the earliest announcement of Truth Social was on October 20, 2021, but no announcement of the release date was reported until January 6. Hmmm. So why did they put a release date of February 21 when the CEO would walk it back 7 days later?

It turns out they didn’t. I found this website that had a picture of the Truth Social app in the App Store that was taken October 20 and it already had the release date of February 21.

So “Coming February 21” wasn’t new on January 6; that’s just when everyone reported it. That means the mystery we’re trying to solve just got a lot simpler.

Predicting TRUTH Social’s release date was now a question of deciding between:

The CEO’s comments in January 2022 vs. an app release date that was populated in October of 2021

And that is a no-brainer.

CEO Devin Nunes’s “end or March” comments were much stronger evidence. But to firm this up, there was one more question to ask:

Was the app in the App Store even ready for TRUTH Social’s release? I found more evidence by leaning on my experience in IT & software.

(And btw, you too have professional skills that can give you an advantage in prediction markets — use them.)

Truth Social is a Mastodon fork (this is nerd talk for “Trump’s social platform is based on Mastadon”).

I compared the file sizes and Mastodon itself is 41 MB while Truth Social is 13.4 MB on the iPhone (both are larger on the app store website but Mastodon is still much larger.) This was a backdoor way of evaluating how complete the app itself was.

The answer: Truth Social was less than 1/3 the size of app it’s based on.

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But that’s fine. Maybe it doesn’t use all the functionality. So I found another Mastodon fork app, Librem Social, that is 18.9 MB. But look at it. It’s the most bare-boned Twitter clone possible, without a chat feature. And it’s still 50% bigger than Truth Social.

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Now we had a CEO stating a late March release, an app that clearly wasn’t ready for release, and prices for NO were still around $0.80. The only danger left was an accidental release of the app. How plausible is that?

When you submit an app for presale, you have to populate an estimated release date. This is the date that is shown in the app store and the Truth Social app developers picked 2/21 as this date.

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In addition to that, you have to select a release type. The options are shown here:

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They clearly didn’t choose option 2. The only danger was if they chose option 3 and forgot to update it before Monday, Feb 21. We have no way of knowing what they chose.

So now, the end game…

At this point the market comes down to “is Trump’s new company so incompetent that they accidentally release their first product before it’s ready?” I think it’s highly unlikely and will buy more shares if the price dips in the coming days.

Since the original Nunes interview on January 13, there have been several more and one by Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington that pointed towards a March release. These were finally widely reported around February 6 and the price went into the $0.90s even though the info was old by that point.

Here’s where we end: the price of NO, which I bet $10,000 of my own money on, is now at 94c. I’ve banked $1600 already and expect to make at least $400 more. And I did all of this by using publicly available sources mixed with a few insights I’ve gleaned from my time working in IT. Not bad for a few hours work.

You too are capable of cracking these markets using the same disciplines, and your own skill sets.

Go out and identify bets that play to your strengths and reap the benefits.

Even though political prediction markets focus on Washington, the answers to the questions themselves usually reside far outside the Capital.

Wisely deploying your skills as a professional outsider will make you a dangerous weapon — and put a few bucks in your pocket too.

GAETEN.

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