Twitch lets users play the stock market with someone else’s money

Twitch lets users play the stock market with someone else’s money
Credit: StockStream/Twitch

A new Twitch channel is letting an audience of thousands buy stocks with one man’s $50,000 — and they’re actually doing quite well.

StockStream claims to be “the world’s first cooperative multiplayer stock market game using real money.” It was created by Amazon engineer Mike Roberts, who said the audience has so far selected a “reasonable, diversified portfolio,” including AMD, Tesla, and Apple.

In order to play, players participate in five-minute voting rounds, using chat commands to select a stock to buy or sell. According to the channel description, “Every 5 minutes the top buy or sell command will be executed and one share will be bought or sold.”

Roberts said in an interview with Polygon that he invested the $50k out of pocket to get the channel started. His audience’s financial acumen surprised him: “Before today, I was a bit skeptical — thought I might lose money quickly, but things seem OK.”

The trades are all done via the Robinhood trading app. All money in tips or donations go to the Robinhood trading account, and are used to buy shares. According to the StockStream website, “due to FINRA/SEC regulations, trading will halt if the account value falls below $25,000.”

Perhaps most surprisingly, the chat is focused and civil. I spent about an hour in the channel and never once saw anything objectionable or upsetting in the chat. In a stream with a view count holding steady at 2,300 strong, that’s a feat somewhere between balancing six spinning plates and herding rabid cats.

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