Olive oil, a cornered market, and our logo.

4 min readMay 29, 2021

One of a kind thinker and his plan

Picture yourself living in Ancient Greece, being interested in astronomy, geometry, and philosophy, but without the monetary resources…

That was Thales of Miletus’ life.

He was determined to change his current situation and started looking up for an opportunity to leverage his wisdom and creativity into material prosperity.

Once he had made it, he thought he could dedicate his life to his own affairs.

So he started looking for an asymmetric opportunity, one where he could risk a little for the possibility of earning a lot….

Olives came to his mind.

The boys having a good time at the olive harvest.

Olive oil as a highly demanded commodity

During those times, and since early days in Greece, olive oil had different uses, including as perfume, fuel for lamps, funerary ceremonies, cooking, and even as a kind of liquid soap to collect the sweat and dirt from the body.

Olives were also associated with other positive messages like peace for the olive branches and the olive trees were considered by Athenians as a gift from their patron goddess Athena, being planted in the Acropolis itself.

Acropolis and olive tree. A match made in Elysium.

Another thing Thales considered when making his plan was that olive trees only harvest every other year and the best (and most coveted) olive oil is made from green olives (not yet fully ripe), which produce significantly less oil when pressed than the black ones…

All of this made olive oil very valuable and scarce among Greeks.

Add into the mix the fact that all the other production methods for olive oil (foot crushing or pest and mortar) were significantly less efficient than olive presses and you can start figuring out what was going through our hero’s head…

He basically found a niche market for a scarce commodity where he was able to bet against the crowd, limiting his downside and opening himself to great upside, by renting all the olive presses in the region for very cheap before the harvest season.

Everyone thought the coming olive season wasn’t going to be that good but Thales disagreed based on his studies of the stars and the weather. Back in the day, this creative approach would have qualified as alpha.

He put his money where his mouth was, the season came, and every olive producer needed a press.

Sup bro.

Thales made a fortune and he’s still acknowledged as the first known person to exercise an option.

How is this related to Thales logo?

At Thales we are passionate about permissionless platforms, binary options, and the future of finance, but also about Ancient Greece's story and how the people that lived through those times used novel approaches that still have an impact on our everyday lives.

For the development of Thales’ logo, we worked closely with Justin from Interobjective Design developing the concept of iconifying the shape of the olive oil press that would have been the exact type Thales of Miletus cornered the market with.

A stone olive press like the ones Thales rented.

Initially, there was a crescent moon depicted as a perfectly framed reflection in a pool of fresh-pressed oil, referencing the groundbreaking study of astronomy and weather. This was later conceptualized into the half reflection inside the circle, giving it a more binary look.

Earlier iterations.

The spout is stylized into a thick, liquid drip to represent the oil and the profits pouring out of his carefully studied play.

If you take a look at our logo again, do you see the symbolism now?

Final version of Thales logo.

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Thales is an Ethereum protocol that allows the creation of novel on-chain, permissionless, and non-custodial Parimutuel Markets.