Renovation time: Shelving Exotic Markets to double down on Overtime

5 min readNov 1, 2022

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings” — Stephen King

Here we are, based on the approval of TIP-98, gently shelving one of our darlings, Exotic Markets, in benefit of the whole story being written as the master Stephen King said.

Thales as a protocol is fertile land for experiments to be developed and exploration to take place, regarding open finance and its interaction with positional markets.

Exotic Markets was a great trial in having permissionless market creation and resolution, coupled with a council of community-elected members (the Oracle Council) to solve resolution disputes and oversee market creation guidelines.

Thales with his exotic look

We had lots of fun with the different Exotic markets created and learned a lot during the implementation of this novel system, but the resources associated with maintaining it didn’t match the fee returns (or the prospects to scale this in its current format), as opposed to other platforms built on top of Thales which use capital efficient AMMs (Automatic market makers), like Thales markets, ranged markets (both live on Optimism, Arbitrum, and Polygon), and Overtime (deployed on Optimism).

So, we’ll use this blog post as a kind of tribute to the Exotic Markets initiative, covering its inception, highlights, and some closing stats, to then offer a look forward at what relates to Thales' development.

Let’s get to it!

A brief look at Exotic Markets history

It all started with TIP-28 “Optimistic Exotic Positional Markets”, back then the dream was to offer permissionless markets in a decentralized manner where anyone could create markets around politics, specific sports outcomes, pop culture, or real-life events to name a few examples. Basically, the constraints were only your imagination and the market creation guidelines.

The Exotic Markets platform was successfully deployed on Optimism on April 27th 2022.

Exotic Markets launch on Optimism, April 27th

Since its launch it has seen over 330 different markets created, with more than 3400 positions taken, and an overall volume of around 136,000 USD.

You can find these and other stats in the Exotic Markets dune dashboard.

We are not gonna deep dive in how the Exotic Markets platform worked on this blog post, as you can find all that information in the documentation (which will still be supported after the deprecation) for those that are curious.

But, we’ll highlight some markets created by the community.

Are you ready for a trip down memory lane?

Highlighted market #1:

Who will win the May 2022 election for governor of Bangkok? Which takes place on 22nd May 2022

This market was a blast to observe, as it had the Thai community very engaged in it. This was the first market to reach 200 participants. In the end, Chadchart prevailed.

Who would’ve thought that? Was the name a premonition? 😆

Highlighted market #2:

Optimism will have 1B of TVL before the Friday July 1st 2022, 1PM UTC.

This market was one of the first to be constructed around a TVL (total value locked amount). In this case, the question was if Optimism will have 1 billion USD TVL before July 1st or not. By that time it didn’t, so the market resolved as “No”, but looking at current Optimism TVL now it seems that number is now very close to the milestone.

Highlighted market #3:

Who will win the Counter-strike:GO ESL group stage match MOUZ vs. Heroic held at Sept 14 2022 UTC ?

We’ve selected this one for two reasons. One, it was one of the first eSports related markets, opening up this world to a different target audience. And second, to highlight that even tho Exotic Markets is being shelved the desire for eSports coverage is still strong within Thales community, with possibilities of including eSports feeds into Overtime platform once Chainlink can provide those results and pre-match odd feeds.

So, that was Exotics in a nutshell: Diverse and fun markets.

Now let’s get into the practical steps of what this Exotic Markets shelving entails.

Unwinding Exotic Markets

As we mentioned earlier, based on TIP-98 the steps (already taken) were:

  • Disable creation of new Exotic markets
  • Setup Protocol DAO in place of Oracle Council to support markets that mature before the end of 2022
  • All markets that are set to mature after 2022 are to be cancelled and participants refunded

Also a reminder for those that have outstanding winnings to be claimed in the Exotic Markets platform, we advise you to claim those as soon as possible 🙏

You can read more about the rationale behind this in the TIP, but basically the amount of resources currently dedicated to running (and maintaining) Exotic Markets compared to the potential return of dedicating those same resources to Overtime, which is also built on top of Thales and showing multiples of traction in regards to volume and fees, was in the Thales Council opinion the best path forward considering the success of Thales protocol as a whole.

We wanna thanks the Oracle Council for its great labor in solving market disputes, overseeing the market creation guidelines, and for being active participants in this experiment in on-chain permissionless markets.

We also wanna thanks everyone who created, participated, and resolved these Exotic Markets.

From the bottom of our hearts: Thanks! 🙏

Oracle Council representation by Kristina

So, what are the next steps now?

When a door closes, a window opens…

We are pretty excited to continue developing the Thales protocol and supporting the current products built on top: Thales markets, Ranged markets, and Overtime.

We are particularly excited about the upcoming Overtime releases, including the first-ever release of Parlays (also called accumulators) on-chain, and the FIFA World Cup markets support!

If you are into sports and these developments excite you then we highly suggest you follow the Overtime Twitter account to be the first to know when these features are released.

If you have any questions, comments, or wanna join the Thales community, then our Discord is the place to be.

Thanks to everyone who read this Exotic Markets tribute 🙌, now…
Let’s go for more!




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