Tale of Thales, binary options re-imagined

6 min readMay 19, 2021

Thales secures seed funding from synthetixDAO.

At Thales we are very excited to share with you the beginning of a journey to deliver a superior binary options trading experience on the Ethereum network, being the first project specifically focused on these exotic derivatives on-chain.

Right from the start, Thales will integrate 0x’s permissionless order books for trading tokens that represent binary options positions before their expiry date. The first product release will support the whole lifecycle for a binary options market on virtually any Chainlink supported price feed, including dozens of crypto assets, commodities, equities, and unique index data feeds.

As there is a significant market opportunity in experimenting with on-chain options products, demonstrated by the significant volumes in futures and perpetual swaps in crypto, we decided to take this challenge head-on.

With the backing and support from our friends at Synthetix, we’ve put together a rockstar team and embarked on this epic adventure.

We will introduce you to Thales’ vision and how we will operate, but first…

Who is Thales?

Meet Thales

Thales was born in Ancient Greece, 640 B.C.

He was a thinker who liked to collect data and study natural phenomena but was taunted by others with the uselessness of philosophy because of his poverty.

One year, Thales discerned the olive harvest will be bountiful next season by his study of the heavenly bodies.

Armed with his knowledge he bets on this with a small sum of money by paying deposits for the whole of the olive presses in Miletus, which he hired at a very low price as nobody else was bidding.

When the harvests arrived he realized a large sum of money by renting the presses on his terms when demand grew, becoming the first known person to exercise an options contract.

As Aristotle said:

“Thales proved that is easy for philosophers to be rich if they choose, but this is not what they care about”.

What a chad.

Thales origin and vision

During the second half of 2020, the Synthetix core contributors began to seek an external team to develop a trading platform for their binary options contracts and that’s where two long-time Synthetix community members, Danijel and Farmwell, decided to pitch in.

Both founders, who met and became friends on Synthetix Discord, have strong backgrounds related to software development with Danijel bringing more than a decade of experience as a software engineer in Java technologies and Farmwell coming from an enterprise software consulting background specializing in implementing accounting automations.

The tipping point for them, and for Thales, was when Farmwell managed to convince Danijel to leave his comfortable role in enterprise software to start this epic adventure with exotic derivatives…

The rest will become history.

Place your bets people

From our perspective at Thales, delivering a great product and being known for shipping new functionality is a major guiding principle in how we operate.

Keeping with this principle the Thales token will be included in the second phase of the project after the MVP is publicly released, which is forecasted around the midpoint of 2021.

Our full attention is devoted to delivering the MVP to the community without haste. Good things take time.

Details regarding the token launch are still under development, so to be crystal clear:

⚠️ There are no Thales tokens that are currently eligible to be claimed, bought, or exchanged anywhere.

As we are SNX Spartans to the bone and we will be part of the network of projects that taps into Synthetix protocol, we will be distributing 35% of the 100 million Thales token supply to SNX stakers.

If you wanna be in the loop and get the freshest news about Thales you can follow us on Medium and Twitter or join us on Discord.

Sounds interesting? Keep reading, it gets better.

Introducing Thales technical roadmap

Have you heard the saying:

“If you want to make God laugh, have a plan”?

We understand that plans and roadmaps are always subject to change, but on the whole, the following pieces of functionality serve as a guide for where the Thales team aims to go over the next 12 months.

This list of technical priorities is our current phased approach:

  • Phase 1: Delivering MVP.

Thales dApp goes live with 0x decentralized order books for binary options on Ethereum, supporting permissionless binary options markets on dozens of Chainlink-supported data feeds.

  • Phase 2: Thales token launch.

We are still exploring how to best strike a balance between vesting and distribution to ensure a healthy growth of the Thales community for years to come.

It’s confirmed that there will be 100 million Thales tokens with the following allocations:

  • 35% for SNX stakers
  • 45% for community incentives. These incentives will be for liquidity mining programs and related initiatives.
  • 20% for current and future Thales core contributors

A detailed tokenomics breakdown will be released on approach of the Thales token launch.

Want to contribute ideas? Join the Discord and reach out.

  • Phase 3: Porting the Thales protocol onto Optimistic Ethereum (Layer 2).

Optimistic Ethereum enables users to make Ethereum transactions for pennies.

Reducing transaction costs to interact with the Ethereum network between 30x, 50x, or 100x will do wonders for growing Ethereum’s user base.

Oh, and the sub-second confirmation times are much more intuitive for users.

Cheap fees and fast transactions will be a windfall improvement in how users experience Web3, making the barriers to entry collapse letting the size of the user base be primed for even more accelerated growth.

Polygon and BSC demonstrate there is significant latent demand for experimenting with DeFi that has been priced out from Ethereum’s layer one chain and Thales will be well-positioned to accommodate the network’s surging user base while inheriting the base layer’s security by moving over to Optimistic Ethereum.

  • Phase 4: Sports betting via customized binary options contracts.

What if…

Different types of data could be supported with Chainlink data feeds… bringing a whole different ballgame to what can be settled on-chain, like sports results?

Suppose there was an oracle with the answer to the question “Will Nikola Jokic win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2021?” (basketball fans are welcome to make their predictions in our #sports Discord channel).

We are still researching the feasibility of this, trying to expand the edges of what can be done on-chain and daring to dream bigger.

Thales dreams of Ethereum

Thales Governance

Thales governance decisions will be resolvable at first by a multisig address. The address would be managed by the Synthetix Spartan Council or the Thales governance entity, the 7 wise men. Those multisig owners will have to submit a bond with nontrivial stakes to ensure their commitment. The bonds will be slashable in case of malicious acting or failure to act on time (being AWOL).

We will maintain the multisig in-house in the beginning and then engage community members to participate as signers as the protocol matures.

At Thales, we will also explore incentivized or compensated governance positions to support protocol development.

After a long time among SNX Spartans, we’ve learned to embrace the power of an engaged community.

If you wanna explore the frontiers of on-chain derivatives, learn about new ways to profit, hedge, or diversify, and join the discussion about binary options with like-minded people, then our Discord server is the place to be.

Jump in.




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