07.07.2017

Amazon engineer let strangers make trading with his money

400In late May, Amazon engineer Mike Roberts unveiled Stockstream — an experiment in letting viewers of his Twitch livestream play the stock market with $US50,000 of his own money. Twitch is a live streaming video platform primarily used to stream video game play. It was acquired by Amazon for $970 million in 2014.

A month later, and the experiment is still going strong. Over the course of 2,125 trades, Stockstream players have voted to pick out a diversified portfolio that now includes a handful of shares in Ford, Costco, Apple, and GE, among many others. 

The engineer, who works for Amazon, named his trading channel StockStream. He headlined the channel as the "Worlds first cooperative multiplayer stock market game using real money." Viewers can vote on trades every five minutes, which are then executed at brokerage firm Robinhood through custom-made software Roberts designed.

After its first week and hundreds of thousands of votes, including some trolls intentionally trying to derail the project, Roberts’ account added more than $700 in value, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"I'm not that insane. It's just sort of an experiment," Roberts said during CNBC's "Power Lunch" Thursday. "I just found nobody has ever done something like this before. I kind of wanted to be the first person to do it … I plan on just leaving it forever, building it up, adding more features."

"With StockStream and the buzz that ensued, one thing is certain: active investing is far from over. StockStream is made possible, in large part, due to Robinhood's commission-free investment platform and it's nice to see Robinhood investors use the platform in creative ways," Jack Randall, head of communications at Robinhood told CNBC.


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