Twitch Viewers Become Stock Traders

The stock market is the latest cooperative game for Twitch viewers, with one brave software developer putting up $50,000 for users to invest with their collective wisdom.

While it’s primarily a platform for watching others play games, Twitch has had several experiments for collective play, including users coordinating chat room commands to complete an entire Pokemon game.

The new Stock Stream project from Amazon’s Mike Roberts displays the latest stock prices and financial news. Viewers can post in the chat room with suggestions for buying or selling stocks and every five minutes the latest match of comments is totalled up, with the most “voted” for trade being automatically enacted.

So far around half the money has been invested and the wisdom of the crowds is proving a minor success: at the time of writing the combined value of the remaining cash and the held stocks is $50,219, meaning a potential return of around 0.4 percent after a day.

There’s also a competition (without prizes) for players who’ll get points if they vote for a trade that is carried out and proves an immediate success.

Roberts hasn’t set a final condition for ending the project or judging it a “win.” However, stock market rules mean that if the total value of the cash and stock ever dips below $25,000 (ie half the original investment), the project will automatically end.