Twitch is the home of live video streaming and sees millions of people flock to watch their favorite streamers on a regular basis. But there's another type of streaming that's proving very popular on the service: interactive gameplay experiences, with the likes of Pokémon and Dark Souls being played with the help of viewers.
The latest interactive experience doesn't involve playing a game, though. Instead, Twitch users are playing the stock market with $50,000 of real money.
The experiment is called Stock Stream, and it's the idea of a software engineer named Mike. Mike took the time to code a user interface and stable platform on top of a real stock trading service called Robinhood.
When the Twitch stream is active (during NYSE trading hours), viewers can vote in the comments for which stocks they want to buy or sell. A voting round lasts for five minutes before Mike's system calculates which trades to make based on most votes. Voters win points or lose points based on whether their vote resulted in a positive outcome. Mike intends to continue running Stock Stream until the value of the investment falls below $25,000.
According to Polygon, Mike was initially worried about losing the $50,000 he put up as the investment very quickly. However, it turns out the Twitch voters are doing a pretty good job and he believes Stock Stream will perform well enough for at least the next couple of months.
What will be most fascinating to see if whether a fully automated system trading shares based on thousands of people voting can actually grow the investment rather than losing it. Could this make Mike a rich man?