[Exclusive Interview] Meet Timothea, CMO & Co-Founder of the Fore protocol
Today we have the chance to welcome Timothea, CMO & Co-Founder of the Fore Protocol. Together with her, we will go through, what the Fore Protocol is about, who is the team behind the protocol and how they met, what makes the prediction market exciting, and many more. Let’s get started.
[SurferInvestor]Could you please summarise briefly what Fore is about?
[Timothea] At a protocol level, FORE exists to incentivise the wisdom of the crowd to bring real-world data to the blockchain. In doing so, we’re creating the architecture for a number of web3 solutions that remove friction from real-world, centralised industries like prediction markets, oracles, auditing services, and more.
[Timothea] FORE Predict is the first decentralized application built on FORE Protocol. It’s the first of its kind: a truly decentralized peer-to-peer predictions ecosystem powered by people. People create prediction markets, determine market odds, participate in markets against each other, and validate market outcomes themselves. Whether popular events in sports, esports, current affairs, or crypto, to incredibly niche and granular events like Discord rankings, flight delays, or whether Donald Trump will go to jail, you can find (or create!) it all on FORE.
[Timothea] Unlike with centralized bookmakers, users are actually rewarded for using FORE: platform fees are redistributed to users for all productive activity. Creators create prediction markets and earn 0.5% of the total market size; Players participate in markets against each other, with incredibly low fees, market determined odds with trustless payout; and Analysts validate market outcomes to earn a share of 2% of the total market size. This self-regulating and self-sustaining ecosystem creates a truly decentralized and democratic predictions ecosystem where the house doesn’t win – the users do.
[Timothea] Users are rewarded for this activity in FORE’s hyper-deflationary utility token. The token’s supply is inversely correlated with activity on the platform: as activity increases, supply reduces. The protocol features several deflationary mechanisms (including burning all FORE locked into NFTs and 1% of every market), reducing the total supply with every transaction to ensure that FORE’s utility token remains strictly deflationary.
[SurferInvestor]Could you please introduce the founding team? What is their background and what makes them the right team to run Fore?
[Timothea] We are a global team of executives, entrepreneurs, data scientists, developers, marketing strategists, and creatives hailing from Fortune 500 companies, leading DeFi projects, global ad agencies, and some of the largest hedge funds in the world. Collectively, our founding team members have successfully led startups from ideation to commercialization to exit, scaled a decentralized exchange aggregator from inception to a top 100 market cap project, led the successful restructuring of +$1B in distressed debt transactions, and managed thousands of employes as interim-CEO for a notable Fortune 500 company to scale the business into key growth markets in Asia. You can learn more about our team here, as I’d rather use this as an opportunity to focus on what we think makes us best suited to build FORE successfully: our values!
[Timothea] Over the past year, our team has grown from our three founders to over 20 people. We have worked to articulate the values system and engrain this in how we operate: we believe that if we focus on building a team founded on guiding principles (decentralization, real world problem orientation, transparency, and sustainable incentive structures) we can iterate our way to success, build almost any product, build the necessary trust with our employees, partners, users, and community members.
[Timothea] We spent the last year building quietly through the bear market to build our team, our tokenomics, and our product. In this current climate, the ‘launch first, build later’ model won’t work, so I’m proud to say that we’re one of the few projects to come to market with a fully-functional MVP ahead of launch. We don’t believe in the model of speculation and hype because it just isn’t sustainable – we believe in delivering real results, transparently and honestly, via a working product from day one. That’s why we’ll be launching FORE Predict’s mainnet on day one of FORE’s token launch this quarter, ensuring full token utility and protocol revenue from day one.
[SurferInvestor] How big is the web2 prediction market and why does it need to be decentralised?
[Timothea] The concept of taking a position on the outcome of an event is not inherently bad — people have been doing so for thousands of years. But what is exploitative, and rightfully creates such negativity around the prediction space, are the incentive structures that centralised entities like casinos and bookmakers employ to ensure “the house always wins”. Whether hidden fees, predetermined odds that disadvantage the player, or halting payouts, they do everything they can to extract maximum value from users in whatever way possible.
[Timothea] It’s not too dissimilar to centralisation in the crypto space. It’s more heavily regulated so we won’t see an FTX of the casino world for example, but the objectives of these centralised entities remain largely the same: get users in the door by any means possible, extract as much value from them as they can, and hold onto their funds as long as possible.
[Timothea] And yet, people still want to take positions on the outcomes of events. Despite a recession, the global online betting market reached $80 billion last year, and is expected to reach $134 billion by 2028. We see a huge opportunity here to disrupt an industry that has seen very little innovation over the years, and has ultimately built its success on the exploitation of users. We want to change that.
[Timothea] Decentralising this industry shifts the power away from centralised entities to create an opportunity for all participants to take part, and all participants to share in the rewards. FORE exists to create a decentralised predictions ecosystem where users hold the power. Users retain ownership of their assets and are rewarded for their productive activity – not just charged for the privilege. Users aren’t playing against a house that always wants them to lose, but against other players, with market-determined odds and low fees. And above all, FORE exists to create a global, people-powered ecosystem where people have the freedom to create, participate, and validate any markets on any events, and are rewarded for doing so through the redistribution of platform fees.
[SurferInvestor]Could you describe a use case of how Fore works? Let’s say user Bob creates a market that it’s gonna rain in London tomorrow, what happens next?
[Timothea] Because of our unique ‘people-powered’ model, FORE is not exclusive to those wishing to take a position on an outcome, but also appeals to more risk-averse individuals who can be rewarded for acting as the ecosystem’s ‘architects’. Thus, how FORE works depends on the role the user plays in the ecosystem, whether creator, player, or analyst.
As a Creator, you have the ability to create unique and compelling prediction markets, determining market parameters such as market prompt and categorization, prediction phase closure, validation phase start, verification source, and starting odds. Your efforts are rewarded with a percentage of the total market payout, so as market interest and participation increases, earnings dynamically adjust to reflect this growth. This provides an added incentive for you to ‘market your market’ and actively promote your markets to attract more participants, liquidity, and volume. This innovative approach flips the traditional model on its head, allowing you to ‘become the bookmaker’ and earn rewards regardless of the outcome. This model benefits everyone in the ecosystem: holders, players, creators, and the FORE foundation.
Players are participants who take a position in any market on any event with market-determined odds, low fees, zero counterparty risk, and transparent and trustless market resolution and payout. “The house always wins” is a saying often used to refer to the built-in advantage that casinos, bookmakers, and other centralized entities have over players. But on FORE, you’re not playing against a house that is set up in order for you to lose, but against other players in a peer-to-peer market. Unlike on traditional bookmakers or betting sites, fees are low and completely transparent, and even redistributed back to users for activity. And we don’t determine the odds, you do. Creators set the starting odds, and final odds are determined by market participation. Participating in the outcome of an event is a zero-sum game, so there are always going to be winners and losers, so while we cannot guarantee that all Players taking a position on an outcome will win, we can guarantee that Players can participate in markets on a platform that is fair, transparent, and rewards you for your activity.
As an Analyst, you earn rewards for accurately confirming the outcome of a market. You act as the market’s ‘architects’ and are responsible for verifying that a given outcome is accurate and recorded to the blockchain, thus ensuring that all payouts are correctly executed. To maintain a stable protocol, we created an asymmetric incentive model that rewards users for accurate validations, but significantly penalizes inaccurate or fraudulent validations. Collectively, Analysts create a decentralized oracle by confirming outcomes and uploading this data to the blockchain, playing a critical role in facilitating a truly decentralized and limitless predictions ecosystem that can feature markets on any event.
You can see the full market lifecycle and how these roles interact here:
If you want to learn more about the payout logic, you can also have a look at this illustration.
[SurferInvestor]The business model allows DeFi users to be the house in opposition to other models such as Polymarket, why did you make this choice?
[Timothea] FORE Predict is a predictions ecosystem rather than a ‘betting platform’ because it allows users to participate in all aspects of predictions, from market creation through to validation. This allows us to tap into various different audience types and risk-profiles beyond the ‘traditional bettor’. For example, you may be following March Madness but too risk-averse to take a position on an outcome. Typically, that means you aren’t participating in the predictions ecosystem, but on FORE Predict you still can. Instead of utilizing your expertise on the future outcome of a game, you can do so by taking part in the validation process once the game is over. If you know the results of the games already, it makes validation that much easier for you. So in that sense, you don’t need to ‘play’ by taking a risk on future outcomes. You can instead generate ‘nearly’ passive-income through validating the results of a market.
[Timothea] Polymarket in particular is a predictions market that, although built on blockchain, operates in a similar way to traditional prediction markets like bookmakers and casinos. Polymarket is still ‘the house’: they determine which markets you can participate in, they take a share of the market, and they charge withdrawal and deposit fees on your own funds. FORE is not a predictions market itself, but simply a set of smart contracts to facilitate community creation, participation, and validation of prediction markets. Thus, there is no house on FORE. FORE is entirely powered by people, as we believe prediction markets should be! You create the markets, you participate in markets against each other, and you validate the markets yourselves. And you’re rewarded for this productive activity through the redistribution of platform fees, in the form of a hyper-deflationary utility token.
[Timothea] The community is the driving force behind FORE, and the protocol is designed to grow and develop along with its users. By providing the architecture to allow users to create prediction markets for almost any event, while rewarding members for productive activity through redistributed fees, FORE creates a self-regulating and self-sustaining ecosystem that brings transparency and democracy to predictions in ways not seen before.
[SurferInvestor]How did the idea of Fore come to life?
[Timothea] The concept behind FORE began as a web2 sportsbook. We initially set out to offer preferable odds to users by using machine learning and analytics to come up with better pricing. But what we quickly realized was that the core problem was actually centralization, not just pricing. So, we pivoted to create a decentralized predictions ecosystem – one that would not only provide better odds, arbitrage opportunities, and transparent fee structures, but one that would distribute rewards to users that traditionally would have gone to centralized entities.
[Timothea] We believe that too many blockchain companies have focused on capturing short-term value at the expense of their communities – an inherently centralized approach that is backwards and antithetical to the values upon which blockchain was developed. Instead, we wanted to build a platform, protocol, and ecosystem that addresses real user pain points by rewarding participants for their activity – starting with prediction markets.
[SurferInvestor] What item in the roadmap gets you the most excited?
[Timothea] Applications built on the protocol are separated into two core architectures: applications leveraging the technology itself, and applications leveraging its output: the data recorded on-chain. I’m personally most excited about the opportunity for a decentralized oracle that our decentralized network of validators create, and its application beyond prediction markets.
[Timothea] The current prediction landscape lacks a truly scalable oracle, reliant instead upon a fragmented marketplace of centralized APIs and data providers for various sectors and outcomes. In FORE Protocol’s proprietary NFT validation model however, a decentralized network of validators (or “analysts”) perform the role of oracle by uploading the results from real-world events to the protocol. In doing so, the protocol can “index” real-world outcomes on any real-world event (in much the same way Google indexes real-world information) to create an incredibly granular and scalable predictions protocol.
[Timothea] The technology underpinning this validation model is applicable well beyond predictions, however! We plan to scale this beyond FORE Predict into its own Oracle solution that can provide value for entities in as many sectors as categories of markets that can be created on FORE via a decentralized oracle that is both incredibly granular yet nearly infinitely scalable. You can learn more about this and other applications on our roadmap here!
[SurferInvestor] In an ideal world, how would Fore look in 5 years?
[Timothea] Our world is people-powered, and centralized entities are increasingly utilizing people’s behavior and activity to problem-solve, predict outcomes, and generate revenue. But while the power of people has been realized, it is rarely rewarded. Until now.
[Timothea] At the protocol level, we have created a tokenized incentive economy to reward the wisdom of the crowd to problem-solve at scale. In doing so, we’re creating a decentralized network of people to bridge the gap between the real-world and the blockchain: forming the foundation for web3 solutions that remove friction from centralized industries. By focusing on bringing long-term value to our users through the technology we build, we aim to create a lasting and innovative incentive model that will drive the industry forward, not backwards.
[Timothea] FORE Predict is just the first application on this infrastructure. By combining our value-driven team with disruptive technologies like blockchain, our goal is to bring forth a new era in prediction markets, and scale this infrastructure into a myriad of sectors ripe for transformation and decentralisation.
[SurferInvestor] For people who wanna jump in, how to get started?
[Timothea] As a people-powered ecosystem, we want to build a prediction platform that actually addresses user pain points: whether bad odds, counterparty risk, high fees, or a lack of incentives. Ultimately, we want to build a platform that people actually want to use, and that comes from building for you, with you. Our three month hackathon is about to come to a close, after which we will deploy our latest version for final testing with the community. Your readers can sign up here to take part and earn FORE for their activity on the testnet!
They will be able to:
Create markets on any event or subject matter
Participate in markets with market-determined odds
Validate markets with an Analyst NFT
Mint, buy, or sell Analyst NFTs on FORE Marketplace
View personal activity in the user portfolio
View their activity against others on various leaderboards
[SurferInvestor] Do you have some alpha you can share to my readers?
[Timothea] We are currently closing access to our private sale, and will soon be releasing details on how to take part in our public sale. Our public sale will take part in several phases on different platforms (including launchpads and exchanges), and will include a FORE community round. For your readers to take part, they should join our communities as soon as possible!
It was a pleasure to interview Timothea from the Fore Protocol today. We wish her and the remaining of the team all the best for their private and public sale over the next weeks. We will for sure follow the project very closely, as the prediction market for sure needs to get heavily disrupted. All the best!