We finally found a use for the financial markets.

Posted by Romain on

Could financial markets finally be useful, and could financial markets finally be useful? Imagine you organize an event with a hundred seats and you have a thousand people who want to go to this event. The classic solution consists in giving the seats to the first arrived. The solution I propose uses sortition to designate the participants. We could write an open source script to automatically perform this task. France Insoumise organize a convention and put their script on github. Yet it is insufficient, a malicious agent can re-run the script until they obtain the desired result. A way to circumvent the problem would be to randomly pick the seed with witnesses. As soon as you have a givent seed any computer can reproduce the entire allotment.

Two sets of empty chairs. Maybe in the future one will fill the others. Romain Cazé CC-BY

Picking a seed with witnesses has an inherent cost and it may be complex to make the full procedure tamper-proof. Here comes the stock market. The idea would be to use a stock market index like the dow jones or the CAC 40 at a given time in the future. To make the seed even more unpredictable we can hash this number using a cryptographic algorithm. This method seems easy and very robust. Manipulating a market to obtain a given index cannot be done and we know that markets behave very close to a random process. The hash function makes sure that a minimal variation in the index creates.

Thank you for reading! If you have other ideas you can write them below.

P.S: Thank you Luca to point out this method to me. Démocratie réelle used this method to randomly pick candidats for the French European elections in 2014.