The Case of Donald Trump


Polymarket, a popular platform for prediction markets, recently faced a challenging situation when a market concerning the indictment of former President Donald Trump was disputed in UMA’s Optimistic Oracle.

The issue revolved around how the market should resolve, given the complex nature of the situation and various interpretations of the market rules. In this blog post, we will summarize the issue, explore the importance of the Data Verification Mechanism (DVM) in resolving such disputes, and analyze the cases for each possible outcome. We will also discuss why ambiguities like this make UMA’s Optimistic Oracle the go-to choice for prediction markets, where simplistic data feed models may not adequately account for nuance.

The Issue

The prediction market in question asked whether former President Trump would be indicted by March 31, 2023, 11:59:59 PM ET.

The market was proposed as “ YES,” at Thu, 30 Mar 2023 21:13:11 ET based on the belief that sufficient information had been made available to be considered an official announcement of the indictment; however, this proposal was quickly disputed on the basis that the indictment had not been unsealed or officially announced — contrary to the ancillary data the market referenced.

Text from Polymarket “Will Donald J. Trump be indicted by March 31st

The proposed case for “YES” argued that the indictment was officially announced before the resolution time, even though it remained sealed, based on the official tweet by the Manhattan District Attorney prior to the proposal being made. The veracity of this tweet was backed up by a letter from the DA and a copy of the Disclosure Order which were both subsequently made publicly available. It was suggested that the clause about sealed or secret indictments does not apply since the indictment was widely known before the resolution time.

Those who disputed the proposal considered that the indictment had not been officially unsealed or announced hence the market conditions had not been met; contending that the twitter announcement by the Manhattan DA was insufficient to qualify as an official announcement.

Some considered that the oracle should conclude that that the market was proposed “too early” on the basis that an official announcement or unsealing may have occurred in the 26 hours between the proposal time and the resolution time, others that it should resolve to “No” on the basis that it had not occurred, while there was also support for the idea that this market was unresolvable given the ambiguity of the status of the announcement.

The Importance of the DVM

In cases like this, where market rules may not be entirely clear, and different considerations must be taken into account, UMA’s Data Verification Mechanism (DVM) plays a crucial role in resolving disputes. The DVM allows token holders to collectively decide on the correct outcome by weighing the evidence and arguments presented by both sides. This decentralized approach based on a schelling point model ensures that the outcome is determined in a manner which does not rely on a central authority.


In conclusion, the dispute surrounding the Polymarket prediction market involving the indictment of former President Trump highlights the role of UMA’s Optimistic Oracle and its Data Verification Mechanism (DVM) in addressing complex situations with multiple interpretations. By enabling token holders to collectively determine the correct outcome based on the available evidence, the DVM ensures a more accurate resolution.

Moreover, this case demonstrates why ambiguities such as this make UMA’s Optimistic Oracle the first choice for prediction markets, where simplistic data feed models are inadequate to take into account nuance. In an ever-evolving world, prediction markets must be able to navigate complexity and uncertainty, making UMA’s Optimistic Oracle a vital tool in ensuring that data which is put on-chain is accurate even when there is a lack of clear information.

The Case of Donald Trump was originally published in UMA Project on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Calling ETHGlobal 2022 Hackers!

Join UMA’s Delegated Voting Pilot Program

Did you submit a hack for an EthGlobal event in 2022? If so you are eligible to apply for UMA’s Delegated Voting Pilot Program.

UMA, the optimistic oracle built for Web3, has launched a Delegated Voting Pilot Program aimed at encouraging developers to participate in securing the oracle through voting in UMA’s DVM.

This program is designed to strengthen the oracle by further decentralizing our voting base and encouraging developers to participate in our ecosystem, facilitating a deeper understanding of the oracle and its capabilities while thinking in nuanced ways about votes and solidify UMA’s ongoing relationship with ETH Global.

About the Program

Successful applicants to the program will be set up with a hot wallet containing 5,000 UMA tokens delegated for voting purposes. By participating in UMA votes, delegates will earn approximately 28% APR on these tokens, which they will be able to retain at the end of the program, while the initial stake will return to Risk Labs.

This program is open to anyone who submitted a hack in any ETHGlobal event in 2022. UMA protocol is committed to supporting developers who build on UMA’s optimistic oracle, which offers an optimistic approach to moving data on-chain as well as a fully decentralized method of verifying proposed and asserted data. By offering the opportunity to vote in disputes to selected developers, we aim to deepen developer understanding of how the oracle works from a tokenholder perspective.

UMA’s commitment to supporting developers and desire for decentralization are at the heart of this program. Furthermore, UMA values its relationship with ETHGlobal and is excited to offer this program to participants of ETHGlobal events in 2022.

How to Apply

Applications are open until March 25th and can be submitted through this short form. Once applications are in, Risk Labs will evaluate the submissions to identify 10 developers who will then be set up with a wallet populated with 5,000 UMA which they will be able to stake and vote with using their delegate wallet for 12 months. Rewards will accrue to the staked wallet, and at the end of 12 months, the initial 5,000 stake will be returned to Risk Labs, while the inflationary rewards earned will be sent to a nominated wallet.

If you are a developer who submitted a hack at any ETHGlobal event in 2022, this is an great chance to get more familiar with UMA. Not only successful applicants gain a deeper understanding of the oracle, but also have the chance to earn rewards while participating in securing the network.

UMA’s commitment to supporting developers and its desire for full decentralization make this an exciting opportunity for developers to engage with the protocol and become active members of the UMA ecosystem.

Apply today!

Calling ETHGlobal 2022 Hackers! was originally published in UMA Project on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.