A new segment of the crypto sector known as PolitiFi has been gaining popularity among speculators and it is also becoming an interest gauge of the public’s sentiment concerning the most relevant political events of these days.

Shortly after the disastrous debate with his Republican rival Donald Trump, the Democratic candidate for the upcoming US presidential election and current head of state, Joe Biden, has seen his popularity and support drop to the lowest levels since the year started. Some of the most distressing indicators actually came from the crypto-based prediction market known as Polymarket.

Moreover, meme coins that parody Biden – and Trump as well – have experienced a drop in their value as well in past weeks as the election approaches.

Are digital assets and crypto wagers indicative of what could happen with Biden’s candidacy ahead of August’s Democratic National Convention?

The BODEN Token: A Digital Proxy for Biden’s Campaign

One of the most prominent assets in the PolitiFi space is the Jeo Boden (BODEN) token, a Solana-based cryptocurrency that depicts a cartoon that resembles the current president. This meme coin has experienced significant volatility in recent months, mirroring the ups and downs of Biden’s campaign.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, the price of the BODEN token reached an all-time high of $0.95 in the first few days of April but it has lost nearly 96% of its value since then as the President’s ability to run for the Oval Office has been put to question lately.

joe biden boden token drops after presidential debate
BODEN Token 30-day Performance – Source: CoinMarketCap

That decline accelerated right after the debate with Trump as the token’s price melted down from $0.16 to $0.034 as of today, resulting in a 78% drop in just 11 days.

Also read: Did Martin Shkreli & Barron Trump Found Trump Coin ($DJT)? Pharma Bro Going Back to Prison?

However, even though the consensus opinion is that Trump won the debate, the top tokens that track his candidacy have been dropping as well, possibly as a newly appointed candidate by the Democrats, such as Kamala Harris or Gavin Newsom, may be considered a treat to Trump’s chances to enter the White House again.

Since the debate, the value of the token named Doland Tremp (TREMP) – which clearly references the Republican candidate and former president – saw its value drop from $0.88 to $0.36 for a 59% loss. Even though the drop was milder compared to that of BODEN, it is still a notable and counterintuitive decline.

Moreover, the largest Trump-related meme coin, MAGA (TRUMP), which boasts a market cap of $240 million as of today, declined from $9.6 to $5.5 for a 42.7% loss since the debate.

Austin Freimuth, a research analyst at Messari, noted in a recent report, “Contrary to expectations, top PolitFi meme coins failed to rally following the June 27, 2024, Presidential debate.” This unexpected downturn highlights the volatile nature of these politically-linked assets.

It’s important to note that the crypto market as a whole has fallen significantly since the debate, led by Bitcoin, which certainly contributed to the downfall of many of these meme coins.

Polymarket Wagers in Favor of Biden Experience Sharp Reversal

Apart from cryptocurrencies that parody the frontrunners of the upcoming election, prediction markets have also gained popularity later as vehicles through which speculators can place wagers and earn money if they get their forecasts right. The most popular of all these platforms at the time is named Polymarket.

Polymarket operates on a simple principle: users buy shares in the outcome of future events. Correct predictions result in a payout of one dollar per share while incorrect bets result in a total loss. This structure incentivizes users to make informed predictions as they have real money at stake.

Also read: Joe Biden’s Former Aides: He ‘Rolled His Eyes’ When Told Not To Ad Lib

Recent activity on Polymarket has painted a concerning picture for Biden’s campaign. Before the presidential debate, shares predicting a Biden victory were trading at around 34 cents. However, as the debate progressed, the value of these shares progressively plummeted until reaching just 17 cents as of today, which is a 50% drop in popularity among Polymarket bettors. For an incumbent president, this is nothing short of a shocking development.

50% of polymarket wagers believe biden will drop out

Even more striking is the market asking whether Biden will drop out of the presidential race. Shares for a “YES” outcome in this market have surged from 21 cents before the debate to 44 cents afterward, more than doubling in value. This dramatic shift suggests growing doubts about Biden’s candidacy among Polymarket users.

Moreover, a wager that asks if Biden will drop out of the presidential race has already attracted a total of $12.3 million in bets and the odds of a “YES” have increased in the days following the debate from 19 cents to 59 cents as the President’s state of mind has been increasingly questioned after he lost his train of thoughts in multiple occasions during the televised events. He also seems to be losing miserably in most major polls that have come out since the debate, further sparking calls for him to drop out of the race from politicians to media pundits and more.

Trump’s Odds Rise and New Candidates Emerge

While Biden’s prospects have declined on Polymarket, Trump’s odds have stayed relatively unchanged at around 61%.

However, the relatively small increase in Trump’s shares compared to the significant decline in Biden’s suggests that users are not simply shifting their bets from one candidate to the other. Instead, there appears to be growing uncertainty about the overall shape of the race.

Entering Kamala Harris, the current Vice President and the most obvious bet of the Democratic Party in case Biden either drops out or is forced out of the race. According to Polymarket’s wagers, Harris’s odds have improved significantly days after the debate, moving from nearly 0% to 12% at the moment – 4% shy of Biden’s odds.

Harris is considered a top candidate, but not because she polls the best (she doesn’t) or because she is the best politician in the running. Supporters mostly point to the fact that she would be the only one able to inherit the tens of millions of dollars already raised by the Biden-Harris campaign as she is already on the ticket. Her status as Vice President helps too but it’s still uncertain whether she would be the choice if Biden does decide to step aside.

Also read: What Would a Kamala Harris Presidency Mean For Crypto?

Combined, the odds of a Harris win could surge to around 30% but Trump’s odds could also decline if Harris is officially appointed as the party’s candidate for the 2024 election.

Meanwhile, a meme coin named NOOSUM, which jokingly represents California Governor Gavin Newsom, saw its market cap rise to nearly $10 million on June 28 but has been declining to a much lower level since then and currently stands at less than $1 million according to data from DEX Screener. Newsom is another top candidate in case Biden steps aside and he polls well, though most pundits agree that he seems to be waiting until 2028 to make his move for the presidency.

Messari’s Freimuth suggests that the next significant event in the PolitiFi space could be Trump’s Vice Presidential selection. He notes: “This announcement could potentially trigger the creation of new meme coins related to the chosen running mate.”

Pros and Cons of Investing in PolitiFi Assets

As with any investment transaction, there are both potential benefits and risks associated with speculating with PolitiFi tokens and prediction markets.

Pros

  1. Real-time sentiment indicator: PolitiFi assets can provide real-time insights into the public’s sentiment toward political candidates and events.
  2. Potential for high returns: Given their above-average volatility, these assets can offer significant returns for investors who manage to accurately predict the outcome of political events.
  3. Engagement with the political process: For some, investing in these assets can be a way to engage more deeply with the political process.
  4. Diversification: PolitiFi assets can serve as a unique addition to a diversified investment portfolio.

Cons

  1. High volatility: As recent events have shown, PolitiFi assets can experience dramatic price swings that can result in significant losses.
  2. Lack of intrinsic value: Many of these assets, particularly meme coins, have no underlying value or practical utility apart from being a thermometer of market sentiment.
  3. Regulatory uncertainty: The regulatory framework for these assets remains unclear, potentially exposing investors to unforeseen risks.
  4. Manipulation concerns: There are concerns that these markets could be manipulated to influence public perception of political standings. Deep-pocketed investors with agendas can (and often do) easily influence the market due to the low liquidity of these assets.

The rise of PolitiFi assets represents a fascinating confluence between cryptocurrency, politics, and public sentiment. While tokens like BODEN and prediction markets like Polymarket offer new ways to gauge and speculate on political outcomes, they also carry significant risks to unwary investors.

As the 2024 US presidential race continues to unfold, these digital assets will likely remain attractive to market participants due to their ties with their favorite public figures in the political landscape. Whether they prove to be reliable indicators of electoral outcomes or merely another volatile corner of the crypto market remains to be seen.