The crypto community is betting on the missing Titanic sub crew’s fate as rescue operations continue.
The silence was broken by the distress signal from the sub, but there has been little more.
The submersible, carrying five people on an exploratory voyage to the Titanic wreck site, went silent. Lost in the vast North Atlantic, a British adventurer, a French diver, a Pakistani father and son, and OceanGate’s founder triggered an international rescue mission.
With each passing day, the operation, hampered by challenging weather and a troubled sea state, became more desperate.
The human tragedy was a betting opportunity for these crypto degens, a term often used to describe investors who risk their crypto assets in highly speculative bets.
Crypto betting’s dark side
Polymarket, a prediction market platform, has become an eerie marketplace for the morbid bet. Will the OceanGate submersible be found by June 23?
The betting volume stands close to $102,000, with a liquidity pool of over $110,000. The market leans towards the negative, with the price of “No” at 93 cents and “Yes” at a mere 7 cents.
A moral quandary
While gambling has long intersected with real-world events, especially sports, betting on the probable outcome of a human tragedy raises severe ethical concerns.
In this instance, the crypto ecosystem isn’t merely exploiting a potentially tragic event but also exacerbating the emotional trauma experienced by the families and loved ones involved.
Calls for responsible gambling have echoed in this context. Even as sports betting takes hold across the United States, with legality in 30 states and online permission in 18, federal regulation is swinging the pendulum back.