The new Twitch channel StockStream allows audiences to buy and sell stocks they like with real money. Amazon engineer Mike Roberts, who created this channel, stated that it would be the first co-op multiplayer game in the world in which real money is involved to play the stock market. To start the game, Roberts put $50,000 of his savings up for the audience to invest.

Twitch, StockStream, Roberts
Image Source: stockstream.live (screenshot)

Trade stocks with real money on Twitch

On this new channel, more than 170,000 viewers witnessed the rise and fall in Roberts’ fund value as investors made their calls on whether to buy or sell a stock. Anyone can participate in the chat simply by selling or buying the stock, and every five minutes, the action that has the highest number of votes is executed. The buying and selling decisions are nearly perfect from the highest ranking players, notes Kotaku.

“I’d seen the idea posted around on some subreddits, so just decided to build it,” Roberts said.

At Stock Stream, the trading starts at 9 a.m. Eastern every day. According to Roberts, the whole system is 100% automated, including the starting and stopping of the stream; therefore, he does not need to keep a close eye on what is happening. When people shoot buy and sell commands from the chat window, it counts as a vote, and the top voted trade is then executed.

According to Roberts, this part of the overall system was easy to build, but “the tough part was building the UI and getting the system to a stable point where it was ready [for] long term usage.”

Is StockStream safe?

The idea of putting money at the disposal of thousands of random people does not seem to be a very pleasant one. However, on a platform where 78 trades are happening every day, even a massive blunder would occur at a slow pace, notes Engadget. StockStream’s website says that trading will halt if the account value falls below $25,000, citing FINRA/SEC regulations.

“Before today, I was a bit skeptical — thought I might lose money quickly, but things seem OK,” Roberts said in an interview with Polygon. So far, players have shown a liking for well-known companies like Google, Appl, and Tesla. Many also prefer the video game industry, as they voted to buy shares of Activision and Sony. At the time of writing, Roberts’ portfolio was up $217.

All the trades are executed through the Robinhood trading app, and the money tips and donations will go the Robinhood trading account and will be channeled towards buying shares, notes The Next Web. Any investor who votes for a stock that performs well is eligible to earn points. For now, StockStream is not offering any rewards to players. According to Roberts, in the future, prizes will be offered to scoring players.

This is not the first time Twitch players are getting a chance to play with real money. The TwitchPlaysStockMarket account has been inactive since 2015, but based on the rules on its account page, it operates in a similar manner, notes Mashable.