Have you ever wished there were a way you could profit off of your predictions about financial markets, politics, climate, and other events? Kalshi is a unique CFTC-regulated trading platform that lets you do just that.
In this review, we explain how Kalshi works and what you can expect. We will go over the pros and the cons so you can make an informed choice about whether to trade on this exchange.
Profit Off of Predictions of Real-World Events
On Kalshi, you can answer simple “yes” or “no” questions about whether you expect certain events to occur in the real world. If you are correct, you profit based on your investment. If you are incorrect, you lose.
Kalshi accepts trades in the categories of economics, politics, financials, and climate. There is also the Other category with miscellaneous markets.
Here are just a few examples of the sorts of things you can trade on at Kalshi:
- Fed interest rates (above [%]): Yes or no.
- Unemployment (above [%]): Yes or no.
- Debt ceiling hike (becomes law by [date]): Yes or no.
- TikTok ban: Yes or no.
- Nasdaq-100 yearly close ([amount or above]): Yes or no.
- Global average temperature deviation in [year], hottest on record: Yes or no.
- Atlantic hurricane total (above [amount]): Yes or no.
- New COVID variant of concern identified: Yes or no.
- GPT-5 creation announced in [year]: Yes or no.
Kalshi points out you can even use a trade as a kind of “insurance” alternative when bad things happen, i.e., betting that a hurricane will happen in your area, and then collecting on the winnings if it does.
How It Works
Kalshi is an exchange. That means that Kalshi itself does not take the opposite side of your trade; instead, it matches you with another trader who is taking that opposite side. Kalshi profits off of the trading fees (see the fee schedule). As a result, there is no conflict of interest (they are not invested in you losing).
Each contract is worth $1, and you can buy as many contracts as you like (up to the net maximum exposure of $25,000).
You will notice percentages next to the available contracts. You can use these to understand the overall likelihood of an event occurring. Kalshi explains, “If some question has a 40% chance of being answered Yes, the expected value of the Yes side of an associated Kalshi contract is 40¢.”
To be profitable, look for value opportunities (as you would when betting on sports). These are situations where you believe that the event is more or less likely to occur than the percentages listed suggest. In these scenarios, you have an edge.
Transfers in and out of your account are handled by linking up your bank account. The withdrawal fee is just $2.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates Kalshi. You can view their announcement about it from 2020. The company is licensed as a Designated Contract Market (DCM).
This is quite a unique situation. Most of the time, if you want to bet on political, economic or climate events, you need to do so through a sports betting site. Being able to do it through a CFTC-regulated exchange is a great opportunity.
Given the CFTC regulation, Kalshi takes Know Your Customer (KYC) policies very seriously. You will need to verify your identity to even open an account, though you do not need to make a deposit until you are ready to trade. So, set aside a few minutes to take care of it.
Flexible Trading Features and Tools
Kalshi offers great tools, features, and resources to make trading flexible and easy.
- If necessary, you can exit a trade early.
- Along with market orders (buy now), there are limit orders (buy at a specified time).
- An API is available for enhanced trading control.
- You can view a real-time inflation forecast and Fed forecast.
- There are volume rebates to put money back in your pocket.
- There are a lot of educational pages with tips, tutorials and answers to FAQs.
- A blog keeps you up-to-date on current events.
- The cost for a single contract ranges from 1 cent to 99 cents. If you want, you can buy just one contract. So, you can participate whether you have a large or small account.
Customer Support Is a Bit Lacking
Overall, we are quite impressed with Kalshi. It is an innovative platform that is filling a gap in the trading world. The only area we have a complaint is with respect to customer service.
You can get a hold of customer support by filling out a web form on the site and submitting it. You can also email the company directly. But we did not find a telephone number for support (there is a phone number, but it does not appear to be a support line), nor is there live chat.
That may be an issue if you need swift resolution on an issue (as may sometimes happen while trading).
We recognize that Kalshi may be a small company that is still in the process of getting everything off the ground (it says “Beta” on the website). Hopefully, as the business grows, it will be able to dedicate the resources to staff a live chat and support number.
Summary: An Exciting Way to Trade
If you want to profit off of your predictions of world events, you probably are used to relying on sports betting sites. But when you trade on the Kalshi exchange, you have the peace of mind of knowing you are going through a trusted, CFTC-regulated site to do it. You also get to take advantage of tools and features aimed at serious traders.
Kalshi needs to increase its customer service options, but aside from that, we are very impressed with what we see. We feel confident recommending this exchange to investors who want to trade on politics, economics, finance, climate and more.