How was the tournament at the beginning of numerai?

Out of curiosity, a couple of questions for the people who were there when numerai started. How was the tournament rewarded? Was there Numeraire coin? If not, how were the users incentivized in providing predictions?


When I started in August 2016, the tournament was a binary classification problem and there was only 14 (or 21?) features. I don’t recall how many rows of data there was, but it was substantially less than we have now.

The tournament was scored on logloss and there was also something called “originality” which only one person held the “originality” title until someone else uploaded predictions that was “more original” than yours. When the round closed you were scored on logloss as well as how long you held the originality title.

Payout was in BTC before NMR arrived in June 2017. Payout for a while was BTC and NMR, but moved to NMR only some time in late 2017. During the BTC days there was also no “burn” mechanism, so the tournament was open for attack, whereby some people just uploaded thousands of random predictions. We were allowed only one account, but people abused this heavily and I recall there was a lot of time spent on finding these “connected groups” and removing them from the competition.

@arbitrage @jrb was around even earlier. Maybe they remember something else.


IIRC, the payout initially was in BTC, and then briefly in ETH, before finally moving to NMR.

1 Like

Yeah, I joined in the logloss era. (I think there was an AUC era before and maybe after that – I took a break of a year and restarted after Kaz sometime.) But there was a partial ETH payout that was tied to a USD amount – basically each round had a guaranteed floor amount in USD equivalent that would be paid out, but more was possible in good rounds. And all the rounds were separate and independent in terms of payouts – the rounds were overlapping but the staking and payouts were not. I had figured some things out but didn’t really have any success until I came back and the new format had been running for some months already.

1 Like