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Kalshi
Minimum deposit
$0
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Summary

Trade events covering a wide range of topics, from weather to culture to politics, for less than $1 per contract.

Kalshi is a beginner-friendly, web-based trading platform that’s pioneering even contract trading, a new asset class that lets people trade on binary Yes or No questions. But the platform is relatively new, so reviews are limited, and its survivability in the investment landscape remains to be seen.

In this guide

  • Review
  • Details
    • Features
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Details

Features

Annual fee $0
Available asset types Event contracts
Account types Other
Minimum deposit $0

What is Kalshi?

While investing on the outcome of events is nothing new, Kalshi is the only federally regulated exchange that lets people trade event contracts. This beginner-friendly platform lets people trade on timely events like:

  • Will the price of oil be above $150 per barrel by April 11, 2022?
  • Will NASA land a person on the Moon before 2025?
  • Will a new Supreme Court justice be confirmed in 2022?
  • Will it rain in New York City on Thursday?

What I think about Kalshi

Just like Robinhood pioneered the commission-free trade movement, Kalshi is pioneering the new asset class of event contracts. And users can purchase as little as a single contract in a trade, which ranges from $0.01 to $0.99 per contract, so beginners can get a feel for the platform without much commitment.
On first pass, it’s easy to see Kalshi as being just a legal betting platform, especially when trading on questions like “Will the price of oil be above $150 per barrel by April 11, 2022?” But the more knowledge you have about a particular market, the more the odds can be tilted in your favor. If you understand economics and follow oil market news, couldn’t you argue that you have better odds of making the right choice?
Gambling relies on luck. And while you can use Kalshi to speculate, you can also apply a thoughtful strategy to help build, or hedge, your portfolio.
And, unlike traditional bookmakers, Kalshi doesn’t benefit from a right or wrong outcome. It makes money only through trading fees.
In a way, Kalshi provides investors another data point for what people think about specific events, which investors could use when making investment decisions.

How to use event contracts to hedge your portfolio

Kalshi provides investors with a unique way to hedge financial risk and, separately, trade their convictions.
For example, an investor who’s heavily invested in renewable energy stocks could buy event contracts based on whether a renewable energy bill is passed. Suppose the investor takes the side that the bill won’t pass. If the investor is right and the bill doesn’t pass, maybe your stocks drop. But you at least recoup some of that money through the event contract. On the other hand, if the bill passes and your stocks rally, you lose the money on the event contract.
The strategy is to put an amount of money into event contracts to make losses more manageable without completely wiping out wins.

Use Kalshi to trade your convictions

For instance, an investor who thinks oil prices will continue to rise may traditionally choose to invest in a particular oil company, which profits — in part — from selling oil.
The investor’s hypothesis could turn out to be accurate if oil prices go up, but that oil stock could drop in value because of something specific to that company — say, sudden news about company fraud.
Kalshi provides a means to trade on the conviction of rising oil prices without the mispricing of the oil stock due to public sentiment.

Pros and cons

Consider Kalshi’s benefits and drawbacks before you start investing:

Pros

Here are the standout benefits of using Kalshi:

  • Only regulated option for trading event contracts. Kalshi is currently the only regulated option for trading even contracts based on binary Yes or No questions.
  • Reduces financial risk through hedging. Kalshi provides a means for hedging risk on specific events, whether it be climate, weather, COVID-19, geopolitical events or economic events.
  • Limited downside risk. Kalshi doesn’t allow margin or leverage trading, so the most you can lose on a trade is the total cost of your purchased contracts, up to $25,000.
  • Small minimum trade amounts. Purchase as little as a single contract in each trade, with contract costs ranging from $0.01 to $0.99.
  • High liquidity. Traders can buy or sell their stakes in event contracts until the event occurs or the contract expires. Traders can sell at any point to take a profit or play out their conviction until the end.
  • Odds can be tilted in your favor. While you won’t get it right every time, the more market knowledge you have, the more the odds of getting a right answer can be tilted in your favor.

Cons

Consider the following pitfalls before signing up:

  • No instant fund availability. I signed up for a Kalshi account, funded my account and the money was available the next day for trading. While this is quick compared to many brokerages, your trading is still delayed until the transfer clears.

Pricing and fees

Kalshi makes money from trading fees. The platform charges a variable transaction fee for each trade based on the expected earnings for the contract.
Kalshi calculates expected earnings by multiplying the maximum potential earnings from the contract by the implied probability of you making these earnings. Implied probability is a common calculation used in betting, in which betting odds are converted into a percentage.
Trading fees are only applied to customers on the taker side of the trade. Both liquidity makers and takers fill Kalshi’s order books. A maker places a trade on Kalshi, and it sits on the books until a second trader — a taker — agrees to take the opposite side of the contract.
So, if you place an order that matches an order already on the books, your trade incurs a fee. If only a portion immediately matches, only that amount incurs a fee. Any portion that doesn’t immediately match to an existing order incurs no fees on later trades.
Below is Kalshi’s fee schedule, which will give you an idea of what you’ll pay for each trade.

Price of 1 contractFee for 1 contractPrice for 100 contractsFee for 100 contracts
$0.01$0.01$1$0.07
$0.05$0.01$5$0.34
$0.10$0.01$10$0.63
$0.15$0.01$15$0.90
$0.20$0.02$20$1.12
$0.25$0.02$25$1.32
$0.30$0.02$30$1.47
$0.35$0.02$35$1.60
$0.40$0.02$40$1.68
$0.45$0.02$45$1.74
$0.50$0.02$50$1.75
$0.55$0.02$55$1.74
$0.60$0.02$60$1.68
$0.65$0.02$65$1.60
$0.70$0.02$70$1.47
$0.75$0.02$75$1.32
$0.80$0.02$80$1.12
$0.85$0.01$85$0.90
$0.90$0.01$90$0.63
$0.95$0.01$95$0.34
$0.99$0.01$99$0.07
*The information in this table was accurate as of March 2022
Kalshi also charges a $2 fee any time you make a withdrawal from your Kalshi account to your linked bank account.

Is Kalshi legit?

Yes, Kalshi is a legitimate company. It was founded in 2018 by MIT graduates Tarek Mansour and Luana Lopes Lara, and it’s headquartered in New York City.
In November 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved Kalshi as an authorized Designated Contract Market (DCM), establishing Kalshi as the first regulated financial exchange dedicated to trading event contracts. With this, the company was approved to operate as a federally regulated exchange that allows investors to trade directly on the anticipated outcome of future events.
A few months later, in February 2021, Kalshi announced that it had secured $30 million in Series A funding. Sequoia Capital led the funding round with participation from Charles Schwab, Henry Kravis, SV Angel and previous investors Neo and YC Continuity.
The Kalshi exchange officially launched in June 2021.

Kalshi reviews and complaints

Having only launched in June 2021, Kalshi has yet to gather any reviews across the major review sites. It’s likely that most people haven’t yet heard of the platform.
As of March 2022, Kalshi has an unclaimed profile on Trustpilot with no reviews or stars. It doesn’t yet have a profile with the Better Business Bureau either.
Kalshi does have a designated subreddit on Reddit, but there isn’t much by way of reviews or customer feedback. Some Redditors have posted some ideas for new features they’d like to see, but most are discussion threads about current contracts.
This can feel like you’re going in blind, so we suggest starting slow and with small contracts as you test out the platform.

Kalshi’s app store reviews

Google Play Store app reviews3.9/5 stars based on over 15 reviews
Apple App Store app reviews4.8/5 stars based on over 70 reviews

How do I contact Kalshi support?

Connect with Kalshi support in three ways:

  • Phone. Call 332-205-9910 to speak to a live Kalshi representative.
  • Email. Send an email to support@kalshi.com.
  • Live chat. Chat with a live agent during Kalshi’s exchange trading hours all days of the week.

Compare other event contract trading accounts

Kalshi is unique in that there aren’t any other options for US investors when it comes to trading event contracts, so it’s hard to compare Kalshi to other platforms.
The closest platform would be the blockchain-based Polymarket, which lets users bet on similar world events. But the platform was recently slapped with a $1.4 million fine from the CFTC for failing to obtain designation as a DCM. As a result, Polymarket isn’t available to US traders right now.
For the time, those looking to trade on these types of event contracts may be limited just to Kalshi.

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Editor, Investments

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