If the question has a clear answer, the reporters will be in instant agreement. If one of them accidentally makes a mistake, he or she will simply lose their bet. But in theory, there could be a situation when the reporters will begin an actual contest. As a result, a controversial or an outright incorrect answer could “win”. We discuss such cases in section 5 of this article, but in the case of PM we’ll focus on just one of them: oracle’s mistakes caused by inaccurate wording of a bet.
Let’s assume that in the example above BP’s market cap on December 31 was fluctuating somewhere around 150B and was below that level most of the day. By market close, it rose above the 150B mark. Most likely, the majority will say TRUE based on BP’s final quote for the year. But some may say BAD QUESTION upon deciding that the end of the year comes at the end of the day, and not when the market closes.
Perhaps the most complicated scenario is when some exchanges show BP’s market cap going over 150B at market close, while others clearly indicate it being below the mark. Shares of BP trade on various exchanges worldwide and the price may differ based on the exchange of your choice. In that case, it stands to reason to answer BAD QUESTION, but even in this case other opinions are possible, as some members of the jury may base their answer on the final quote of any particular exchange.
These examples demonstrate the importance of precise and specific terms of the contract. Just like in real life, smart contracts should be created to take potentially ambiguous interpretations into account. For instance, in this case, instead of “Will the market cap of BP be over 150B pounds by year end?”, the players could use more precise wording — “Will the market cap of BP be over 150B pounds on the last business day of the year by market close on the London Stock Exchange?”.