Amazon engineer lets Twitch users invest $50,000 of his money

StockStream: Amazon engineer lets Twitch users invest $50,000 of his money

Twitch chat bots are nothing new – developers have been coming up with creative ways to use the platform for ages, but none are as outlandish as one Seattle-based Amazon engineer.

Mike Roberts created a program called StockStream, which allows Twitch users to make small investments using Roberts’ money – $50,000, to be exact. The program turns viewers into players, with a whole gamified system that makes it easy to forget you’re investing someone’s real money.

Here’s how it works: Players type commands into the Twitch chat room, indicating an action and a stock symbol – like “!buy AMZN.” Every five minutes, StockStream makes an investment, based on the top-voted action of the chatroom during that five-minute cycle. Players are also given their own scores, just for fun, that signify just how solid their investment decisions were. StockStream is powered by the popular no-fees stock trading app Robinhood.

While cynics might argue that internet trolls could easily derail his game and lose all of his money, Roberts hasn’t lost anything thus far. After the close of Wall Street on day one, he was at a cash + stock value of $50,055.92, putting him up about 0.1%. He told Business Insider that the players have chosen him a mostly “reasonable and diverse portfolio.”

Roberts says that the stream will continue to run “every day, while [the] market is open.” Due to regulations set forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission, if the account falls below $25,000 in cash, trading will stop and the game will end.

The StockStream channel has accumulated more than 6,000 followers, and the stream has been viewed more than 165,000 times.