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What incentive is there for validators to bet on a block early, rather than just waiting for the rest of the validators to reach consensus first? AFAICT, the reward/penalty is independent of when the bet was made. Wouldn't a validator get an optimal reward by betting after a block is finalized (or just before it's finalized, if that's disallowed).

Is there a penalty for changing a bet to have a lower probability or different block? Otherwise, I don't see how the penalty could ever apply, since validators would just change to a favorable bet later.

Since bets are made through a contract they must be included in blocks. Validators are also responsible for creating blocks. Is there ever an incentive for a validator to exclude a bet from a block, or does it not matter as long as the bet eventually makes it into a block? Is there an incentive for a validator to include a bet in a block? Do bets include transaction fees?

Cross-post from /r/ethereum/.

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You're right that in the economic-modeling simulation, the scoring rule there doesn't have a factor to increase the reward for early bets.

In a more recent implementation on the pyethereum/serenity branch, the scoring rule does incentivize earlier bets, with the factor blockdiff * PER_BLOCK_BASE_COST.

You may also be interested to see some some plots of the scoring rule payoffs here: casper-scoring-rule.ipynb. Note that the plots there only show how the payoff varies with prediction accuracy, not how the payoff changes with respect to earliness or lateness.

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