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Cryptoeconomics Reading List

"We are experiencing one of the most exciting times in history as we have now the opportunity to create a whole new society. This society will be based on the believe and concept of empowering the individuals in order to open up an un-considered, un-used and un-valued potential in the people and the community. Cryptoeconomics is one of these important new research fields which combines the ideas behind game theory and cryptography for managing in an autonomous way the interactions of people/machines hence nodes in the decentralised world." sb_42

General overview

  • How Society Will Be Transformed By CryptoEconomics “most people think of economics as being gray and boring — but in actuality economics is juicy and psychedelic”. - 05/2015
  • Cryptoeconomics for dummies "When not to use cryptoeconomics? Do not use cryptoeconomics at home. Same as blockchains. If you have a houshold that needs cryptoeconomics, move out.” - 02/2017
  • Making Sense of Cryptoeconomics "There are at least three different kinds of systems being designed today that could be called “cryptoeconomic”. Example 1: Consensus protocols; Example 2: Cryptoeconomic application design; Example 3: State channels" - 08/2017
  • What is Cryptoeconomics "There are two sets of incentives that participants in the blockchain have: Incentive Set: Tokens: The actors who actively participate and contribute to the blockchain get assigned cryptocurrencies for their efforts. Privileges: Actors get the decision-making rights which gives them the right to charge rent. Eg. Miners who mine a new block become the temporary dictator of the block and decide which transactions go in. They can charge transaction fees to include transactions within the block itself. Incentive Set Rewards: Good participants get a monetary reward or decision-making responsibility for doing well. Punishments: Bad participants have to pay a monetary fine or they have their rights taken away for behaving badly" - 09/2017
  • Paving the Future of Blockchain Technology "Some critics of blockchain technology as a whole are uncomfortable with the idea that there are so many attack vectors that are theoretically plausible today. I think it is worth noting that, given enough money and time, an attacker will always be able to do damage in any system. Cryptoeconomics stands as a critical bulwark that, at worst, endeavors to make these attacks as expensive, difficult, and undesirable as possible." - 07/2017
  • Why Cryptoeconomics and X-Risk Researchers Should Listen to Each Other More "Both the cryptoeconomics research community and the AI safety/new cyber-governance/existential risk community are trying to tackle what is fundamentally the same problem: how can we regulate a very complex and very smart system with unpredictable emergent properties using a very simple and dumb system whose properties once created are inflexible?" - 07/2016
  • Cryptoeconomics Definitions Part 1 "Economic Intelligence – Self-aware Intelligence that is able to serve in the role of the invisible hand"- 09/0217
  • Cryptoeconomics Definitions Part 2 "Real Technology Framework – Applied blockchain(s) technology that has an impact on the GDP and GNP of a community, normally countries." - 09/0217
  • Cryptoeconomics Definitions Part 3 "Institutional Cryptoeconomics – Application of Cryptoeconomics in institutions such as firms and governments. - Crypto Microeconomics – Utilizing a bottom-up approach and microeconomic tools, attempts to explain the role of reduction of asymmetric information. Does not replace current economics, rather can be seen as an experimental chapter of microeconomics. - Crypto Macroeconomics – Utilizing a top-down approach of national and global economic variables such as GDP/GNP along with indicators such as housing permits, etc. In an attempt to put together the use of distributed ledger and blockchain across national boundaries and states."- 09/2017
  • Cryptoeconomics Is Hard "xxx 03/2017"
  • Cryptoeconomics is hard, part 2 "xxx 03/2017"
  • Cryptoeconomics is hard: Market Cap "xxx 03/2017"
  • Global Scale Research Networks and Cryptoeconomics
  • Cryptoeconomics 101 Ethereum Madrid

Vitalik Buterin

Karl Floersch

Vlad Zamfir

Empirical testing

Research groups

  • RIAT - Institute for Future Cryptoeconomics "Cryptoeconomics works with projections of future events. Often dubbed ‘reverse-game theory’, cryptoeconomics creates a testbed for predicted outcomes of incentives and penalties, in close relation to real world economics. But as cryptoeconomics are only one aspect of ‘summoning’ the future (on the example of mechanism design), other tools and methods of inquiry exist, which can be considered. To research future cryptoeconomics, we can utilise interdisciplinary research, or more specifically what we call speculative devices and artistic technologies." Austria
  • Cryptoeconomics Asia (CA) is an independent research firm "Aime to bridge the gap between scholarly/programming initiatives in the blockchain industry and the needs of institutional investors. As such, CA aims to simplify and aggregate key investment options within the alpha rich field. Additionally, CA provides research reports for firms on the economic implications of applied blockchain on the real economy." Singapore
  • Cryptoeconomics at RMIT University- A research group of economists "We are a group of economists who focus on the institutional possibilities and challenges of the blockchain economic revolution." Australia




Game Theory


Schelling Point

Applied to Bitcoin Mining

Mechanism Design


Applied to token projects

  • Analyzing Token Sale Models - 06/2017
  • A safe token sale mechanism - 03/2017
  • An empirical study of Namecoin and lessons for decentralized namespace design "Naturally, mapping entities to names (or directly to values) is not a purely technical problem, but re- quires human judgment. In the traditional DNS, arbitration based on trademark law is a mechanism to prevent names that are confusingly similar from being controlled by different entities. This is augmented with Extended Validation certificates, which, when used, establish the legal identity of the name owner. With these mechanisms in place, the user must still provide a name to the system, but at least she can then verify that it corresponds to the correct entity she had in mind. This type of verification is much harder to incorporate in a decentralized system. We are not aware of any designs for decentralized systems that attempt to do so. If such mechanisms are not developed, can decentralized namespaces for domain names be viable at all? Or will they depart so far from user expectations as to be unusable? Other solutions for usability might be possible. Web search engines are used in practice as a way of mapping entities to names. Indeed, such “navigational queries” are one of the primary ways in which people use search engines. Navigational queries are about equally viable in centralized and decentralized systems. Presumably, using search engines and following links from other sources (including bookmarks) will allow a user to gradually memorize an entity → name mapping." - 05/2015

Network Economics

Applied to forks


Consensus Algorithms

PoW - Proof of Work


PoS - Proof of Stake

Vitalik Buterin
Karl Floersch
Vlad Zamir

Attacks on consensus algorithms

51% Attack
Selfish Mining
P + epsilon Attack
Nothing at stake Attack
Sybil Attack
Double Spend Attack
Eclipse Attack
$5 wrench Attack



Existing Projects


Interviews with MakerDAO

State Channels



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