Foundations of Cryptoeconomic Systems

Shermin Voshmgir, Michael Zargham

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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Blockchain networks and similar cryptoeconomic networks are systems, specifically complex systems. They are adaptive networks with multiscale spatio-temporal dynamics. Individual actions may be incentivized towards a collective goal with “purpose-driven” tokens. Blockchain networks, for example, are equipped cryptoeconomic mechanisms that allow the decentralized network to simultaneously maintain a universal state layer, support peer-to-peer settlement, and incentivize collective action. These networks represent an institutional infrastructure upon which socioeconomic collaboration is facilitated – in the absence of intermediaries or traditional organizations. They provide a mission-critical and safety-critical regulatory infrastructure for autonomous agents in untrusted economic networks. Their tokens provide a rich, real-time data set reflecting all economic activities in their systems. Advances in network science and data science can thus be leveraged to design and analyze these economic systems in a manner consistent with the best practices of modern systems engineering. Research that reflects all aspects of these socioeconomic networks needs (i) a complex systems approach, (ii) interdisciplinary research, and (iii) a combination of economic and engineering methods, here referred to as “economic systems engineering,” for the regulation and control of these socioeconomic systems. This manuscript provides a conceptual framework synthesizing the research space and proceeds to outline specific research questions and methodologies for future research in this field, applying an inductive approach based on interdisciplinary literature review and relative contextualization of the works cited.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVienna
PublisherWU Vienna University of Economics and Business
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

SeriesWorking Paper Series / Institute for Cryptoeconomics / Interdisciplinary Research

Bibliographical note

Updated version

WU Working Paper Series

  • Working Paper Series / Institute for Cryptoeconomics / Interdisciplinary Research

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