Meeting Summary: For those interested in principles of collectivity in nature and society the rise of crypto networks represents a huge natural experiment with significant real-world implications. Crypto networks could add significantly to our growing understanding of how collective dynamics and decentralized mechanisms influence information processing, robustness and evolvability. And furthermore, suggest functionally important analogies and perhaps distinctions across nature and technology.
Given how important the design of crypto networks and token systems are likely to be economically and socially, it is prudent that developers not rely entirely on design principles garnered from trial and error and game-theoretic toy-models. More subtle quantitative understanding of collective effects as they are observed in many natural systems from brains and swarms to social systems could prove invaluable in understanding and perhaps designing these networks.
In this workshop we shall bring together developers building crypto networks and cryptocurrencies with experts in collective behavior, collective computation, voting & consensus mechanisms, mechanism design, network science, cognitive science, and financial markets. A key goal will be to identify key regularities and commonalities at the intersection of crypto network research and practice and the formal study of collectives. Exploring this intersection is an entirely open territory and a fascinating opportunity for SFI and affiliated researchers.
KEY DEFINITIONS – Crypto Networks and Crypto Tokens:
“Crypto networks can be thought of as platform companies. But rather than having a central owner that coordinates activity between users, they are decentralized systems that are coordinated by an underlying blockchain - based crypto asset (i.e. the cryptocurrency). This currency acts as the incentive mechanism to ensure that all stakeholders work towards the success of the network. Crypto networks can each be thought of as their own enclosed economy with their own unique incentive systems, governance mechanisms, and monetary policies.”
“Crypto tokens are special kind of virtual currency tokens that reside on their own blockchains and represent an asset or utility. Such crypto tokens often serve as the transaction units on the blockchains that are created using the standard templates like that of Ethereum network that allows a user to create his/her own tokens. Such blockchains work on the concept of smart contracts or decentralized applications, where the programmable, self-executing code is used to process and manage the various transactions occurring on the blockchain.”