Engineering crypto-economies through the lens of complex systems
Abstract: Cryptoeconomics is an emerging field studying the design of incentives on a blockchain system with cryptographic protocol-defined tokens. These tokenized systems are designed to optimize desirable behaviours, thereby satisfying a predefined objective.
Through lessons learned from prior art in economics, financial modeling, and incentive design, Gaussian models have repeatedly proved to be an inaccurate representation of economic (by extension, cryptoeconomic) systems.
The seminar will start with a broad discussion of state-of-the-art mathematics from which we will derive inspiration. These include agent-based modeling, multi-agent genetic algorithms, game theory, systems modeling, numerical optimization, and a little bit of graph theory. I will then demonstrate how complexity science applies to the memoryful non-linear markets with high kurtosis as those observed in crypto-economic systems.
The seminar will conclude with a fun live demo of a multi-agent simulation of a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO. I designed it based on the Ising model in statistical mechanics.
Bio: Shruti Appiah pioneered the field of cryptoeconomics by bringing the foundations of complex systems to the world of blockchain incentive systems. She brought her learnings from systems design engineering to develop scientific rigor, high standards of testing and validation, and long-term resilience and sustainability to the design of cryptoeconomic systems. This manifested in a paper in March 2017 with advisory from Dr. Paul Fieguth that demonstrates how multi-agent simulations can be adapted to iteratively optimize desired behaviors in a decentralized autonomous organization.
She has since developed a token engineering design process to make cryptoeconomics, numerical optimization, and macro-scale simulations - which are otherwise heavily mathematical or academic topics - accessible to entrepreneurs in the blockchain industry. Today, she seeks to further the field of cryptoeconomics by expanding its boundary of interdisciplinarity.
Shruti is recognized as Evoke's top 30 under 30 developer, and currently leads token engineering research at ConsenSys for the Ethereum blockchain. Prior to ConsenSys, she founded and lead Okta's blockchain identity strategy, co-founded Prava, a decentralized renewable energy marketplace, and developed on Watson and Bluemix at IBM.
Those unable to attend can stream the lecture from our YouTube channel.