New configurations of cryptography, economics, network engineering, game theory and mathematics open up complex questions that require interdisciplinary rigour and engagement.
We define the field of cryptoeconomics as the interdisciplinary research field of developing, understanding and implementing systems in which the interests and behaviour of the individual are sought aligned with the interests of the system as a whole. Cryptography is employed for security and integrity, while economics is explored as an engineering tool to incentivise behaviour that is beneficial to the overall system.
The field of cryptoeconomics unfolded from the simple and elegant incentive design introduced in the Bitcoin whitepaper: to make it more profitable for participants in a decentralised system to contribute than attack it, and thereby ensuring that the security would pay for itself.
This design, with the advent of general purpose and smart contract blockchains, was expanded to include any potential computation and systems design and opened up research into other consensus protocols.
New configurations of cryptography, economics, network engineering, game theory, mathematics and much more, opens up complex questions that require interdisciplinary rigour and engagement. Problems familiar to peer-to-peer systems such as privacy in relation to transparency, decentralisation and accountability, security and accessibility, and of course autonomy and control, are expanded across social, political, economic and legal fields, which in turn come to bear on the engineering solutions.
The Journal for Cryptoeconomics is currently in development and is scheduled to launch in 2019.