This course is an introduction to the new area of token economics, otherwise called crypto economics, which is the study and design of economic systems based on blockchain technology. This is a course on both the study, analysis, and design of token economies and the relevance of this new area given the current economic context.
The first section deals with tokenization, asking what exactly is a token and how do they work. We firstly lay down some of the basics of distributed ledger technology and triple entry accounting before going on to talk about the process of tokenization; the conversion of any asset into a digital token. Here we will look a the two primary categories of tokens, the utility token and security token and their workings.
The second section looks at decentralized organizations and the design of incentive structures. We look at how token networks can be used to remove the centralized management structure to organizations and work to better align the incentive structures of producers and end users. We touch upon game theory and talk about mechanism design; the design of incentive structures to align the interests of the individuals with the whole organization within user-generated networks.
The third section deals with the formation of large-scale blockchain networks that span across organizations and industries to create powerful new ecosystems. Our focus here is on blockchain as a new infrastructure for a global services economy, we talk about the workings of service networks and how they can be automated through smart contracts. Finally, in this section, we look at service-oriented architecture as an important design pattern to these emerging service networks.
The last section of the course is dedicated to the growth and development of token economies. Recently we have seen the rise of initial token offerings as a new model for bootstrapping these economies, we look at the dynamics of how token networks can fund their own development and then use prediction markets and advanced analytics to guide their future development.
This course is not an introduction to blockchain, it only deals with what economics will look like once built on that technology, thus you will need to be familiar with the basics of blockchain as a technology before taking this course, if you are not already then we recommend taking our blockchain introductory course first, which provides an accessible and broad overview to the domain. Likewise, game theory is an important component of crypto economics which we will only have time to touch upon in this course, we recommend that you are either familiar with the basics of game theory or take our introduction to game theory course.