MIT Cryptoeconomics Lab

The objective of the MIT Cryptoeconomics Lab is to push the research frontier in the emerging field of cryptoeconomics.

Cryptoeconomics brings together the fields of economics and computer science to study the decentralized marketplaces and applications that can be built by combining cryptography with economic incentives.

It focuses on individual decision-making and strategic interaction between different participants in a digital ecosystem (e.g. users, providers of key resources, application developers etc.), and uses methodologies from the field of economics - such as game theory, mechanism design and causal inference - to understand how to fund, design, develop, facilitate the operations and encourage the adoption of decentralized marketplaces and related services and digital assets. 

The resulting "digital economies" often require the definition of a monetary, fiscal, privacy and innovation policy. Moreover, they need effective governance to ensure that the platform maintainers can upgrade the underlying software protocols over time in response to changes in the environment, technology or market needs.

"Some Simple Economics of the Blockchain."

Catalini, Christian, and Joshua S. Gans. Communications of the ACM, July 2020.

"Initial Coin Offerings and the Value of Crypto Tokens."

Catalini, Christian, and Joshua Gans, MIT Sloan Working Paper 5347-18. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, March 2019.

"Blockchain Technology for Healthcare: Facilitating the Transition to Patient-Driven Interoperability."

Gordon, William, and Christian Catalini. Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal Vol. 16, (2018): 224-230.

"When Early Adopters Don't Adopt."

Catalini, Christian, and Catherine Tucker. Science Vol. 357, No. 6347 (2017): 135-136.

Faculty: Catherine Tucker
"The Digital Privacy Paradox: Small Money, Small Costs, Small Talk."

Athey, Susan, Christian Catalini, and Catherine Tucker, MIT Sloan Working Paper 5196-17. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, June 2017.

Faculty: Catherine Tucker

MIT Cryptoeconomics Lab

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"...the crypto economy is here to stay. But will it develop the social consensus and institutional arrangements needed to go fully mainstream?”

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