Outlier Ventures deepens partnership with Imperial College for crypto-economic token design

Imperial College has begun a new initiative with Outlier Ventures to support the technical protocol and behavioural economics design ahead of token sales

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Outlier Ventures, one of the World’s leading Blockchain and Web 3.0 venture capital firms today announces a new initiative with it’s partner Imperial College’s renowned crypto-currency research and engineering department for crypto-economic design services.

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Cryptoeconomics is an area of applied cryptography that takes economic incentives and economic theory into account. It uses cryptography and incentives to build new systems, applications and networks. The concept is fundamental to the construction of Web 3.0 and was pioneered in Bitcoin’s design.

This agreement comes off the back of a broader partnership between Imperial and Outlier Ventures announced at the beginning of the year and follows Outlier’s recent publication of a new framework called CET, Community Token Economies. CETs allow for communities of startups and incumbents to build network effect and economies of scale more quickly via a collectively owned protocol and shared ‘Community Token’. Helping avoid redundancy and competing over scarce technical talent in Blockchain and crypto-economics that would otherwise lead to a tragedy of commons.

The team at Imperial College, comprising Professors and PhD students, will run randomised control trials to experiment with various token design factors. This allows them to identify causal links about the expected behaviour of various parties, ensuring the right economic and behavioural properties are incorporated into the token’s design. Examples include:

Building trust: Testing will focus on various trust-building tools via different reputation creation mechanisms, including: new governance and communication frameworks, new standards for investing, new risk stratification hierarchies for smart contracts, as well as building incentive structures for the governing Blockchain protocols themselves.

Coordination & Cooperation: Experiments will examine the likely network effect and different cooperation mechanisms for the community as well as potential voting structures within a Community Token Economy. For example, ‘should a community token economy should allow for individual app tokens to exist or be all-encompassing?’

Competition & Conflict: Imperial will investigate intra and inter group competition and conflict using game theory techniques to help identify the most effective way to structure a Community Token Economy.

Imperial College will work closely with Eden Dhaliwal, Outlier’s newly appointed Head of Crypto-Economics and its venture portfolio in order to plan and design the incentives inherent to a number of portfolio company tokens. Three of Outlier Ventures’ portfolio companies are already currently planning Community Token Economies, including token sales, to fund continued innovation in areas including open mobility and artificial intelligence.

Dr Catherine Mulligan, Co-Director for Cryptocurrency Research & Engineering at Imperial College commented

“Our teams are looking forward to the chance to thoroughly plan, test and interrogate the various economic incentives that will foster sustainable micro-economies for Outlier’s venture companies and their communities. Running experiments and randomised control trials provides a wealth of data to ensure appropriate token design.”

Eden Dhaliwal, Head of Crypto-Economics, Outlier Ventures added:

“The technical, cryptographic and economic talent amongst Imperial’s professors and PhD students is some of the finest in the world. It’s essential for us that our Community Token Economies are designed thoroughly, we want to create sustainable economies with the wider community in mind from the very outset. All too often today token sales are rushed, without the necessary forethought.”

To download the recently published Community Token Economy whitepaper, please visit: https://outlierventures.io/cte-wp

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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