Token economy

How can crypto tokens – representations of a particular asset or a utility on a blockchain – be better designed to minimise risks?


Blockchains and smart contracts allow everyone to create tokens that can be used as media of exchange, represent an asset or be employed to reinforce and build desirable behaviours. However, how to design and apply tokens is still unclear due to the ever-complicated relationship between software engineering, human behaviour and the complex socio-technical systems we form and inhabit.


This programme challenge, or special interest group, aims to put together researchers and industrial partners interested in understanding the socio-economic implications of tokens. The goal is to investigate the current usage of tokens in order to improve the design of future tokens, minimise potential risks for users and maximise potential societal benefits.

Recent updates

June 2021

Andrea Baronchelli took part in the NFTs & the future of digital art session at CogX 2021. The session was co-curated by CogX and The Alan Turing Institute.


Contact info

[email protected]


External collaborators

Shruti Appiah, Independent Researcher

Tomaso Aste, Professor and Director of the Centre for Blockchain Technologies (UCL)

Astrid Ayel, Blockchain & Fintech, Knowledge Transfer Network (InnovateUK)

Keith Bear, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (Cambridge)

Jessica Flack, Head of the Collective Computation Group at Santa Fe Institute

Angela Gallo, Lecturer in Finance (Cass)

Philip Gradwell, Chief Economist at Chainalysis

Gianvito Lanzolla, Head of Faculty of Management (Cass)

Gabriele Musella, CEO & Founder at Coinrule

Simone Righi, Lecturer in Financial Computing (UCL)

Tom Robinson, Chief Scientist at Elliptic

Lex Sokolin, Global Fintech Co-Head at ConsenSys 

Alex Teytelboym, Associate Professor in Economics (Oxford)


Collaborating organisations

Chainalysis   Coinrule
Elliptic logo   UCL CBT