Token Engineering Explained in 3 Levels of Difficulty

Child (5 years)

5 year-olds rarely inquire about Token Engineering, but why not have some easy language ready to go just in case. This can be recycled for adult Luddites.

Teenager (15 years)

Generation Z grew up with technology and pretty much lives in cyberspace, but as Web 3 has not yet crossed the “chasm” into large-scale adoption, I would still stick to simple language in case the kid is rather into TikTok than Crypto Dozer.

Grad Student (33 years)

Generation Y is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to tech savviness. Let’s imagine a PhD student familiar with Web 3, but who is not an engineer.

“Token Engineering is the emerging engineering discipline concerned with the effective application of time-tested engineering methodologies, scientific knowledge and ethical standard to the modelling, analysis, implementation and steering of cryptoeconomic systems”.

Let’s start with the engineering aspect. Etymologically, the word “engineering” is derived from Latin and means roughly “making stuff in a clever way”. While humans had of course been making stuff in very clever ways for thousands of years, it took them a long time — and many collapsed bridges and other catastrophes — before engineering became a formal social institution around 500 years ago. Since then, many standards of professional competence and ethics across the various engineering fields — military, civil, electrical, chemical engineering etc. — were developed and today form a part of regulation or at least self-regulation in most countries.

“Cryptoeconomics is the emerging interdisciplinary science concerned with the structure, dynamics and implications of cryptoeconomic systems. Cryptoeconomic systems are digital economies built using cryptographically secured peer-to-peer networks.”

Typically, cryptoeconomic systems involve Digital Ledger Technology (DLT) such as Blockchains. Imagine Cryptoeconomics as the theoretical science counterpart to Token Engineering, an emerging engineering or “applied science” discipline. Cryptoeconomists are concerned with testable explanations and predictions of why and under what circumstances cryptoeconomic systems exhibit specific behaviors, and their impact on technological and societal progress. Token Engineers, on the other hand, are interested in combining this scientific knowledge with practical knowledge and actually make systems that work for specific purposes and under specific constraints. You might enjoy reading the paper “Foundations of Cryptoeconomic Systems”. it’s kind of the “Principia” of Cryptoeconomics.

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