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Humans have been bartering and trading for millennia, building extraordinarily complex mechanisms of exchange centered on fiat currencies, contracts, and trust. As cryptocurrencies have emerged this past decade, economists and incentive designers have been forced to consider how to construct new forms of currency without the social lubricant of trust. How can we prove that every market participant is incentive aligned with market goals? What contributions can game theory, theoretical computer science, cryptography and microeconomics make to this newly energized field?

That’s the subject of this episode of “Securities” with Christian Catalini, the founder of the MIT Cryptoeconomics Lab. He and his colleagues fuse the fields of economics and computer science together with the goal of analyzing decentralized marketplaces and applications. It’s just the latest endeavor for Catalini, who is also a Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management, the co-creator of Diem (formerly known as Libra), and the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Lightspark.

Joining host Danny Crichton is Lux’s own Grace Isford, who invests in web3 and crypto infrastructure and is based in New York City.

We’ll talk about the growing community of crypto infrastructure analysts, the now-famous MIT Bitcoin Experiment, how academics are translating their work into crypto, and how to think about stablecoins in the aftermath of Luna’s collapse this year.

“Securities” by Lux Capital: (Week of Aug 8, 2022)