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Economics Design

Economics Design

By Lisa JY Tan
We talk about the design of economic systems. This could be video game simulated economy or real business world like frequent flyer points system or blockchain based token economy.
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EP 25: 2 Risks in DEX, Price Slippage and Impermanent Loss
DEXes are eating up the trading volume of centralised exchange. We covered many areas of DEX, from understanding the mechanism behind to understanding the various math formulas. In the comments, people were asking how to calculate impermanent loss and the risks available. So in this video, we cover 3 main things: What is the general formula for AMM What is the risk of trading within AMM (aka when you are a trader) What is the risk of adding liquidity in AMM and there is a price difference outside (aka when you are a liquidity provider) Apologies for the late upload. I'm a few days behind. Just being slightly busy right now. But I'll promise to continue uploading videos, content and explaining the math so it helps you to make informed decisions. Want more in-depth content? Check out 
September 20, 2020
EP 24: A Special Episode on Ponzinomics in Defi and Crypto
The plan for this week is to do a deep dive for Sushiswap. But friday happened and the weekend happened. A lot of gains is swiped out in the S&P financial market and defi financial market. And since the video on "Why DeFi is more than just a Ponzi Scam" has gotten quite a bit of traction, I figured it's good to talk more about Ponzinomics. For Sushiswap, the video will still be produced, with my hypothesis and analysis of the future of $SUSHI. It will be available to premium subscribers on Patreon, so do subscribe to our patreon to support these content! In this episode, we chat about what is ponzi in defi, what ponzinomics really is about, the 10 ponzinomics mechanisms, 2 case studies of scams and how you can protect yourself from ponzinomics scams! Quick navigation: What makes it a ponzi scam Ponzinomics 10 Ponzinomics Methodology How to protect yourself YFFI scam Sushi scam…? How to protect yourself Want more in-depth content? Support us on patreon at
September 10, 2020
EP 23: How to use Bonding Curve Beyond DeFi
We've talked about bonding curves so many times. You'd think I've  exhausted the content. HAH! Not a chance.    Today, we have with us Jeff Emmett from the Common Stacks team, sharing  with us about augmented bonding curves, generalised bonding curves and  various "behind the scene" concepts of bonding curves.    Absolutely follow him on twitter at    Want more in-depth content? Sign up at our Patreon at
September 3, 2020
EP 22: NFT, Bonding Curves and Harberger Taxes w Simon de la Rouviere
Today, we have a guest on our episode, Simon de la Rouviere. He's known to start talking actively about bonding curves and it's making a huge impact to the future that we are building — #DeFi and crypto. Things we covered: What are Harberger Taxes Evolution of "Art is Always on Sale" V1 vs V2 Patronage as an asset class Taxation and its impact on time horizon of holding assets Relationship between art work and incentive to artist Bonding curve with NFT via a price floor Utility as a marginal incentive function in bonding curve Various curve relationships between art and prices Governance in NFT Sustainable funding and efficient economy for artist Combining DeFi with Bonding Curve for collectible art and virtual assets Bonding curve uses in personal tokens 2 advice to economic and system designers Some links on the things we talked about: Radical markets [Book] — Cadcad [Programming] — Wild Cards [Project] — This Artwork Is Always On Sale v2 — Exploring Harberger Tax Rates in Virtual Collectibles & Patronage Markets — Patronage As An Asset Class — Want more in-depth content? Join our Token Economics 201 course at!
August 27, 2020
EP 21: What is Ampleforth? The Economics Design of AMPL Token [Case Study]
What is Ampleforth? What is supply elasticity? Why do I have more tokens and suddenly less tokens? Where does Ampleforth come in, in the #DeFi space? How does Ampleforth work?! I don't understand Ampleforth! Fret not, let's start Season 2 with a deep dive and case study of Ampleforth, using the Economics Design framework for tokens. Things covered: What is Ampleforth Objective of Ampleforth Token function AMPL vs AAVE AMPL vs COMP AMPL vs USD Economics design framework Main USP of AMPL What is Synthetic commodity money Economics utility vs financial utility of AMPL How AMPL works using example of hot and cold water Monetary policy of Ampleforth Graph analysis of AMPL Valuation model for AMPL Global trade impacts of AMPL Distribution and allocation analysis of AMPL Want more case studies like these? Subscribe to the premium version of the Patreon to unlock bi-weekly videos like these!
August 23, 2020
EP 20: Fundraising Mechanism with Bonding Curve (4 Use Cases)
We've covered about bonding curves and the various incentive mechanisms that you can bake into the curve. This episode, we focus on using bonding curve as a way to fundraise for your project. Fundraising with tokens doesn't always mean that the token is a security. It can also be a utility. Here, we share 4 use-cases of how bonding curves are used in fundraising. Unlike autonomous market maker, there is no general model to follow. Quick navigation: Bonding curve in AMM vs Fundraising: 00:56 Utility token vs Security token in fundraising: 04:06 Bonding curve application in fundraising: 04:52 Utility token: 09:34 Use-case 1, Giveth platform: 10:08 Use-case 2, Aragon platform: 14:17 Use-case 3, Molecule platform: 17:04 Security token: 27:57 Use-case 4, Fairmint platform: 28:15 Application: 32:41 Want more in-depth content? Join our Token Economics 201 course at! Use EARLYBIRD for a discount. 
August 7, 2020
EP 19: Token Bonding Curve Algorithms for Autonomous Market Makers (DEX)
The podcast version has no images to follow, unlike the YouTube channel. So it's easier! 🥳  In Part 1, we covered the basics of token bonding curves and understand how the shape of the curve affects the incentive mechanism. In this episode, we look into the application of token bonding curve in decentralised exchanges, DEX. Specifically, the use case of Autonomous Market Maker. We dive into 4 case studies: Bancor, Uniswap, Balancer, Curve The concept of token bonding curve in this 4 DEXes are the same. But the application of how the token bonding curve algorithm is built is different. So we uncover the 4 various algorithms used in the 4 different token bonding curves. Quick navigation: Addressing 3 issues of previous episode: 00:26 Content we will be covering: 05:40 SUMS of token functions: 07:11 TBC in Stable tokens (pegged tokens): 09:17 TBC in Security and Utility tokens: 10:35 TBC in Autonomous Market Maker (AMM): 11:42 Why AMM in Decentralised Exchanges (DEX): 14:39 Which DEX that use AMM: 17:03 Math concepts of Bonding Curve in Autonomous Market Maker : 18:13 General bonding curve in AMM: 23:03 Case study 1, Bancor: 26:41 Case study 2, Uniswap: 34:25 Case study 3, Balancer: 40:18 Case study 4, Curve: 46:29 Application to projects: 50:07 Want more in-depth content? Join our Token Economics 201 course at! Introducing an early bird discount before I refilm all the episodes. You will still get access to the new episodes when it's done! Use code: Earlybird to get 25% discount. Parts will be available on Economics Design soon, when I launch the premium version on 31 Aug 2020.
August 1, 2020
EP 18: Token Valuation with Token Bonding Curve
⚠️ PSA: This podcast episode is different from the YouTube channel. This removes the maths and graph, as it requires visualisation. Please check out the YouTube version for the graph. Otherwise, this episode is good enough to have you an in-depth explanation. ⚠️  This is a 2-part series. Part 1 is on the economics and math of TBC and how the curve functions affect the incentive mechanism and what governance can we embed into the function. Part 2 will be on using these functions in projects, and taking a dive at a few projects. The episode is split into 2 because it gets quite heavy to digest all the information at once. So part 1 is the more math-y part, for you, as economics designers to grasp. And part 2 is the more application-y part, for you, as economics designers to know how to use it. After all, knowledge is only valuable when applied. Enjoy this first part. We understand token bonding curves, the benefits, where the value accrual is derived from and the various functions to consider. As much as I wish there is 1 perfect function, the functions really depend on the objective of your system and what it wants to incentive or govern. So choose wisely and have fun playing with graphs! Application to token economics framework: 00:38 What is token bonding curve: 03:53 4 properties of token bonding curve: 07:50 Use-cases: 11:38 Where does value come from: 13:37 Risks and ways to mitigate risks: 18:09 4 math functions: 19:30 How to calculate total cost of tokens: 28:39 Want more in-depth content? Join our Token Economics 201 course at!
July 23, 2020
EP 17: What makes good token economics, so investors will invest in it?
In this episode, we interview Arthur Cheong, a DeFi investor. He's on Twitter as @Arthur_0x. From the perspective of an investor, who invests in tokens and token projects, we uncover what are the key aspects in token economics that he is concerned with. He also shared his top 3 projects with good token economics, opinions on yield farming and advise when designing tokens.  Spent 2 full days on the audio 🙃 This specific episode is best viewed on YouTube with subtitles.  Quick navigation: What makes a good token: 1:04 3 Projects with good token economics: 3:38 Tokens as equity: 8:57 Retalisation trend in DeFi: 11:47 Factors for due diligence: 13:04 Yield Farming: where is the economics value?: 16:05 DeFi moving forward: 20:08 3 tips for token designers and economic designers: 27:14 Want more in-depth content? Join our Token Economics 201 course at!
July 16, 2020
EP 16: Tokens with Programmable Rules - Leveraged Tokens (E.g FTX)
Alright listen up guys. Now is the best time for #STONKS. Memes aside, new token design are constantly entering the space. As DeFi continues to mature, I think we will start to see more sophisticated tokenised products with mathematical programmable rules embedded in them. How is now not the best time to be alive! This episode, we dive into leveraged tokens. Using the token economics framework, we uncover the economics behind leveraged tokens, using #FTX as an example. Some simple math are involved. But don't worry. It's all fun and games. Caution: this is a high risk product! Don't stonk your lives away ok. Level up with #TokenEconomics course:
July 9, 2020
EP 15: Yield Farming Economics. Good bad ugly
Yield farming is all the type right now. We talked about the international gold (bitcoin) standard and this week, on farming. I guess history really repeats itself! This week, we share about 4 projects using yield farming, and breaking down the economics of yield farming and token design. Whilst yield farming is a great way for your project, consider the bad and ugly too, if you decide to implement it in your project. Quick navigation: What is yield farming: 00:53 Projects using yield farming mechanism: 03:21 Yield farming hacks: 09:05 Good, Bad and Ugly: 14:05 Economics of yield farming: 20:40 Applying to projects: 29:56 Want more in-depth content? Join our Token Economics 201 course at!
July 3, 2020
EP 14: Why Bitcoin will NEVER be an international currency
We've talked about how bitcoin accrues value. Now, here's why bitcoin will only remain as a P2P currency but never play a role in the international monetary order. In this episode, we will understand the various international monetary order, the lessons learnt and what does it mean for an international monetary order moving forward. And in this process, figure out where #Bitcoin plays a role and how it is possible to have a small part of the international monetary order. Quick navigation: Short answer in 30 seconds 1:20 History of international monetary order 1:53 Lessons learnt from it 26:43 Bitcoin's possible role in the international monetary order 28:54 Why Bitcoin will never be an international currency 36:25 Want more in-depth content? Join our Token Economics 201 course at! Currently having a discount.
June 25, 2020
EP 13: How Money has Value (3-step Process)
You've probably heard enough about the whole argument of "money used to be gold". In this episode, we will uncover the fundamentals of how money accrues value from 2 perspectives — metallism and chartalism. Quick navigation: How money is created (Metallism vs Chartallism) 01:34 3-step process to legitimising money 10:20 Application to cryptocurrency 12:30 If you are keen to learn more, we are currently having a discount for the Token Economics Blueprint course! It's a 10 lesson session and you can choose which section you are interested in. Total lesson time: 15 hours. Join our Token Economics 201 course at!
June 11, 2020
EP 12: Economics of DAO, the Future of Governance and Liberty
In the midst of #blacklivesmatter, protests in Hong Kong and protests  all around the world, this is one the beginning of change. The change is  governance, and how we govern in the future.      Moving towards a digital landscape, we can now tap into new  opportunities like decentralised governance and decentralised  organisations. This episode, we explore DAO, the future of governance  and liberty.     DAO means decentralised autonomous organisations. It can exist on  blockchain and non-blockchain platforms.      This episode, we will cover:    What are DAOs  Why are DAOs important  Economics of DAOS: Economics of trust, Economics of coordination,  Economics of allocation    Types of DAOs in the space today      We share about the various projects    #PieDAO #MolochDAO #KyberDAO #MakerDAO #DASH #LAO    Want more in-depth content? Join our Token Economics 201 course at! (Currently having a discount!)
June 4, 2020
EP 11: Token Economist Explains How To Design Digital Economies with Tokens (Tokenomics)
Whilst there is no holy grail of model to design token economics, there is a framework that you can use. I developed this after researching for 2 years. Basically deconstructing economics to its principles and then using that to apply to the new world order that governs our lives today. Ps: Am I speaking too fast and should I slow down? Want more in-depth content? Join our Token Economics 201 course at! Watch on YouTube for visual learners and Substack for those who prefer TLDR reading.
May 27, 2020
EP 10: BUY or BYE-Nance? Binance BNB Token Economics Case Study
Trying a new format for videos. Let me know if you prefer this format or the previous ones! This is a case study of Binance's native token, BNB. Bookmarks so you can jump to your preferred sections: Quick PSA on the term "token economics": 00:51 // Market design of BNB token: 01:22 // (Token Design) Token structure: monetary policy and valuation: 04:14 // (Token Design) Financial incentives of BNB tokens : 11:12 Want more in-depth content? Join our Token Economics 201 course at! Watch on YouTube for visual learners and Substack for those who prefer reading.
May 23, 2020
EP 9: Design your successful token economics with Market Design in 3 ways
Often, we like to think that token economics is all about the token. That is not true. It also comes with the design of the environment, which the token exists in. And that's market design. In this episode, we uncover what market design is, what are the 3 aspects to consider and examples of how they can be applied when you design your token ecosystem. Want more in-depth content? Join our Token Economics 201 course at! Watch on YouTube for visual learners and Substack for those who prefer reading. 
May 14, 2020
EP 8: Bitcoin's Monetary Policy and Implications of the Derivatives Market on 2020 Block Reward Halving
This special episode, we will look into the case study of Bitcoin and uncover its monetary policy and implications to pricing in the 2020 block rewards halving. With the reduced selling pressure, increased sellers inelasticity, reduced inflation (due to stock-to-flow ratio) and derivatives, this 2020 bitcoin block reward halving could see a different volatility in the market. Watch on YouTube for visual learners and Substack for those who prefer reading.
May 10, 2020
EP 7: Real Underlying Issues and Problems in Libra Network
In this episode, we will unbox the problems, questions and analysis of Libra Network. We will share about the reason Facebook is entering the financial space, how Facebook is looking to extract more value from its platform, the blurred line between government and firms, impact on the Libra coin for retail and institution users. Libra is not just about world domination with money, but how do we build a better financial infrastructure for the future. We have to understand the causes and effects of the design and find solutions to the existing problems. So we do not bring the same problems into the new digital space. Remember to subscribe on YouTube for visual learners and Substack for those who prefer reading!
May 6, 2020
EP 6: Facebook Libracoin Economics, solution to financial issues or another overpromise?
In this episode, we will unbox the economics design of Facebook's Libra network. Applying the token economics framework, we will analyse the economics design of Libra coin based on the new Libra Whitepaper 2.0. Remember to subscribe on YouTube for visual learners and Substack for those who prefer reading!
April 28, 2020
EP 5: Token Economics Principle 2, Supply and Demand
In EP 4, we covered behavioural economics, which is principle 1 in token economics. Today, we will come back to the basics of supply and demand. Why we need it, how to govern it and how can we apply to the token economics that you are building.
April 21, 2020
EP 4: And The Key To Token Success? Behavioural Economics
So far, we focused on classic economics and how we can apply classic economics into the design of economics systems. In this episode, let's talk about a key underlying principle to manage the ecosystem, behavioural economics. Economics design of the crypto ecosystems are in 2 layers. Layer 1 on classic economics and beautiful mathematical formulas. Layer 2 on behaviours of participants and actions. In this episode, we will dive into What behavioural economics is Why are we like that? Why are we so prone to influence? How can we apply behavioural economics applied to token economics? 👀 Watch on Youtube: 🗞Subscribe to Newsletter on Substack:
April 10, 2020
EP 3: Economics, Reinventing The World
Previously, we looked at the economics design of a video game, as well as what we can learn from viruses that are applicable to economics design. In this video, we take it one step further and look at token economics, as well as how it is redefining the future of the world we live in today. The beauty of token economics is that its possibilities are endless. From art to buildings, the way we invest in assets could be completely redefined with the arrival of tokenisation. The act of tokenising assets has threatened to disrupt many industries in many disciplines, in particular the financial industry. As a designer of the ecosystem and token, there are countless ways to manage the demand and supply of tokens, with the goal being to maximise the value of your tokens in the primary market. As we enter a more data-centric world, we can engineer designs to serve the outcomes we want. Token engineering and token economics are just going to continue increasing demand in this space, and what we optimise as well as how we optimise, is going to keep changing and evolving. 👀 Watch on Youtube: 🗞Subscribe to Newsletter on Substack:
April 3, 2020
EP 2: CoronaVirus and Evolving Economics Design
We can learn so much from biology and how it adapts to changes in the environment. Taking the lesson from Coronavirus, I'm keen to figure out the mechanisms in which viruses adapt and mutate as a result. In this episode, we want to answer 3 fundamental things: 1. What drives evolution? 2. What role does the environment play in evolution? 3. How can we apply this to designing complex evolving economic systems?
March 26, 2020
EP 1: I tried to manage animals in Planet Zoo?
This is the first episode to Economics Design 1. Think it is not relevant to you? If you have ever sold tickets to an event, collected points for a membership, or done management of a space or any sort - economics design is more than relevant to you!  In this episode, Lisa tells us how to design a working economics system within a zoo. Tell us what do you want us to try next?
December 19, 2019