Thought Leadership Matters
Cryptic Labs, a research lab for blockchain, security, privacy, and trust, has inducted two Nobel Laureate economists into its Economics Advisory Board. Dr. Eric S. Maskin, from Harvard University, and Sir Christopher Pissarides, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, are both experts in economics who joined the board earlier this month. The two will enable the organization to better assist clients as they offer insight into game theory and macro-economic policies – two fields that are lacking in blockchain industry expertise.
Maskin, who won a Nobel Prize in 2017 for laying the foundation of mechanism design theory, will focus on game theory and mechanism design. His work will have an emphasis on how blockchain companies can guide user incentives at a company level. This contribution could be pivotal – could he help big banks put aside their fear of crypto?
“Blockchain technology is potentially important for a modern economy. Most discussions of blockchain technology focus on technical issues. I am more interested in the economic value such technology can bring,” said Maskin in the press release.
Pissarides will provide expertise on the effect of the labor and money supply at a macro level. He specializes in the economics of labor markets, macroeconomic policy, economic growth and structural change, and was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in the economics of markets with frictions. With blockchains’ potential to disrupt so many centralized business models, how tomorrow’s labor force will work is a key question – will we learn how smart labor contracts can impact the labor market of future?
“Blockchain is the most exciting development in financial markets in recent years,” Pissaridies was quoted saying in the press release, “but we still don’t know enough about it to recommend a wholesale transition of all our transaction records to blockchain. Cryptic Labs impressed me with their mission to improve the service offered by blockchain technology, as well as the diversity and expertise of their team.”
An Economist’s Playground
Blockchain technology has firm ties to economics. Users intuitively experience its economic value when using a blockchain-powered solution. For example, when the Volkswagen/IOTA partnership delivers their product, drivers will receive an automatic notification suggesting it’s time to service the vehicle they invested in. When UPS upgrades their global logistics with blockchain, the improved package delivery will be tangible. It’s the ideal playground for an economist. As Rob Knight, the founder of Mattereum writes in an article on Medium, economists must experiment with the technology. Their expertise in monetary policies, trade, investment, licensing, and ownership will come in full-play here.
It’s time for more economists to enter the fray. Governments and regulators don’t always deal with blockchain consistently. The EU isn’t sure about crypto, however, Malta welcomes it. In the US, the SEC continues to investigate blockchain start-ups for securities law violations whereas the state of Vermont welcomes crypto. Governments and regulators need clarity how blockchain can impact macro-economics. Which means more economists need to provide blockchain thought leadership.
Economists are the right people to explain how stablecoins could address the volatility, or how buoyant coins can provide long-term stores of value. Their time is now. As this Deloitte report states, the technology is poised for growth. The time for knowledge infusion is now.