Incentive Design for Ethereum-based Stablecoin Systems

Location: Sydney CBD, NSW

Duration: 4 months

Start date: ASAP

Keywords: Blockchain, distributed ledgr technology (Ethereum); Software Engineering; Data Structures & Algorithms & Code Optimisation

Project Background

Stablecoins are a form of cryptocurrency that are fixed in price relative to an external asset (such as the USD). The degree to which the price mirrors the price of the external asset varies according to the design of the system. There have been a number of attempts to successfully design and implement such a system over the past few years, including nubits, bitshares, MakerDao, and Havven.

The utility of stablecoins however is widely agreed to be extremely high. They represent a superior form of money, being everything that Bitcoin intended to be in its attempt to become “an electronic peer to peer cash system”, except with the added sophistication of internal mechanisms to ensure a relatively stable price over time. Money must have a predictable value in order to be useful so that actors in the network using the money can make future plans and participate in an economy.

Currently, there is no universal unit of account that can be used for every day economic purposes. The invention of a scalable and stable cryptocurrency would have enormous economic impact. This is the pursuit of the Havven project.

Block8 are a software development company who have brought the Havven project to life, along with the project leader, we have developed the initial stabilisation mechanisms as well as the code-base deployed on Ethereum. We are now seeking to explore the longer-term implementation challenges for the technology.

Research to be Conducted

This work would suit someone with a background in economics or mathematics, in particular game theory and mechanism design.

1) Research into current cryptoeconomic incentive techniques for an optimised theoretical system as described in our whitepaper.

2) A full review of a recent independent report auditing our work to date from cryptecon – centre for cryptoeconomics.

3) Design of new and improved game-theoretic mechanics to support the system.

These objectives would be pursued alongside Block8 professional software engineers to ensure full support throughout the process.

Skills Required

We are looking for a PhD student with the following skills:
• Game theory and mechanism design
• Economics
• Mathematical modelling of dynamic systems (e.g. agent-based modelling)
• Blockchains / distributed ledger technology (Ethereum)

Expected Outcomes

A final report outlining the game theoretic improvements for the system that could be implemented in a new version of the whitepaper.
A presentation (approx 1 hr in length) of the report to Block8 engineering team.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.
It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner. The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.
The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

To participate in the APR.Intern program, all applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
• Be a PhD student currently enrolled at an Australian university
• PhD candidature must be confirmed
• Applicants must have the written approval of their Principal Supervisor to undertake the internship. This approval must be submitted at the time of application.
• Internships are also subject to any requirements stipulated by the student’s and the academic mentor’s university

Applications Close

29 April 2018


INT – 0411