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Breakpoint 2023: Burn-and-Mint Goldilocks Tokenomics for DePIN

Uros Kalabic unveils the principles of Burn-and-Mint Goldilocks Tokenomics for DePIN.

The notes below are AI generated and may not be 100% accurate. Watch the video to be sure!


Uros Kalabic, co-founder of the Onocoy Association, enlightened the audience at a recent conference on the burgeoning concept of "Burn-and-Mint Goldilocks" tokenomics within the context of digital currencies and blockchain platforms. Kalabic began by laying the foundational requirements for currency legitimacy - trust, acceptance, and value - and emphasized the crucial role of engineering design in upholding a currency's value. He gave a detailed breakdown of the inventive Burn-and-Mint model, elucidating its economic strategy involving contributors and consumers, and the pivotal role of market exchanges and speculators. The speaker chronicled the historical evolution of the Burn-and-Mint model, covering significant projects such as Factom and the helium improvement proposal, HIP 20. Kalabic further extended the discussion to strategic game theory implications, providing an analytical lens to view the structured incentivization and valuation of token economies. He concluded by proposing a novel approach to tokenomics design that ensures equilibrium without extensive intervention - introducing a pricing oracle not just to the burner side but also to the mint side.

Key Points:

The Essence of Burn-and-Mint Tokenomics

Burn-and-Mint tokenomics is a pivotal concept in cryptocurrency that involves understanding the flow of tokens between contributors, the platform, and consumers. Uros outlines this dynamic, where contributors earn tokens "out of nothing," and consumers burn tokens upon using them for payment, thereby sustaining an economic equilibrium. He addresses a crucial question on how consumers regard token prices, highlighting the use of a pricing oracle to maintain service prices consistent in fiat currency, even as token prices fluctuate.

Strategic Incentives and Game Theory

Kalabic's talk gravitates towards the strategic incentives of token holders, diving into game theory to rationalize tokenomics from an investor's standpoint. He argues consumers' indifference to token prices, as they care solely about the service value. Kalabic enlightens the audience that one's behavior as a token holder should be strategic. He delves into the nuances of how an economy must balance the rewards for contributors with the expectations of token holders to maintain a stable and flourishing digital currency environment.

Evolution and Analysis of Tokenomic Models

Providing a historical perspective, the speaker traces the origin of Burn-and-Mint to the Factom project and references enhancements suggested by Kyle Samani and HIP 20. These evolutions include the idea of deflationary burn-and-mint, aimed at reducing token quantities over time. Onocoy's own in-depth analyses emerge as the latest iteration, offering a peer-reviewed and strategic study on the aspects that drive token value and holders' optimal strategies.

Achieving the Goldilocks Tokenomics Model

Towards the conclusion of his presentation, Uros presents the concept of Goldilocks Tokenomics - not too much and not too little - a balance that is "just right." His approach calls for extending pricing oracles to govern how tokens are minted and tying the minting rewards to a fiat value instead of a predetermined schedule, effectively adjusting in real-time to economic conditions. This crucial adjustment is posited as a solution to achieving a stable token economy.

Facts + Figures

  • Trust, acceptance, and value are the three pillars that confer legitimacy to a currency.
  • In the Burn-and-Mint model, contributors earn tokens for providing services, and consumers burn tokens when purchasing services.
  • A pricing oracle is used to stabilize service costs in fiat money.
  • The concept originated from Factom in 2016 and was further developed through an article by Kyle Samani and a helium improvement proposal, HIP 20.
  • Onocoy has published peer-reviewed research delving into the strategic aspects of Burn-and-Mint tokenomics.
  • Game theory plays a significant role in optimizing the token holder's strategy.
  • Tokenomics design must ensure equilibrium to avoid collapsing the currency's value.
  • Kalabic proposes that setting mint rewards in fiat currency, mirroring the consumer side, will create a balanced Goldilocks economy.
  • An economy's underlying value is driven by revenue, not just tokenomics design.
  • Tokenomics engineers cannot create value out of thin air; they can only prevent mistakes that cause economic collapse.

Top quotes

  • "What gives a currency legitimacy? got trust, acceptance, and value and all those things need to be present."
  • "The consumers ... are paying with these tokens and when they pay, these tokens get burned."
  • "If we analyze this from being valued in fiat, ... the consumer doesn't care. Your value capture is $5 in fiat."
  • "The genesis or invention of Burn-and-Mint was done by a project called Factum."
  • "We've analyzed Burn-and-Mint from a strategic standpoint, like a game theoretic standpoint."
  • "The value of a Burn-and-Mint economy is equal to the net present value of the cash flow."
  • "You need to set the deflation rate to be equal to the discount rate."
  • "Basically, what you should do is price the mint rewards in fiat to, to contributors."
  • "We as designers and engineers ... all we can do is ensure that this economy works."

Questions Answered

What is burn-and-mint tokenomics?

Burn-and-Mint tokenomics refers to a cryptocurrency economic model where tokens are created or 'minted' for contributors providing services to a platform. Consumers who use these services pay with tokens, which are then 'burned', removed from circulation, to complete the transaction. The system aims to maintain a balance between the number of tokens entering and exiting the economy, thus supporting a stable currency value.

Why is finding a Goldilocks balance in tokenomics important?

Finding the Goldilocks balance in tokenomics is crucial because it ensures that neither contributors nor token holders are receiving too much or too little reward for their participation. An equilibrium is necessary to maintain a sustainable token economy where contributors are incentivized enough to continue providing services and token holders perceive value in holding and using the tokens.

How does game theory apply to tokenomics?

Game theory in the context of tokenomics helps in analyzing the strategic behavior of token holders. It guides token economies by considering rational choices that stakeholders may make when dealing with token pricing, holding, and usage. By understanding these strategic decisions, token designers can create systems that ensure fair and beneficial outcomes for all participants in the ecosystem.

What are the implications of setting mint rewards in fiat currency?

Setting mint rewards in fiat currency means that contributors to a platform are paid based on real-world currency values instead of a set amount of tokens. This creates a dynamic system where the minting reward adjusts according to the current token price, aligning with the economic principle of Goldilocks tokenomics. It ensures continual stability and avoids disincentivizing contributors over time due to inflation or token supply changes.

How does pricing oracles contribute to tokenomics?

Pricing oracles play a central role in tokenomics by providing a reliable source of external data regarding the current fiat value of services and tokens. This facilitates the process whereby services are priced consistently in fiat for consumers, regardless of token price volatility. By also applying oracles to the minting side, token rewards can be adjusted accurately, fostering a balanced token economy in line with the Goldilocks principle.