The Vision

Public, permissionless blockchains are dependent for their security and reliability on their economic incentives and mechanism design. Some private, permissioned ones may be as well.

This conference will explore the economic security aspects of blockchains protocols, including game theory, incentive design, mechanism design and market design along with other topics related to crypto-economics security, and to foster collaborations among researchers and practitioners working on these topics.

CESC is hosted by Blockchain at Berkeley

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What is Cryptoeconomics?

Cryptoeconomics is a formal discipline that focuses on the design and characterization of protocols that govern the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in a decentralized digital economy.

Conference Press

UC Berkeley's First Blockchain Conference

We're hosting an amazing conference in Pauley Ballroom, on the top floor of the Martin Luther King building on campus.

Attendees: Pauley Ballroom is located on the third floor of the MLK Jr. Student Union, located on the edge of the UC Berkeley campus at Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Avenue. The third floor is accessible by elevator, or from the staircase in the main lobby on the second floor

The following parking lots are all within 10 minutes walking distance from the Student Union:

  • Lower Sproul Parking Garage (Bancroft Ave. between Dana St. and Telegraph Ave.)
  • Underhill Parking Garage (Channing Way between Bowditch St. and College Ave.)
  • Telegraph-Channing Garage (Channing Way)
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Leemon Baird

CTO, Swirlds Inc.

Leemon is the creator of the hashgraph consensus algorithm. He has been working in Distributed Ledger Technology for several years. Leemon has a PhD from Carnegie Mellon and has served as a professor, a research scientist and started two startups that were acquired.


Joshua L. Boehm

Associate Attorney, Perkins Cole LLP

Josh guides innovative companies through the complex regulatory issues associated with designing new products, particularly in fintech. He has helped clients launch cutting-edge platforms powered by blockchain tokens and issue blockchain-based securities.


Benedikt Bünz

PhD, Computer Security, Stanford

Benedikt Bünz is a second year PhD Student advised by Dan Boneh in Stanford's Computer Security Lab. Previously he received degrees from the University of Zurich and Stanford. His research focuses on designing cryptographic protocols using the blockchain.


Alessandro Chiesa

Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley

Alessandro is an assistant professor at UC Berkeley's EECS department (theory, cryptography, security). He is an author of libsnark, a C++ library for zkSNARKs, a co-inventor of Zerocash and co-founder of Zcash, both of which rely on libsnark.


Sinclair Davidson

Professor of Institutional Economics, RMIT University

Sinclair Davidson is Professor of Institutional Economics in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, and an Academic Fellow at the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance.


Jordan Earls

Co-Founder, Qtum

Jordan is the co-founder and lead core developer of the Qtum project. Jordan is also the co-chair of the Smart Contracts Alliance and well-known member of the cryptocurrency community. Jordan has reviewed over 100 altcoins and identified multiple exploits in coins.


Karl Floersch

Software Engineer, Consensys and Casper Development, Ethereum Foundation

Karl is a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation working on Casper Proof of Stake.


Neil Gandal

Professor of Economics, Tel Aviv University

Professor Gandal has published numerous empirical papers in the economics of information technology, the economics of the software and internet industries, and the economics of cybersecurity.


Rosario Gennaro

Research Director at CCNY

Rosario is the Director at the Center for Algorithms and Interactive Scientific Software at CCNY. He has a 20 year career in cryptography and security. His research focuses on verifiable computation, threshold and proactive security and distributed cryptographic protocols.


Steven Goldfeder

PhD student, Princeton University

Steven Goldfeder is a PhD student at Princeton University where he is a member of the Security and Privacy Research Group. He is a co-author of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction.


Philipp Jovanovic

Post-doctoral Researcher

Philipp Jovanovic is a cryptographer and post-doctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), in Switzerland. His research focuses on applied cryptography and decentralized systems. Philipp is also an advisor to the DFINITY project.


Shahan Khatchadourian

Blockchain Research and Development, Consensys

Shahan Khatchadourian is a researcher (PhD) and software developer leading the Protocol Engineering Group at ConsenSys to develop secure, scalable blockchains.


Lefteris Kokoris-Kogias

PhD Research Scholar, EPFL

Lefteris is a PhD researcher at EPFL, advised by Prof. Bryan Ford. His research lies in-between computer systems, computer security and applied cryptography. He is particularly interested in decentralised trust systems.


Jae Kwon

Founder and CEO, Tendermint/Cosmos

Jae Kwon is the CEO of Tendermint, a project aimed at liberating the blockchain from the costs and drawbacks of proof-of work-mining.


Yoad Lewenberg

PhD Student, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Yoad Lewenberg is a PhD student in the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research interests include multiagent systems, machine learning, and algorithmic game theory.


Shin'ichiro Matsuo

Research Professor at Georgetown University

Shin'ichiro Matsuo is conducting research at Georgetown University on Blockchain and information security. He is also the co-Founder of


Patrick McCorry

Research Associate, University College London

Patrick McCorry is a Research Associate at University College London, who is focused on cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, applied cryptography and decentralised systems.


Dmitry Meshkov

Founder of ERGO Platform, researcher at IOHK

PhD in physics, blockchain researcher for the last 2 years. Developer at Scorex project, that formed the basis of Waves platform and Mantis ETC client. Cofounder of ERGO - the upcoming blockchain platform.


Silvio Micali

Professor, MIT

Silvio is a Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT. His interests are cryptography, zero knowledge, pseudo-random generation, secure protocols, mechanism design, and distributed ledgers. Silvio is the recipient of the Turing Award, the Gödel Prize, and the RSA prize.


Andrew Miller

Advisor, Zcash - Associate Director, IC3 at Cornell University

Andrew Miller is an Assistant Professor at UIUC in Computer Engineering. He is also an Associate Director of IC3 at Cornell and an advisor to the Zcash project.


Tal Moran

Faculty Member, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya

Tal is a faculty member in the School of Computer Science at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. His research focuses on employing ideas and techniques from theoretical cryptography to design secure systems in the real world.


Rafael Pass

Associate Professor, Cornell University

Rafael is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University. His research focuses on Cryptography, computational complexity and game theory. He has been the receipient of several fellowship awards.


Georgios Piliouras

Assistant Professor at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Georgios Piliouras is an Assistant Professor at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) in Engineering Systems and Design. He is also an advisor to the Ethereum project.


Joseph Poon

Co-Author Plasma and Lightning Network

Joseph is the co-author of bitcoin’s Lightning Network whitepaper and Plasma ( His current areas of research involves blockchain scalability mechanisms, inter-blockchain interaction, and cryptoeconomic incentives.


Ratul Saha

PhD Student, NUS Singapore

Ratul is a finishing PhD student from NUS, Singapore. His research interests include formal verification, probabilistic verification, and blockchain. He is currently setting up his blockchain consultancy service for investors and businesses.


Dawn Song

EECS Professor, UC Berkeley

Dawn Song is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. Her research interest lies in deep learning and security.


Balaji Srinivasan

CEO, 21 Inc - Board Partner at a16z

Balaji is the CEO and co-founder at and a Board Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Balaji was previously the CTO and cofounder of Counsyl and occasionally teaches at Stanford.


Jason Teutsch

Founder, TrueBit

Jason Teutsch is the founder of TrueBit, an initiative bringing scalable computation to blockchains. His research focuses on distributed systems security, game theory, and algorithmic randomness. He has held multiple postdoctoral/research positions and Fulbright fellowships.


Angela Walch

Research Fellow, Centre for Blockchain Technologies at University College London

Angela Walch is an Associate Professor at St. Mary's University School of Law and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Blockchain Technologies at University College London (UCL | CBT).


Vlad Zamfir

Research Lead, Ethereum

Vlad is a leading Ethereum researcher and expert in crypto-economics. Currently, he is working on proof-of-stake and blockchain sharding protocols for the Ethereum project.


Ren Zhang

COSIC Research Group, KU Leuven, Belgium

Ren Zhang works on the exciting field of cryptocurrencies and blockchains. Currently his research focuses on consensus protocols and privacy solutions.


Ryan Zurrer

Venture Partner, Polychain Capital

Ryan is at Polychain Capital leading private investments and helping projects structure their crypto-economic models. Ryan has been an active angel investor in the blockchain ecosystem since 2012, backing both start-ups and token-enabled networks.

Topics Schedule

October 2 - Day 1

  • Keynote

    By Jae Kwon - 9:30AM

  • Economics of Fees and Gas

    By Jordan Earls - 9:45AM

  • ALGORAND: A Truly Distributed Ledger

    By Silvio Micali - 10:00AM

  • Thunderella: a fast and scalable blockchain

    By Rafael Pass - 10:40AM


    11:05AM - 11:30AM

  • What is a token, economically?

    By Sinclair Davidson - 11:30AM

  • Escrow Protocols for Cryptocurrencies

    By Steven Goldfeder - 12:00AM

  • Lunch

    12:30PM - 1:30PM

  • Bitcoin Mining Pools: A Cooperative Game Theoretic Analysis

    By Yoad Lewenberg - 1:30PM

  • On Power Splitting Games in Distributed Computation

    By Ratul Saha - 2:00PM

  • Keepers - Workers that Maintain Blockchain Networks

    By Ryan Zurrer - 2:30PM


    2:50PM - 3:10PM

  • Zerocash: addressing Bitcoin's privacy problem

    By Alessandro Chiesa - 3:10PM

  • On Space-Scare Economy In Blockchain System

    By Dmitry Meshkov - 3:55PM


    4:20PM - 4:35PM

  • Price Manipulation in the Bitcoin Ecosystem

    By Neil Gandal - 4:35PM

  • Zero-Knowledge Contingent Payments

    By Rosario Gennaro - 5:00PM

October 3 - Day 2

  • Keynote

    9:00AM by Joshua L. Boehm

  • Keynote

    9:15AM by Karl Floersch

  • The Meshcash Framework: Tortoise and Hares Consensus

    9:30AM by Tal Moran

  • Analyzing the Bitcoin Unlimited Mining Pool

    10:05AM by Ren Zhang


    10:35AM - 10:55AM

  • Scalable Bias-Resistant Distributed Randomness

    10:55AM by Philipp Jovanovic

    • Scalable and Efficient Distributed Ledgers

      11:25AM by Eleftherios Kokoris-Kogias

    • Lunch

      12:00PM - 1:00PM

    • A Scalable Verification Solution for Blockchains

      1:00PM by Jason Teutsch

    • Proofs-of-Delay and Randomness Beacons in Ethereum

      1:30PM by Benedikt Bünz

    • Quantifying Decentralization

      2:00PM by Balaji Srinivasan

    • BREAK

      2:20PM - 2:40PM

    • Global Scale Research Networks and Cryptoeconomics

      2:40PM by Shin’ichiro Matsuo

    • Cryptoeconomics in Casper

      3:00PM by Vlad Zamfir

    • BREAK

      3:45PM - 4:00PM

    • Hashgraph Security and Attack Resilience

      4:00PM by Leemon Baird

    • A Smart Contract for Boardroom Voting with Privacy

      4:30PM by Patrick McCorry

    Program Committee

    • Alessandro Chiesa
    • Andrew Miller
    • Angela Walch
    • Balaji Srinivasan
    • Dawn Song
    • Georgios Piliouras
    • Jae Kwon
    • Jason Teutsch
    • Joseph Poon
    • Shin'ichiro Matsuo
    • Shahan Khatchadourian
    • Vlad Zamfir

    Organizing Committee

    Ronen Kirsh
    Akash Khosla
    Byron Gibson
    Gee Sivalingam
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