Tokens are for the Web3 what websites were for the WWW in the 1990s. While it has become easy to create a token with just a few lines of code, the understanding of how to apply these tokens is still vague.

Shermin Voshmgir, Token Economy, 2019
Token Economy



  • English Version: “Token Economy”, Shermin Voshmgir, Paperback, available on Purse (if you want to pay in crypto), Amazon, Barnes & Noble & other online book stores. An eBook will be available in Dec 2019.
  • German Version: “Token Economy”, Shermin Voshmgir, O’Reilly, expected publication date, Feb 202

About The Book

The book builds on the assumption that cryptographic tokens, as an application of Blockchain and derived technologies, might be as revolutionary as the emergence of the WWW as an application of the Internet. The goal of this book is to give a 360-degree view of the inner workings of the state of blockchain in the context of the Web3, discuss the socio-political implications, and explain why cryptographic tokens might prove to be the killer app of blockchain and smart contracts, deep-diving into selected use cases. This book is written for anyone who is interested to understand the relevance of tokens in the context of blockchain/DLTs and the Web3. The book introduces a token taxonomy from an economic and governance perspective and deep-dives into selected use cases (stable tokens, asset tokens, social media tokens (Steemit), attention tokens (BAT), token curated registries (TCRs), purpose-driven tokens like CO2 tokens), and other aspects like token sales, token exchanges and atomic swaps.

It caters to an interdisciplinary audience (academics & practitioners alike) and is also an ideal primer to the technology and token use-cases, and could also serve as a textbook for students. It is blockchain/DLT agnostic and covers the technology basics from a token perspective. One week after release the book has already become a bestseller on Amazon in Germany and other territories in the category of new release in Computer & Internet Law, Computers & Internet, Money & Economics.

The book builds on the legacy of our work at the BlockchainHub, the ongoing educational posts and Blockchain Handbook published in 2017 that has had over 50.000 downloads.

Inside the Book

Blockchains & smart contracts have made it easy for anyone to create a token with just a few lines of code. They can represent anything from an asset to an access right, like gold, diamonds, a fraction of a Picasso painting or an entry ticket to a concert. Tokens could also be used to reward social media contributions, incentivize the reduction of CO2 emissions, or even ones attention for watching an ad. While it has become easy to create a token, which is collectively managed by a public infrastructure like a blockchain, the understanding of how to apply these tokens is still vague. The book refers to tokens, instead of cryptocurrencies, and explains why the term “token” is the more accurate term, as many of the tokens have never been designed with the purpose to represent a currency. However, since tokens do have similarities to fiat currencies, the role of money as a medium of exchange is analyzed at length in this book. This book gives an overview of the mechanisms and state of blockchain, the socio-economic implications of tokens, and deep dives into selected tokens use cases: Basic Attention Token, Steemit, Token Curated Registries (TCRs), purpose-driven tokens, stable tokens, asset tokens, fractional ownership tokens, Libra & Calibra (Facebook), and many more.

Book Tour

Crypto Monday, Dec 16 2019, New York
International Monetary Fund, Dec 12 2019, Wahington
IFF,  Nov 22, Guangzhou, China
Soho House, Nov 11 2019, Berlin
Soho House, Nov 6 2019, Amsterdam
The Next Web: Hard Fork Summit, Oct 17 2019, Amsterdam
MIT Media Lab, Oct 6, Cambridge
Kunsthalle, Sept 20, Vienna
Siliconalps, Sept, 17 Graz
Techfest, Sept 5 2019, Copenhagen
TEGG – Berlin Blockchain Week, Aug 23 2019, Berlin
1E9 Conference, Jul 12 2019, Munich

About the Author

Shermin Voshmgir is the Author of the Book “Token Economy“. She is the director of the Research Institute for Cryptoconomics at the Vienna University of Economics, and the founder of BlockchainHub Berlin. In the past, she was a curator of TheDAO, and advisor to various startups like Jolocom, Wunder and the Estonian E-residency program. In addition to her studies at the Vienna University of Economics, she studied film and drama in Madrid. Her past work experience ranges from Internet startups, research & art. She is Austrian, with Iranian roots, and lives between Vienna and Berlin.
Find selected Author pictures here


Design: Justyna Zubrycka
Production: Caroline Helbing
Copy edit: Paisley Prophet
Layout: Carmen Fuchs
Reviewers: Susanne Guth-Orlowski, Jakob Hackel, Kris Paruch, Sofie Schock, Michael Zargham, Valentin Kalinov

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