Click here to add content.
Blockchain, Tokenomics, Web3

Beginner Series – Part 1 – The importance of tokenomics to the viability of a cryptocurrency

Posted on


Throughout our practice, after having built a few tokenomics ecosystems, we’ve realized a recurring theme with those we advise. Generally, most clients lack an understanding of why proper architecting, designing and putting up-front effort in their tokenomics model is essential and how it impacts the final deployment of their initiatives. The information is difficult to find for most, complicated to consolidate, understand and apply and at the intersection of several disciplines. Dealing with tokenomics can be daunting and feel overwhelming.
Whether it’s a token or an NFT, what is being created is a microeconomic structure that must be tuned according to the principles of trade and exchange. For this reason, we have decided that tokenomics will be the subject of our first series of articles. There is much to cover, so that we will break it into five parts.
  1. Importance
  2. Supply-Side Levers
  3. Demand-Side Levers
  4. Long-Term Planning for Success
  5. Systems Thinking in Tokenomics Design
Tokenomics may be one of the most significant differentiating concepts between cryptocurrencies and fiat money (or any other web ecosystem before it!). It’s not the same as producing Virtual Currencies like those seen in Fortnite or other games where people trade currency for tokens. Creating a token requires balancing supply and demand, which itself requires understanding user desires and solving pain points. Web 3 allows anyone to construct little microcosms of niche economic activity easily. Therefore, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of how economies are set up to properly assess tokenomic models, the viability of other projects, and your own potential web 3 implementations.
This isn’t an article on making investment decisions but rather an article designed to help you construct a lens through which you can evaluate projects or build your own.

What are tokenomics?

The area encompassed by the term ‘Tokenomics’ has many definitions and interpretations. I consider it to be the study of how tokens are designed and conceived by the merit of their utility or value within an ecosystem, which supports their existence as a medium of exchange (or as a store of value).
This series will explore what tokenomics means for cryptocurrency projects in general and how it can help you assess what considerations you need to make regarding the economic structures and flows of currency before going through with an ICO launch.
Through tokenomics, we can better evaluate an economic microstructure for viability through the perspective of systems thinking. That is to say: an analysis of all the market participants, ancillary agents, inflows, and outflows.
I recommend a great book on systems thinking that can be useful to grasp the concept written by the late Donella Meadows: Thinking in Systems: A Primer. Systems thinking was developed to create sustainable operations in traditional business systems but can equally apply to web 3 systems if applied innovatively.

Why are tokenomics so important?

We must keep one fundamental truth at the forefront when discussing tokens: they have no intrinsic or inherent monetary value. They will ultimately derive their value from what people are willing to pay for them in the future or otherwise create a peg to an existing store of value or equivalent amount of specific goods and services at market rate.
A good tokenomics framework should be designed to facilitate price discovery from the market. Fundamentally, the token needs to have a strong use case and be tradable on exchanges to assist the market participants to converge on a price closest to its equilibrium target as opposed to its perceived value. These little microeconomic structures benefit from acting like true markets with all the benefits of an invisible hand, a Keynesian utopia in some aspects. It allows market forces like supply and demand to drive real price equilibriums. The closer we peg the value of a token to the basket of goods and services that can be acquired, the closer we get to true price discoveries, less volatile price action and a more efficient market. A tokenomics model should be designed to ensure that demand can grow far beyond its initial application and usage metrics for it to be successful over the long term.


As we work on projects, we realize that the next few years will be critical for the token economy as we see projects trying to incentivize their communities better. It’s essential not just for the companies who are developing token projects but also for investors, traders, advisors and employees who want to make sure that their stakes and investments are being well-managed by those who set out to raise funds from their community of users for them to develop their products.
In the continuation of this article, we will explore the economic principles of supply and demand as they relate to creating a cryptocurrency. To give a little preview, the total supply of tokens must be carefully considered in relation to the potential demand for the tokens. If there is not enough demand for the tokens, the price will be too low, and the currency will be valueless. On the other hand, if there is too much demand without a change in supply, the price can skyrocket. High prices can put people off from buying into an ecosystem and contribute to volatile price activity, which is harmful to those seeking stable economies. This is a pretty deep topic, and we’ll dive in with our next article on supply levers for creating stable economies!

Further Reading:

Peter Lipovyanov – Blockchain for Business – https://www.packtpub.com/product/blockchain-for-business-2019/
Gregory Mankiw – Principles of Economics (Parts 2,3,4,8,10,11, and 12) – https://amzn.ca/0357038312/
Charles Wheelan – Naked Economics – https://amzn.ca/0393337642
Dennis Meadows and Linda Booth Sweeney – The Systems Thinking Playbook – https://amzn.ca/1603582584

7 Responses

  1. I always spent my half an hour to read this blog’sarticles all the time along with a cup of coffee.Aw, this was a very good post. Taking the time and actual effort to create avery good article… but what can I say… Iput things off a lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let’s make your vision a reality!

Schedule some time to tackle your challenges together.