nCent Presents: Summer of Incentive Hacking Reading List

KK Jain
2 min readJul 3, 2018


In order to have a decentralised database, you need to have security. In order to have security, you need to have incentives. -Vitalik Buterin

We at nCent Labs think a great deal about incentives, incentive design, and incentive markets. We invite you to share some of our mindshare — and join our summer incentive hacking reading list. Contact me at anytime to discuss or debate further:

(disclaimer: I reserve the right to tweet with citation any emails I receive!)

1 — Blockchain Background

1.1 The authoritative Guide to Blockchain Development

1.2 Bitcoin Coursera Course by Princeton

1.3 Stanford Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technologies

2 — Whitepapers

2.1 Bitcoin

2.2 Ethereum

2.3 Stellar

2.4 Lightning

2.5 Monero

2.6 zCash

2.7 Casper Whitepaper

2.8 DFinity whitepaper

3 — Incentive Research

3.1 On Bitcoin and Red Balloons

3.2 Reflecting on the DARPA Red Balloon Challenge

3.3 Query Incentive Networks

3.4 Do Diffusion Protocols Govern Cascade Growth

3.5 The Strength of Weak Ties

3.6 Partisan Bias in Factual Beliefs about Politics

4 — Applications

4.1 Time Critical Social Mobilization: The DARPA Network Challenge Winning Strategy

4.2 Flash Organizations: Crowdsourcing Complex Work By Structuring Crowds as Organizations

4.3 Crowdsourcing Contest Dilemma

5 — Cryptoeconomics

5.1 Selfish Mining Paper:

5.2 Asset Flow and Momentum: Deterministic and Stochastic Equations

5.3 Stablecoins: Designing a Price-Stable Cryptocurrency

6 — Potpourri

6.1 “The Rational Optimist” by Matt Ridley

6.2 “Striking Thoughts” by Bruce Lee

6.3 “Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street Paperback” by John Brook

6.4 “Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” by Edwin Lefèvre

6.5 “The Mythical Man Month” by Frederick Brooks Jr.

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