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CoSS PhD Scholarship – Blockchain economics in a digital society

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  • Full or part time
    Prof C Chen
    Dr Ankush Agarwal
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The economics and finance research groups at the Adam Smith Business School aim to promote world-leading research in various areas such as quantitative finance, behavioural finance, financial economics. The group members present their research at prestigious international conferences and publish in world-leading journals in finance and financial economics, such as the Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Econometrics, Quantitative Finance.

With the rapid digitalisation of the economy, gaining deeper understanding of the involved digital technologies is paramount. Since its introduction in 2008, blockchain technology has been one of the leading factors driving technological innovation in global economy. Due to its rising popularity, blockchains all over the world are attracting market players called the miners who add blocks containing asset ownership and transaction records. This project aims to model the competition among these miners in various settings. Our study of stochastic games among miners will deliver three outcomes: (1) characterise miners’ and traders’ behaviour in a blockchain ecosystem, (2) develop efficient allocation strategies for miners’ computational resources under diminishing mining rewards and (3) establish conditions under which both traditional and crypto currencies could co-exist in a global economy. We will model competition among the miners as a multiagent general-sum stochastic game to find out how different agents can learn from each other’s behaviour to reach a general equilibrium. The proposed project will also model the competition between miners in a market with several cryptocurrencies to understand how it will lead to sustainable computational resource allocation by minimising the operating costs in face of diminishing mining rewards. In addition, we will also study the competition between a cryptocurrency and traditional currency as a noncooperative game to establish the respective transaction fees charged during equilibrium such that the customers are able to meet their requirements of lowering their expected transaction fees. Our analysis will shed light on situations in which the two currencies can coexist sustainably.

Funding Notes

Applicants must meet the following criteria
• A good first degree (at least 2:1), preferably with an economics, mathematics, statistics, engineering or physics component
• Demonstrate an interest in, and knowledge of game theory, queuing theory, optimization methods
• Have a good grounding in probability theory, computer programming and numerical analysis
The scholarship is available as a +3 PhD programme. The programme will commence in October 2020. It includes
An annual stipend indexed to the RCUK rate (2020-21 rate £15,285 full-time), 100% tuition fee waiver and students can also draw on a Research Training Support Grant



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