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Finance 4.0 - Towards a Socio-Ecological Finance System

A Participatory Framework to Promote Sustainability

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2021

You have full access to this open access Book


  • Explains thought-provoking new financial system boosting sustainable action
  • Discusses design principles and process including ethical considerations
  • Presents working blockchain-based demonstrator to experiment with
  • Is an open access book

Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology (BRIEFSAPPLSCIENCES)

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Table of contents (5 chapters)


About this book

This Open Access book outlines ideas for a novel, scalable and, above all, sustainable financial system.

We all know that today’s global markets are unsustainable and global governance is not effective enough. Given this situation, could one boost smart human coordination, sustainability and resilience by tweaking society at its core: the monetary system? A Computational Social Science team at ETH Zürich has indeed worked on a concept and little demonstrator for a new financial system, called “Finance 4.0” or just “FIN4”, which combines blockchain technology with the Internet of Things (“IoT”). 

What if communities could reward sustainable actions by issuing their own money (“tokens”)? Would people behave differently, when various externalities became visible and were actionable through cryptographic tokens? Could a novel, participatory, multi-dimensional financial system be created? Could it be run by the people for the people and lead to more societal resilience than today’s financial system (which is effectively one-dimensional due to its almost frictionless exchange)? How could one manage such a system in an ethical and democratic way?

This book presents some early attempts in a nascent field, but provides a fresh view on what cryptoeconomic systems could do for us, for a circular economy, and for scalable, sustainable action.

Editors and Affiliations

  • Computational Social Science, ETH Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland

    Marcus M. Dapp, Stefan Klauser

  • Computational Social Science, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

    Dirk Helbing

About the editors

Dirk Helbing is Professor of Computational Social Science at ETH Zürich. He is elected member of the German Academy of Sciences “Leopoldina”. In January 2014 he received an honorary doctorate from TU Delft, where he was affiliate professor from 2015-2020, leading the PhD school "Engineering Social Technologies for a Responsible Digital Future".

Marcus M. Dapp is Senior Research Assistant at the Chair of Computational Social Science at ETH Zürich and Research Associate at UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies. His interests are cryptoeconomics for sustainability, the interrelation between value and money, peer-to-peer governance models, and digital ethics.

Stefan Klauser is Co-founder & CEO of aisot, a Fintech company specialized in data analytics and predictive signals with a special focus on digital assets. Before founding aisot, Stefan was Project Lead for FuturICT 2.0 / FIN4 at the Professorship of Computational Social Science at ETH Zürich.

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