Protocols guide and shape a staggering amount of human effort and resources and are coming to be embodied by increasingly sophisticated technologies. The next economic models must expand beyond agents, firms, and institutions to include protocols as a new class of economic actors. The death of descriptivism in economics and the need to solve incomprehensibly complex problems motivate the need for protocols as a core consideration in novel “engaged models” that recognize their own impact. Protocols are a mechanism of cooperation for traditional actors but emerging technology is enabling protocols to be actors themselves. This essay explores the emerging frontier of protocolized economics.