Initial Coin Offerings: Financing Growth with Cryptocurrency Token Sales

Initial Coin Offerings: Financing Growth with Cryptocurrency Token Sales

Sabrina T. Howell, Marina Niessner, David Yermack

Series number :

Serial Number: 
564/2018

Date posted :

July 19 2018

Last revised :

September 26 2018
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Keywords

  • Initial coin offerings • 
  • Fintech • 
  • blockchain

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a significant innovation in entrepreneurial finance. The sale of a blockchain-based digital token associated with a specific platform or venture is a new financing instrument with some parallels to IPOs, venture capital, and pre-sale crowdfunding.

We examine the relationship between issuer characteristics and measures of success, with a focus on liquidity, using 453 ICOs that collectively raise $5.7 billion. We also employ proprietary transaction data in a case study of Filecoin, one of the most successful ICOs. We find that liquidity and trading volume are higher when issuers offer voluntary disclosure, credibly commit to the project, and signal quality.

Authors

Professor
Real name:
Marina Niessner
Yale School of Management
Real name:
Sabrina T. Howell