Regulatory and Market Challenges of Initial Coin Offerings

Regulatory and Market Challenges of Initial Coin Offerings

Pablo de Andrés, David Arroyo, Ricardo Correia, Alvaro Rezola

Series number :

Serial Number: 

Date posted :

July 08 2019

Last revised :

July 08 2019
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  • blockchain • 
  • Initial coin offerings • 
  • regulation • 
  • cryptoassets and cryptoeconomy • 
  • trust modeling • 
  • fairness and accountability • 
  • decentralization and disintermediation risks • 
  • entrepreneurial finance • 
  • investment crowdfunding

This article analyzes the main problems and the solutions adopted in the market for Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), an alternative financing solution that has experienced spectacular growth and notoriety in recent years. This market relies on the use of Blockchain protocols and is, therefore, characterized as disintermediated, decentralized and unregulated.

The problems we identify in this article, their severity, and the solutions currently being adopted to address them, lead us to conclude that it is unlikely that either of these characteristics will survive in the near future. Our results also indicate that the concerns expressed by regulators and other market agents regarding ICO markets are well founded. We find it particularly disturbing that such a new, revolutionary market already displays many of the problems of traditional financial markets, and that these problems were exactly the ones that occurred at the genesis of the last financial crisis.


Real name:
David Arroyo
Real name:
Ricardo Correia
Real name:
Alvaro Rezola