The Geography of Initial Coin Offerings

34 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2018

See all articles by Winifred Huang

Winifred Huang

University of Bath

Michele Meoli

University of Bergamo

Silvio Vismara

University of Bergamo

Date Written: July 1, 2018


Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a rapidly growing phenomenon wherein entrepreneurial ventures raise funds for the development of blockchain-based businesses. They have recently sprouted up all over the world, raising millions of dollars for early-stage projects. Few empirical studies are available to help understand the emergence of ICOs across countries. Based on the population of 915 ICOs issued in 187 countries between January 2017 and March 2, our study reveals that ICOs take place in countries with developed financial markets and advanced digital technologies. The availability of investment-based crowdfunding platforms also plays a significant role in the emergence of ICOs, while venture capital and private equity markets do not provide similar effects. Countries with ICO-friendly regulations have more ICOs, whereas tax regimes are not among the main drivers of ICOs.

Keywords: Initial Coin Offerings, ICOs, Entrepreneurial Finance, Crowdfunding, Geography

JEL Classification: M13, M15, G32, K22, O57

Suggested Citation

Huang, Winifred and Meoli, Michele and Vismara, Silvio, The Geography of Initial Coin Offerings (July 1, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Winifred Huang

University of Bath ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom


Michele Meoli

University of Bergamo ( email )

Via Marconi 5
24044 Dalmine, Bergamo
+390352052026 (Phone)
+390352052077 (Fax)

Silvio Vismara (Contact Author)

University of Bergamo ( email )

Via dei Caniana
Bergamo, 24127
24127 (Fax)

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