Do Tokens Behave like Securities? An Anatomy of Initial Coin Offerings
60 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2018 Last revised: 11 May 2019
Date Written: April 20, 2019
We construct a comprehensive dataset of initial coin offerings (ICOs) to study the determinants of ICO success, post-ICO returns, volatility and liquidity, and evolution of ICO-backed-ventures’ social media activity and productivity. Most of our results for ICOs are consistent with empirical regularities typical of public equity IPOs. The results hold within a subset of data with the highest quality, according to a data quality measure that we develop. Our findings contribute to the debate about whether tokens issued in an ICO should be considered securities by showing that they tend to behave similarly to equities.
Keywords: ICOs, IPOs, regulation
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