Investor Reactions to Crypto Token Regulation
42 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2019 Last revised: 15 May 2021
Date Written: May 14, 2021
Crypto tokens are mostly issued and traded in unregulated environments. Despite calls for regulation in this market, it is unclear how crypto investors value current regulatory proposals. We examine crypto token price responses to regulatory news and whether they vary cross-sectionally with crypto token quality and transparency. Using 1,300 crypto tokens and 145 regulation news events, we find that on average, investors react negatively to news that increases (the likelihood of) regulation. We find that this negative reaction is mainly driven by news about securities regulation of ICOs and crypto exchanges. The reaction is attenuated for tokens with higher expert ratings of token quality and transparency, and for crypto token issuers that engage more with followers on social media. We conclude that current crypto token investors perceive regulation to be net costly on average, but less so for higher quality tokens with a better information environment.
Keywords: Regulation, Transparency, Cryptocurrencies, Crypto Tokens, ICOs, Financial Markets
JEL Classification: G10, G18, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation