ICO Investors

59 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2019 Last revised: 1 Aug 2019

See all articles by Rüdiger Fahlenbrach

Rüdiger Fahlenbrach

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne; Swiss Finance Institute; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Marc Frattaroli

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: July 15, 2019


We conduct a detailed analysis of investors in successful initial coin offerings (ICOs). The average ICO has 4,700 contributors. The median participant contributes small amounts and many investors sell their tokens before the underlying product is developed. Large presale investors obtain tokens at a discount and flip part of their allocation shortly after the ICO. ICO contributors lack the protections traditionally afforded to investors in early stage financing. Nevertheless, returns nine months after the ICO are positive on average, driven mostly by an increase in the value of the Ethereum cryptocurrency.

Keywords: Initial Coin Offering, FinTech, Individual Investors

JEL Classification: G11, G14, G24, H31

Suggested Citation

Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger and Frattaroli, Marc, ICO Investors (July 15, 2019). Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper No. 19-37, European Corporate Governance Institute - Finance Working Paper No. 618/2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3419944 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3419944

Rüdiger Fahlenbrach (Contact Author)

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ( email )

Quartier UNIL-Dorigny
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1015 Lausanne, CH-1015
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HOME PAGE: http://https://www.epfl.ch/labs/sfi-rf/

Swiss Finance Institute

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European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
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1000 Brussels

Marc Frattaroli

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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