Initial Coin Offerings: The Role of Subjective Information in Whitepapers
Bachelor of Arts
Edward F. McKelvey
Christopher Andrew James Cotter
Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Whitepapers
Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are an unregulated form of financing that raises funds by issuing crypto tokens using blockchain technology. In this paper, I explore the relationship between the level of mispricing at ICOs and the subjectivity in whitepapers, which are documents released before ICOs that provide details on the features of the tokens. The subjective information is examined by indices of confidence, tone, and readability. The model in this paper analyzes a sample of 258 ICOs that ended during January to October 2018. I find that the confidence score of a whitepaper is negatively associated with the daily excess return of a token, and thus there is an inverse relationship between the confident whitepapers and the level of underpricing. Further analysis indicates that this relationship is more pronounced in countries with no crypto anti-money laundering laws. This study provides insights into the role of whitepapers in the emerging ICO markets.
Zhang, Jiahang, "Initial Coin Offerings: The Role of Subjective Information in Whitepapers" (2019). Honors Papers. 141.