Initial coin offerings: what rights do investors have?

Xiaoju Zhao, Wenxuan Hou, Jiafu An, Xianda Liu, Yun Zhang

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    This paper reviews the growing literature on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and provides original evidence of the investor protection on ICOs from 37 countries. We show that the anti-director rights and anti-self-dealing index are positively associated with the country-level raised fund of ICOs after controlling for economic and culture factors. The disclosure quality and investor rights as specified in the Whitepapers are generally poor and they are found to be important to raise more funds in ICOs. We argue that the lack of (self-) discipline poses a threat to investor protections. Around 60% Whitepaper do not disclose information on the use of proceeds or management team. Around 80% ICOs do not entitle investors the rights for dividend or vote. Our findings suggest the needs of regulating ICOs to protect investors.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalThe European Journal of Finance
    Early online date15 Dec 2020
    Publication statusEarly online - 15 Dec 2020


    • Fintech
    • Investor Protection
    • Fraud
    • Shareholder right
    • Disclosure
    • Initial Coin Offering


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