Digital Tulips? returns to investors in initial coin offerings

Hugo Benedetti*, Leonard Kostovetsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


We analyze a dataset of 2390 completed ICOs, which raised a total of $12 billion in capital, nearly all since January 2017. We find evidence of significant ICO underpricing, with average returns of 179% from the ICO price to the first day's opening market price, over a holding period that averages just 16 days. After trading begins, tokens continue to appreciate in price, generating average buy-and-hold abnormal returns of 48% in the first 30 trading days. We also study the determinants of ICO underpricing and relate cryptocurrency prices to Twitter activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101786
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Corporate Finance
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Cryptocurrencies
  • ICOs
  • Offerings
  • Underpricing
  • Venture capital


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