Does policy uncertainty of the blockchain dampen ICO markets?

Shuyu Zhang, Dunli Zhang, Jianming Zheng*, Walter Aerts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Policy uncertainty created by regulatory authorities regarding the blockchain matters for the initial coin offering (ICO) market. Using an ICO dataset from four major cryptocurrency exchanges, we find that higher policy uncertainty regarding the blockchain leads to a lower return and a lower trading volume of an ICO on its first trading day. Although ICOs are decentralised by design and less vulnerable to direct regulatory intervention, we conclude that blockchain policy uncertainty constitutes an important component of the information environment of ICO ventures.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalAccounting and Finance
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Apr 2020


  • Policy uncertainty
  • Blockchain
  • Initial coin offering
  • Cryptocurrency
  • RISK

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