Signalling effects of doing good in global ICO markets

Ruoran Zhao*, Wenxuan Hou, V. Kumar, Ajay Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) markets have experienced dramatic development and turmoil worldwide. This paper studies signalling effects of CSR among global ICOs by asking if CSR narratives reflect values that highlight the interests of broad stakeholders, reduce information asymmetry, and improve fundraising outcomes. We construct a sample of ICOs across 44 countries from 2014 to 2018 and define socially responsible ICOs as those that serving education, environment, health, and poverty as described in their whitepapers. We find that ICOs from countries with a lower individualism and high benevolence culture are more likely have socially responsible goals. These projects tend to have better disclosure in whitepapers and are more active in engaging with stakeholders on social networking platforms. They are as competitive as ordinary ICOs in fundraising outcomes. Our analyses could advice entrepreneurial ventures on how to build legitimacy and inform investors of the strategy to verify signals in the risky private equity markets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114224
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date14 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • CSR
  • ethical culture
  • fundraising
  • information disclosure
  • Initial Coin Offerings
  • signalling theory


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