Cross-listings of Blockchain-based Tokens issued through Initial Coin Offerings: Do Liquidity and specific Cryptocurrency Exchanges matter?
BRL Working Paper No. 5
Initial coin offerings (ICOs) represent a novel funding mechanism where digital tokens are issued on the blockchain and sold to investors. One major reason for the success of this financing model is the fact that the issued tokens can immediately be traded on secondary markets.
This study analyzes 250 exchange cross-listings of 135 different tokens issued through ICOs on 22 cryptocurrency exchanges. We find significant abnormal returns of 6.51% on the listing day and 9.97% over a seven-day window around the event.
Further analysis shows that the results clearly differ for individual cryptocurrency exchanges, as listings on individual exchanges yield returns of up to 34% on the event day, while others are negligible. An investigation of liquidity-related metrics shows that lower prior trading volume and asset market capitalization have positive effect on listing returns. Investors use phases of high market liquidity to sell off positions around the period of cross-listing events.
The results can help traders form their strategies, assist projects in selecting appropriate exchanges, help exchanges select projects, and provide regulators and society with in-depth insights into the ICO market. The results may also inspire a wide range of future research approaches that can bring more transparency to this still under-researched and opaque market.