The Problematic Role of Computer Code in Initial Coin Offerings

The Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is one of the stranger financial innovations in recent memory. Imagine if Coca-Cola had funded its initial deployment of vending machines through the sale of tokens its machines might one day require. Now replace soda and physical tokens with software-based services and digital (“crypto”) assets. This scenario roughly captures the ICO. If you believe what you read on social media, you might get the impression the ICO form is revolutionary—a “1000x improvement over the status quo,” as one observer put it. But if you trust the Wall Street Journal, you might think the ICO … Read more