Riding the Mania of Blockchain: Public Firms’ Speculative 8-K Disclosures

The price of Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology, increased dramatically from less than a penny when it was launched in 2009 to $900 in January 2017 and peaked at over $19,500 in December 2017. This rise coincided with a dramatic surge in public interest, debate, and prognostication about the cryptocurrency as well as its underlying blockchain technology. According to Google, “Bitcoin” was the second most searched news term in 2017, ranking just below “Hurricane Irma” and just above “Las Vegas Shooting.” Figure 1 shows that the number of Google searches on “bitcoin,” “blockchain,” and “cryptocurrency(ies)” closely mirrored Bitcoin … Read more