Historical Determinants of Fintech Development: Evidence from Initial Coin Offerings

Jiafu An, Xianda Liu, Wenxuan Hou* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper examines the impact of historical endowment on the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) market. Leveraging a sample of 1,617 hand collected ICOs over 2015-2019 and regressions models, we find that a country's legal origin, disease environment, exposure to slave trade, and proximity to ancient trade routes are important determinants of the total amount of capital raised through ICOs. Further analyses suggest that the impact of historical endowment operates through legal and information sharing institutions. This finding suggests that traumatic shocks in the history plays an important role in shaping current Fintech development through long-run persistence of formal and informal institutions. This research highlights the importance to enlarge the scope of Fintech research and the importance to take institutions into account in relevant policy designs to promote financial development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102472
Number of pages9
JournalFinance Research Letters
Issue numberB
Early online date20 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • ICO
  • Fintech
  • Financial development
  • History
  • Institutions


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