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Dividing the ICO Jungle: Extracting and Evaluating Design Archetypes

: Bachmann, Nina; Drasch, Benedict; Miksch, Michael; Schweizer, André

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Ludwig, T. ; Univ. Siegen:
14. Internationale Tagung Wirtschaftsinformatik, WI 2019. Tagungsband : Human Practice. Digital Ecologies. Our Future. 23.02.2019 - 27.02.2019, Siegen
Siegen, 2019
Internationale Tagung Wirtschaftsinformatik (WI) <14, 2019, Siegen>
Konferenzbeitrag, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer FIT ()
Blockchain; Initial Coin Offering; ICO; cluster analysis; design archetypes

The sale of blockchain-based digital tokens as a novel funding mechanism, referred to as initial coin offerings (ICO), has grown exponentially, resulting in $12bn raised globally during the first half of 2018. Due to the novelty of the phenomenon, the concept is not yet entirely understood. Existing research provides first insights into ICO endeavors and design only. To date, comprehensive and in-depth analyses of ICO design archetypes to better understand prevailing ICO characteristics are missing. We bridge this gap by enriching an existing ICO taxonomy and applying a cluster analysis to identify predominant ICO archetypes. As a result, we identify five ICO design archetypes: the average ICO, the liberal ICO, the visionary ICO, the compliant ICO, and the native ICO. We thereby contribute to a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the ICO phenomenon and its implications. Further, we offer practitioners tangible design suggestions for future ICOs.