I am a blockchain too: How does the market respond to companies’ interest in blockchain?

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We investigate the price reaction of listed companies in response to blockchain-related announcements. The average abnormal return based on a global sample of 713 firm announcements is approximately 5% on the announcement day, with significantly higher returns for U.S. firms, smaller firms and announcements in late 2017 and early 2018. We show that abnormal returns are linked to the performance of bitcoin. Additionally, speculative announcements exhibit higher returns than non-speculative announcements, and blockchain-related Form 8-K disclosures have negligible difference in performance compared to their U.S. peers. Whilst we acknowledge the possibility of a latent variable that affects both the abnormal returns and the performance of bitcoin, we hypothesise that investors have confused bitcoin and blockchain, and used the performance of bitcoin as an indicator of the expected success of the blockchain technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105740
JournalJournal of Banking and Finance
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


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