It’s not only what you say but “how” you say it: linguistic styles and ICOs success

Eleonora Monaco*, Gianni Onesti, Diogo Cruz, Pierangelo Rosati

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review



Digital technologies have created new alternative sources of entrepreneurial finance that create significant opportunities for start-ups and entrepreneurs. Among them, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have attracted significant attention from the start-up community and from investors. Despite all the hype around ICOs and the growing number of new token offerings being launched on a daily basis, little is known about the characteristics of successful ICOs. This study aims to fill this gap in the literature by exploring whether and how the linguistic styles adopted in the white paper affects the success of an ICO as measured by the actual amount raised by the offering. Our results are based on a primary dataset of 131 ICOs completed between June 2017 and October 2018. Our results suggest that the use of precise language is positively associated with the amount funded while the use of a concrete language and more numerical terms is negatively associated with the amount funded. This study contributes to the growing literature on ICOs by providing novel insights into the role of the communication strategy adopted by token issuers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring innovation in a digital world - cultural and organizational challenges
EditorsFederica Ceci, Andrea Prencipe, Paolo Spagnoletti
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783030878429
ISBN (Print)9783030878412
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventAnnual conference of the Italian Chapter of AIS, 2020 - Pescara, Italy
Duration: 16 Oct 202017 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation
Volume51 LNISO
ISSN (Print)2195-4968
ISSN (Electronic)2195-4976


ConferenceAnnual conference of the Italian Chapter of AIS, 2020


  • Entrepreneurial finance
  • ICOs
  • Initial coin offerings
  • Linguistic styles


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