MIS Speaker's Series: Karen Xie


1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 6, 2019


McClelland Hall 130

Karen Xie, Associate Professor of Service Analytics at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver

Title: Growing Entrepreneurship with Cryptocurrency Tokens

Abstract: Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a new method of raising capital for early-stage ventures and jumping-start the network effect for the software services. In an ICO, a blockchain-based issuer sells cryptographically secured digital assets, usually called tokens. A token’s value is tied to work that grows the network through open-source development, and tokens are often used to compensate developers. We study the post-ICO Github-based technological development by token developers and investigate what financial and operational characteristics of liquidity tokens affect the entrepreneurial growth. Quasi-experimental analyses find that success is associated with a token’s network effect and quality signals on exchanges, both driving higher open-source development that facilitate an ICO issuer’s progress toward entrepreneurial goals. The mechanism centers on the incentive alignment that solves coordination problems in entrepreneurial growth: the developers’ ownership of tokens.

Bio: Karen Xie is a Visiting Faculty of Information Systems at the Eller College of Management, University of Arizona, and an Associate Professor of Service Analytics at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. Karen’s research focuses on the use of technology-driven innovations to empower the service industry, particularly the financial and lodging segments. She fuses research frameworks in information systems and service management with causal inference and machine learning models for interpretable and action-ready implications. Karen’s work is published or under revision with Management Science, Journal of Marketing, and Journal of Management Information Systems. Her research garnered recognition and awards both within the profession and beyond. Especially notable is her work on Airbnb and residential real estate markets, which has helped Denver City Council to pass the legislation on short-term rental services, earning national and regional media attention.

Prior to pursuing her academic career, Karen worked as an analyst at Accenture, an IT management consulting company. During her tenure at DU, Karen has continued close collaboration with tech-savvy industry leaders in finance and lodging, including USAA, UBS, Expedia, and Sage Hospitality. Outside of work, Karen is an enthusiast for ski. In winters, she is often found on double-diamond ski runs on Colorado’s epic mountains. She holds a Ph.D. from Temple University Fox School of Business, an M.Phil from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and a Bachelor from Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

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