Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 40 Number 4 2023 pp. 1237-1270

Impact of Open-Source Community on Cryptocurrency Market Price: An Empirical Investigation

Petryk, Mariia, Qiu, Liangfei, and Pathak, Praveen


Although the prices of cryptocurrencies remained volatile for the past decade, the factors that impact the price dynamics of the new type of investment instrument have not been fully identified yet. In this study, we recognize the dual nature of cryptocurrencies, that is, being a software program and a financial instrument, and examine the impact of software advancement on the price dynamics of cryptocurrencies. The open-source software (OSS) platform functionality enables social behaviors that we use as signals. Using data from the largest OSS platform, we establish the connection between open-source activities and the price movement of cryptocurrency. In particular, as project popularity (forks and watches) and users’ feedback (issues) increase, the market price increases by 4.3 percent, 2.4 percent, and 4.4 percent per annum, respectively. On the contrary, the number of code corrections (pull requests) is negatively related to prices leading to a 5 percent annual price decrease. Our results suggest that OSS contributions create a perfect selection mechanism, where higher quality projects receive more developers’ attention and user feedback, whereas lower quality projects do not, thus creating the separating equilibrium.

Key words and phrases: Cryptocurrency, open source software, blockchain, signaling theory, OSS, online platforms