Fundamental Pricing of Utility Tokens

We propose a framework for the fundamental valuation of utility tokens. Our model endogenizes the velocity of circulation of tokens and yields a pricing formula that is fully microfounded. According to our model, tokens are valuable because they have to be immediately accessible when the services are needed, a requirement that is reminiscent of the cash-in-advance constraint. The equilibrium price paths of successful projects go through two successive phases: A speculative phase where marginal holders are investors that do not intend to use the services and, later on, a user phase where all tokens are held by clients. Calibrating the model, we find that it helps rationalizing the extreme volatility and significant valuation of tokens early on during the adoption stage.