Democratising entrepreneurial finance: The impact of Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and crowdfunding. Contemporary Developments in Financing Innovations

Our article sheds light on two recent phenomena in the area of entrepreneurial financing, namely, crowdfunding and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). We investigate the main characteristics of the two alternative forms of entrepreneurial financing, their differences and coherences, reasons leading to their occurrence, their market relevance and legal aspects. Furthermore, we provide both an overview of the different motivations backers of the two phenomena have to support campaigns as well as the success factors for the campaigns. Due to their newness, both types are not devoid of risks and limitations which are also discussed. We state that crowdfunding and ICOs have many aspects in common and that a combination of both concepts may be optimal in their future development to overcome the current inefficiencies of crowdfunding or the shortcomings of ICOs. In summary, entrepreneurial financing is positively influenced by the two phenomena leading to a democratisation of financial possibilities for both entrepreneurs and backers.