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Blockchain and initial coin offerings: Blockchain's implications for crowdfunding

: Arnold, Laurin; Brennecke, Martin; Camus, Patrick; Fridgen, Gilbert; Guggenberger, Tobias; Radszuwill, Sven; Rieger, Alexander; Schweizer, André; Urbach, Nils


Treiblmaier, H.:
Business Transformation through Blockchain. Vol.1
Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2019
ISBN: 978-3-319-98910-5 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-319-98911-2 (Online)
ISBN: 978-3-319-98912-9 (Print)
Book Article
Fraunhofer FIT ()
Blockchain; Initial Coin Offering; ICO; distributed ledger technology; crowdfunding; cryptocurrency; crypto-token; use case analysis

Interest in Blockchain technology is growing rapidly and at a global scale. As scrutiny from practitioners and researchers intensifies, various industries and use cases are identified that may benefit from adopting Blockchain. In this context, peer-to-peer (P2P) funding through initial coin offerings (ICOs) is often singled out as one of the most visible and promising use cases. ICOs are novel forms of crowdfunding that collect funds in exchange for so-called Blockchain tokens. These tokens can represent any traditional form of underlying asset and have already been used, among others, to denote shares in a company, user reputations in online systems, deposits of fiat currencies, and balances in cryptocurrency systems. Importantly, ICOs allow for P2P investments without intermediaries. In this chapter, we explain the fundamentals of ICOs, highlight their differences to traditional financing, and analyze their potential impacts on crowdfunding.