Blockchain and Initial Coin Offerings: Blockchain’s Implications for Crowdfunding

  • Laurin ArnoldEmail author
  • Martin Brennecke
  • Patrick Camus
  • Gilbert Fridgen
  • Tobias Guggenberger
  • Sven Radszuwill
  • Alexander Rieger
  • André SchweizerEmail author
  • Nils Urbach


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.


Blockchain Initial coin offering ICO Distributed ledger technology Crowdfunding Cryptocurrency Crypto-token Use case analysis 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurin Arnold
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martin Brennecke
    • 1
  • Patrick Camus
    • 1
  • Gilbert Fridgen
    • 1
  • Tobias Guggenberger
    • 1
  • Sven Radszuwill
    • 1
  • Alexander Rieger
    • 1
  • André Schweizer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nils Urbach
    • 1
  1. 1.FIM Research CenterUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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