Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) for SME Financing

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Date of publication

15 January 2019

 

15 January 2019 – Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are one of the most prominent applications of blockchain for finance, allowing for an innovative and inclusive way of financing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Although the lack of regulatory clarity currently exposes ICO participants to some risks, appropriately regulated and supervised ICOs offer a potential new way to raise capital for projects enabled by Distributed Ledger Technologies and the blockchain.

This report analyses the emergence and potential of ICOs as a financing mechanism for start-ups and SMEs, examines the benefits and challenges of this mechanism for small businesses and investors, and discusses the policy implications of ICO activity for the inclusive financing of SMEs and the real economy.

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The report is part of an extended OECD project on SME financing. It also a contribution to the OECD Going Digital project.