Remarks on the German Regulation of Crowdfunding
20 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2017 Last revised: 13 Nov 2017
Date Written: October 6, 2017
Crowdfunding is a buzzword that signifies a sub-set in the new forms of finance facilitated by advances in information technology usually categorized as fintech. Concerns for financial stability, investor and consumer protection, or the prevention of money laundering or funding of terrorism hinge incrementally on including the new techniques to initiate financing relationships adequately in the regulatory framework. This paper analyzes the German regulation of crowdinvesting and finds that it does not fully live up to the regulatory challenges posed by this novel form of digitized matching of supply and demand on capital markets. It should better reflect the key importance of crowdinvesting platforms, which may become critical providers of market infrastructure in the not too distant future. Moreover, platforms can play an important role in investor protection that cannot be performed by traditional disclosure regimes geared towards more seasoned issuers. Against this background, the creation of an exemption from the traditional prospectus regime seems to be a plausible policy choice. However, it needs to be complemented by an adequate regulatory stimulation of platforms’ role as gatekeepers.
Keywords: crowdinvesting, crowdfunding, fintech, financial stability, market infrastructure, investor protection
JEL Classification: G23, G28, G38, K22, K23
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