Security token offerings

Thomas Lambert*, Daniel Liebau, Peter Roosenboom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
1913 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract: This paper posits that distinguishing security token offerings (STOs) from initial coin offerings (ICOs) is important for the study of entrepreneurial finance. We first provide a working definition of a security token and present an overview of the STO market using a unique STO sample. The STO activity developed after the end of the ICO market bubble. The STO market is, however, still a nascent market. STOs are geographically dispersed but concentrated in jurisdictions with accommodating securities laws. Next, we explore STO success factors. We show that various issuer and offering characteristics traditionally used in the ICO literature also matter for STO success. We also find that success is associated with good governance practices, consistent with the corporate finance literature. We conclude by discussing the implications of native digital securities, the next generation of security tokens, for entrepreneurial finance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-325
Number of pages27
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

JEL Classifcations: G11 · G32 · G34 · L26 · M13

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Funding Information:
We are grateful to two anonymous referees, Douglas Arner, Daniele Bianchi, Dion Bongaerts, Thomas Bourveau, Di Luo, Paul Momtaz, Armin Schwienbacher, Simon Trimborn, Silvio Vismara, David Yermack, as well as virtual conference and seminar participants at the 2020 European Alternative Finance Research Conference, 2020 UWA Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and FinTech Conference, 2021 CUHK Machine Lawyering Conference, 2021 SFiC Conference on Developments in Financial Technology, Erasmus University, University of Hong Kong, and University of Rennes for their comments and suggestions. We are also grateful to Alice Chen (InvestaX, Singapore), Nizam Ismail (Ethikom Consultancy, Singapore), James Gaden (Walkers, Hong Kong), Thomas Naegele (Naegele Attorneys at Law, Liechtenstein), Aurelia Nick (MME, Switzerland), and Alireza Siadat (Annerton, Germany) for their helpful feedback. We thank Digital Asset Network for provision of an initial STO data set. The authors alone are responsible for the work and any errors or omissions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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