( European Commission 2015 ).
By mitigating moral hazard and reducing transaction risk, online platforms not only enable business-to-consumer transactions, but also support direct consumer-to-consumer transactions between peers. In the digital age, assets can be easily shared with others; hence, consumers do not have to purchase goods that they are only going to use temporarily. The ease of peer-to-peer collaboration has made way for a business model often referred to as the sharingeconomy or collaborative economy . While the sharingeconomy has different definitions
The aim of this article is to present Investment Crowdfunding (ICF) in a perspective wider than merely as a new form of financing a certain category of business ventures. Selected aspects of ICF as a phenomenon that is a manifestation of the conflict between economic freedom and regulations and financial market institutions will be emphasized. New concepts of the part of the modern economy in the period of digitization, referred to as the collaborative economy, mesh economy, or sharing economy, should also be taken into account. The issues of excessive and restrictive regulation of the financial market will be presented in this context, as well as the constraints and risk factors of ICF operation and the Polish ICF experience.
The study hypothesises that Investment Crowdfunding is a viable alternative for financing micro and small economic projects, if compared to the traditional and over-regulated forms of financing. The usefulness of Investment Crowdfunding concerns primarily economic projects of the start-up category. The study uses the following research methods: critical analysis of the literature of the issue, descriptive and comparative analysis, case study, and deduction.
The theoretical considerations and examples presented in the article should be treated with appropriate research caution. However, they make it possible to positively verify the hypothesis.