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Capitalising on the crowd: the monetary and financial ecologies of crowdfunding

Langley, Paul; Leyshon, Andrew

Authors

Paul Langley paul.langley@durham.ac.uk

Andrew Leyshon andrew.leyshon@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

‘Crowdfunding’ is a method of raising money and finance to capitalise projects of various kinds. Drawing on the networking capabilities of the internet and software platforms, those seeking project funding appeal to potentially diverse audiences who are collectively referred to as ‘the crowd’. What practitioners, advocates and policymakers typically identify within crowdfunding is its ‘alternative’, ‘disruptive’ and ‘democratising’ qualities; that is, it is held to be a novel, digitally-rendered economic space which has the capacity to challenge established funding practices in banking, capital markets and venture capital networks, offering a more open and egalitarian source of capital for economic, social and cultural entrepreneurship. The paper develops the concept of ‘ecologies’, drawn from the geographies of money and finance literature, to advance a critical understanding of the crowdfunding economy that is sceptical of its apparent qualities. First, the concept of ecologies encourages the analysis of diverse and proliferative monetary and financial forms, enabling an understanding that avoids the binary opposition of ‘capitalist/alternative’ economic forms and which differentiates between the variegated crowdfunding ecologies that have emerged to date. Second, by foregrounding the intermediation processes and credit-debt relations of monetary and financial ecologies, it is argued that crowdfunding may largely replicate rather than disrupt the extant institutional and debt dynamics of funding practices. Third, by emphasizing the socio-spatial effects of monetary and financial ecologies, attention is drawn to the need for further research into the unevenness that mitigates against crowdfunding being as open and egalitarian as its advocates claim.

Citation

Langley, P., & Leyshon, A. (2017). Capitalising on the crowd: the monetary and financial ecologies of crowdfunding. Environment and Planning A, 49(5), (1019-1039). doi:10.1177/0308518X16687556. ISSN 0308-518X

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 6, 2016
Online Publication Date Jan 23, 2017
Publication Date May 1, 2017
Deposit Date Dec 14, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jan 23, 2017
Journal Environment and Planning A
Print ISSN 0308-518X
Electronic ISSN 1472-3409
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 49
Issue 5
Pages 1019-1039
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X16687556
Keywords Crowdfunding; Monetary and financial ecologies; FinTech; sharing economy; Diverse economies
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/39354
Publisher URL http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0308518X16687556
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information © 2016 SAGE Publications

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Capitalising_on_the_crowd_EPA final submission 01_12_2016_with title page_FINAL.pdf (558 Kb)
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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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