Call for Papers: Special issue of Global Finance Journal


Special issue of Global Finance Journal

Digital Finance for Technological Progress
Guest Editors
Sabri Boubaker
EM Normandie Business School, France &
Swansea University, United Kingdom.

Sofia Johan
Florida Atlantic University, United States &
University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary
Tokai University, Japan

In most countries, innovative businesses and startups play a significant role in job creation, economic growth, and technological progress. Unfortunately, finance is a critical constraint on developing innovative firms and startups that produce novel technologies. Most startups in bank-based economies face difficulties accessing finance because they lack a business credit history, making it difficult for lenders to assess their risk, especially when they do not own valuable tangible assets to pledge as loan collateral. Moreover, these burgeoning firms are in the early stages of development and face a very high failure likelihood, significantly raising financing and investment risk. As a result, innovative projects usually fail to access finance through conventional methods. In the US and Europe, venture capital is seen as a common way to absorb private investment into innovative tech-based startups, but venture capital is an alternative investment or, rather, non-conventional finance. However, alternative investments in other economies are riskier given that the high-risk characteristics of innovative startups come often along with uncertain political environments (Johan and Zhang, 2016). Conventional financing methods are, however, insufficient for filling the finance needs of startups and innovative firms. Furthermore, bank loans are unsuitable for financing startups and technologies, among others, because the Basel capital accord prevents financial institutions from lending to risky sectors. Therefore, it is essential to look for innovative financing methods to enable these enterprises to access stable and cheap finance easily.

Technological and financial innovations are already offering sustainability solutions across the financial system’s five core functions: moving value, storing value, exchanging value, funding value creation, and managing value at risk (UNDP, 2016; Taghizadeh-Hesary and Hyun, 2022). Increasing transparency, accountability, decentralization of the financial system, improving risk management, increasing competition, lowering the costs and improving efficiency, increasing speed, and increasing cross-sectoral collaboration and integration are the features that financial technology (FinTech) can provide (UNDP, 2016; Muganyi et al. 2022; Xie and Zhu, 2022). Artificial intelligence (AI), distributed ledger technologies (DLT) or blockchain, peer-to-peer lending platforms, big data, internet-based and mobile-based payments, Internet of Things (IoT), matchmaking platforms including crowdlending, tokenizing assets are potential means to scale up finance in innovative and knowledge-based projects. According to UNEP (2018), AI could lift global GDP by US$15-20 trillion by 2030. Securing the resilience of such an achievement may well be accomplished by digitalizing finance or ‘digital finance.’ (Taghizadeh-Hesary and Hyun, 2022; Cao et al. 2022; Wang et al. 2022; Khan et al. 2022).
Recent studies have focused on this topical issue. For instance, Cumming et al. (2019) and Brown and Davies (2020) studied early-venture fundraising from investors using crowdfunding platforms. Gryglewicz, Mayer, and Morellec (2021) developed a model in which a start-up firm issues tokens to finance a digital platform and showed that token financing is preferred to equity financing since tokens exhibit utility features facilitate transactions and security features that grant cash flow rights. Cong and Wang (2022) showed that in many situations tokens are optimally rewarded to platform owners and that blockchain technology helps mitigate underinvestment problems. Li et al. (2022) showed that digital finance promotes green innovation by alleviating financing constraints. Luo et al. (2022) found that channels of transmission of digital finance to the economy are technological innovation, human capital, and industrial structure upgrading.

This call for papers is looking for empirical, theoretical, and case studies on digital finance that facilitate innovative firms’ and startups’ access to finance and investment.
Topics of interest in this special issue include, but are not limited to:
• How can the digital finance revolution drive technological progress?
• How to best remove barriers to scaling digital finance?
• What are the regulatory and legal requirements and solutions for digital finance?
• What is the role of governments in enhancing digital finance?
• Role of financial institutions in promoting digital finance.
• What are the risks associated with digital finance, and how to cope with them?
• Empirical and case studies on using digital finance and FinTech to fund innovative projects.
• Application of AI, DLT or blockchain, peer-to-peer lending platforms, big data, internet-based and mobile-based payments, IoT, and matchmaking platforms, including crowdlending and tokenizing assets in scaling up finance.
• Non-banking financial institutions and digital finance.
• Digital finance and green innovation.
• Digital finance and financial inclusion.
• Digital finance and sustainability.
• Digital finance and green recovery in the post-COVID-19
• How can financial innovations drive technological progress?
Manuscript Submission Information
All submissions will undergo the same strict double-blind peer-review process that is generally applied to the journal. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted).
Each paper will be editorially and externally peer-reviewed according to the policies of Elsevier and the Global Finance Journal. To submit a manuscript, please register and upload your paper online at: When making your submission, please choose the Special Issue entitled “Digital finance” in the scroll-down menu. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Author Guidelines page of the journal. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline (early submissions are welcomed). Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. The deadline for submissions is December 30th, 2023.
Special note: Articles accepted for this special issue will be processed for publication as they are accepted. The special issue will be published as a virtual special issue or ‘article collection.’
Requests for further information should be addressed to any of the guest-editors Pr. Sabri Boubaker (, Dr. Sofia Johan (, or Dr. Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary (

Brown, D. C., and Davies, S. W. (2020). Financing efficiency of securities-based crowdfunding. The Review of Financial Studies, 33(9), 3975‒4023.

Cao S., Nie L., Sun H., Sun W., and Taghizadeh-Hesary F., (2022). Digital finance, green technological innovation and energy-environmental performance: Evidence from China's regional economies, Journal of Cleaner Production, 327, 129458,

Cong, L. W., Li, Y., and Wang, N. (2022). Token-based platform finance. Journal of Financial Economics, 144(3), 972‒991.

Cumming, D., Johan, S., & Zhang, Y. (2018). Public policy towards entrepreneurial finance: spillovers and the scale-up gap. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 34(4), 652-675.

Gryglewicz, S., Mayer, S., and Morellec, E. (2021). Optimal financing with tokens. Journal of Financial Economics, 142(3), 1038‒1067.

Johan, S., & Zhang, M. (2016). Private equity exits in emerging markets. Emerging markets review, 29, 133-153.

Khan N., Kchouri B., Yatoo N.A. Kräussl Z., Patel A., State R., (2022). Tokenization of Sukuk: Ethereum case study, Global Finance Journal, 51, 100539,

Li X., Shao X., Chang T., Albu L.L. (2022). Does digital finance promote the green innovation of China's listed companies? Energy Economics, 114, 106254,

Luo K., Liu Y., Chen P.F., and Zeng M. (2022). Assessing the impact of digital economy on green development efficiency in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, Energy Economics, 112, 106127,

Muganyi T., Yan L., Yin Y., Sun H., Gong X., and Taghizadeh-Hesary F. (2022). Fintech, regtech and financial development: evidence from China. Financial Innovation. 8(29).

Taghizadeh-Hesary F., and Hyun S. (2022). Green Digital Finance and Sustainable Development Goals. Springer: Singapore

UNDP (2016). Fintech and sustainable development: Assessing the implications. United Nations Development Programme: New York

Wang J., Dong K., Dong X. and Taghizadeh-Hesary F. (2022). Assessing the digital economy and its carbon-mitigation effects: The case of China, Energy Economics, 113, 106198,

Xie X., and Zhu X., (2022). FinTech and capital allocation efficiency: Another equity-efficiency dilemma? Global Finance Journal, 53, 100741,