What Is An ICO (Initial Coin Offering)?

As in real estate, laying the groundwork for any business project is key to its long-term success. Looking at successful projects such as Bitcoin and Ethereum reveals their blueprints as the reason they lead in terms of market cap share.

What Is An Initial Coin Offering?

What Is an Initial Coin Offering
What Is an Initial Coin Offering

Your cryptocurrency or blockchain campaign needs a clearly laid out plan in order to be successful. Finding sufficient funding is also essential. Without proper tools in place to bring this vision to fruition, what would be its ultimate success? ICOs offer one solution.

Chris Larsen and Jack Liu were pioneers in developing initial coin offerings (ICO). This innovative way of raising funds through initial token sales made history last year when projects raised an astounding $2.1 billion through initial token sales.

Projects seeking funding for their early-stage cryptocurrency and blockchain ventures without regulation often turn to initial coin offerings (ICOs). ICOs are crowdfunding ventures that create and sell digital tokens – these may represent stakes in the company or venture itself or might provide access to some product or service being provided.

Blockchain technology enables the creation and sale of tokens for early investors, to finance startups that use this form of funding.

ICOs enable startups to raise capital without giving up equity, while simultaneously building an engaged user community with increased presale token value. Furthermore, by eliminating intermediaries in the capital-raising process and connecting directly between investors and companies in raising capital via an ICO platform, interests of both are aligned.

Types Of Initial Coin Offerings

Types of Initial Coin Offerings
Types of Initial Coin Offerings

There are two different kinds of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

Private ICOs

Only select investors can invest in a private ICO, including financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals, accredited investors and any minimum investments that a firm requires for participation.

Public ICOs

Public ICOs Crowdfunding models known as public ICOs allow virtually anyone to invest, making this approach to investing more democratic. As regulatory requirements become more stringent, however, public ICOs have become less popular as an investment option.

How An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Works

How an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Works
How an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Works

Types Of Tokens

Types of Tokens Tokens are distributed on blockchain networks as a result of financial contributions made during initial coin offerings (ICO). Holders may then trade or use these tokens across networks or cryptocurrency exchanges in order to access certain services or collect company dividends; depending on their purpose they could either be security tokens or utility tokens;

Utility tokens, sometimes referred to as user or app coins, represent future access to products or services provided by a company. Utility tokens can be traded for access in exchange for future investment; unlike company shares they do not necessarily represent shares that must be traded for.

Security tokens’ values are determined by an external tradable asset and may fluctuate accordingly, representing part of a company or initiative while being subject to SEC regulation.

ICO Structures

Project organizers seeking funding through initial coin offerings (ICOs) must select an ICO structure when considering this funding mechanism. Below are several available structures.

Firms often establish specific fundraising goals or caps for their ventures, and every token issued comes with a predetermined cost and total supply of tokens.

Price per token will depend on how much is raised regardless of how many tokens are supplied.

The token supply fluctuates, while its cost remains fixed; money raised determines its availability.

White Paper Release

When structuring an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), its organizers produce a pitchbook (also known as a white paper) which is made public on their company website and contains all pertinent details related to it, including relevant facts like:

What the project intends to achieve and what needs it meets are.

Financial objectives of the project.

USD, BTC and ETH are accepted forms of currency.

Campaign Length. Founders should maintain the appropriate number of tokens at all times during a campaign.

White Papers must be written as comprehensively and transparently as possible in order to attract investors, encourage participation in your project and reach funding goals.

Launching An ICO 

Launching an ICO 
Launching an ICO 

An ICO attempts to leverage decentralized systems of blockchain technology for fundraising while aligning all parties’ interests by following these steps:

Identifying Investment Targets

The company creates materials to attract potential investors, then determines their target audience.

Token Creation

An asset or utility token can be fungible and tradeable; it does not represent equity stake in any particular company, rather more like ownership in products or services provided by that business. Usually tokens do not offer equity stake in their respective firms.


Online promotion campaigns are essential in drawing in potential investors, typically with the aim of expanding investor reach as far as possible.

Initial offering

An Initial offering (IPO) provides tokens to investors, with funds received used by the company to advance its program and benefiting from the product/service or anticipating token value increases over time while investing their funds. Investors may take advantage of either or both aspects while simultaneously diversifying their portfolios.

ICO Regulations

ICO Regulations
ICO Regulations

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are relatively new fundraising models which have drastically transformed capital-raising in the blockchain industry, yet regulatory authorities around the globe were caught off guard when this fundraising model first surfaced.

Regulations surrounding initial coin offerings vary by country. China and South Korea have both banned them outright while many European nations, as well as those from North America such as the US and Canada are setting forth specific guidelines to govern them.

Certain countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have set standards for initial coin offerings (ICOs).


Investing in initial coin offerings (ICOs) can be a high-risk venture, since any company may not succeed or project creators might fail to create anything at all. Therefore, conducting thorough research on each ICO before investing can be vitally important. Information such as its whitepaper and token types/functions/tradability/and how tokens will be traded should all be examined prior to investing.