Initial Coin Offering
New cryptocurrencies can gain traction as well as market capitalization via an initial coin offering (ICO). ICOs are similar in spirit to an initial public offering (IPO) which creates a publicly traded equity by offering corporate shares of a privately-held company thereby transforming it into a public company.
ICOs, however, are not as formal as IPOs which generally require underwriters, price offerings, and extended marketing plans. ICOs are actually more similar to crowdfunding—in fact, the term “crowd sales” is commonly used in the ICO arena because the sale of a new currency is an investment, not a donation.