An ICO is an Initial Coin Offering. It is the crypto equivalent to an IPO. Instead of shares in a company, investors receive ICO coins. The term is often used in connection with “token sale” and represents a form of crowdfunding.
Both terms reference a funding opportunity where investors get access to a future feature of the funded project. Investors see ICO’s as a good investment opportunity, as in 2017 more than 180 million US dollars were invested in different ICOs, whereas in 2016 the value was still 101 million US dollars. Likewise, ICO is also suitable for the developers of cryptocurrencies and blockchain products, as it allows them to move funding through traditional capital markets without detours.