What is an Initial Dex Offering (IDO)?

An Initial Dex Offering (IDO) is an innovative fundraising method which enables projects to raise funds using decentralized exchanges. This approach has become increasingly popular among blockchain-based startups and projects, due to its ability to unlock access to a wide range of capital pools. In addition, IDOs allow projects to gain more exposure in the crypto community by allowing more people to directly engage with their project offerings without having to go through a third party like an initial public offering (IPO).

The process of an IDO typically consists of three phases: pre-launch marketing, launch and post-launch trading. During pre-launch marketing, the project team will announce their upcoming sale and share information about their product or project in order to build awareness and generate interest. During the launch phase, the project team will introduce their tokens to decentralized exchanges (DEXs) for sale. Finally, in the post-launch trading phase, buyers can trade their tokens on DEXs and potentially earn profits as prices rise or fall depending on market conditions.

The key benefit of an IDO is its ability to provide projects with access to a large pool of potential capital that would not be available through traditional fundraising methods such as an IPO. Additionally, the process is faster than many other methods, requires fewer resources and allows startups to reach a wide range of investors at once. However, there are some downsides associated with running an IDO including potential security risks due to the lack of regulation and liquidity issues due to the lack of volume on DEXs.

Overall, IDOs are an innovative way for startups and projects to raise funds and engage with potential investors in the blockchain space. They offer many advantages over traditional fundraising methods such as IPOs, but there are also some risks associated with this type of offering that should be taken into consideration. Ultimately, whether or not an IDO is a suitable option for your project will depend on your goals, capabilities and risk appetite.

Simplified Example

An Initial Dex Offering (IDO) is a way for a company or organization to raise money by selling digital tokens, like virtual coins, on a decentralized exchange (DEX) instead of a traditional stock exchange.

A DEX is like a toy exchange, where people can buy and sell digital tokens, like virtual toys, with other people directly, without the need of a middleman. An IDO is like a toy sale in that toy exchange, where a company is selling its own virtual toys, called tokens, for people to buy.

In contrast, in an Initial Public Offering (IPO), a company sells its shares to the public through a stock exchange, which is like a toy store where people can buy and sell shares of companies. With an IDO, the company is selling its tokens directly to the public on a DEX, which is like a toy exchange.

History of the Term "Initial Dex Offering (IDO)"

The notion of an Initial Dex Offering (IDO) came to the fore in 2019, with credit given to Raven Protocol, a decentralized finance (DeFi) initiative that pioneered the world's inaugural IDO on Binance DEX. The term "IDO" gained prominence as an increasing number of blockchain projects adopted this fundraising approach.


Automated Market Maker (AMM) Model: An Automated Market Maker (AMM) model is a type of Initial DEX Offering (IDO) in which the price of the tokens being sold is determined algorithmically, based on supply and demand. The tokens are sold through a decentralized exchange (DEX), and the price is adjusted automatically in response to changes in demand. This type of IDO is typically used for projects that want to offer tokens that are easy to trade and have a stable price, and the AMM model allows for a more efficient and fair distribution of the tokens to investors.

Dutch Auction Model: A Dutch Auction model is a type of IDO in which the price of the tokens being sold is gradually lowered over time, until a buyer is found. The tokens are sold through a DEX, and the auction continues until the tokens are all sold or a predetermined time limit is reached. This type of IDO is typically used for projects that want to offer tokens that have a fair distribution, and the Dutch auction model ensures that all buyers have an equal opportunity to purchase the tokens, regardless of the size of their investment.

Bonded Token Model: A Bonded Token model is a type of IDO in which the tokens being sold are locked up for a set period of time, after which they can be traded on a DEX. The bonds are sold in exchange for funding, and the tokens are released gradually over time, allowing the project to retain control over the supply and distribution of the tokens. This type of IDO is typically used for projects that want to have a controlled distribution of tokens and ensure that the tokens are used for their intended purpose, rather than being sold immediately on the market.

  • Decentralized Exchanges: A type of cryptocurrency exchange that operates on a decentralized platform, meaning that it is not controlled by a single entity.

  • Initial Public Offering (IPO): The first sale of a company's stock to the public.