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  5. Crypto Glossary: Initial DEX Offering (IDO) Meaning

Initial DEX Offering (IDO) Meaning

AUG 21, 2023 | UPDATED SEP 14, 2023

An IDO, or Initial DEX Offering, acts as a unique crowdfunding avenue allowing blockchain initiatives to debut their tokens via decentralized platforms known as DEXs.

What is a Initial DEX Offering (IDO)?

An Initial DEX Offering (IDO) is a modern fundraising method where crypto or blockchain projects launch their new tokens directly on a decentralized exchange (DEX).

Unlike traditional methods, such as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) launched on a project’s website or Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs) on centralized exchanges, IDOs are rooted in decentralized platforms, enhancing trust and transparency.

This decentralized approach ensures immediate trading and liquidity for the new token once launched. Governed by smart contracts, the process is automated, secure, and follows the project’s predefined rules, catering to the growing interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) and more transparent fundraising mechanisms.

How do IDOs Differ from ICOs & IEOs?

While ICOs, IEOs, and IDOs all aim to fundraise for a project, their methods diverge significantly. ICOs typically operate without an external audit or vetting; the project team directly controls the funds, crafts smart contracts, and dispenses tokens post-sale. This lack of oversight made ICOs notorious for scams, prompting the crypto sphere to seek better alternatives, namely the Initial Exchange Offerings (IEO) and IDOs.

IEOs transitioned the responsibilities of vetting and oversight to centralized exchanges (CEXs). These platforms oversee fund collection, token distribution, and smart contract execution. Contrarily, IDOs entrust these duties to decentralized platforms. When an IDO is initiated, a dedicated smart contract springs into action, determining token allocation relative to contributions. This contract amasses funds (often in widely recognized cryptos like Ethereum) and seamlessly works out token distribution rates based on preset values or ratios.


IDO (Initial DEX Offering): It is a fundraising method that allows blockchain projects to release their tokens through a decentralized exchange (DEX). The process is facilitated by a smart contract that automatically handles the allocation and distribution of tokens in exchange for a base currency (e.g., Ethereum). IDOs generally provide more decentralization and liquidity since they’re executed on DEXs.

ICO (Initial Coin Offering): ICO is a fundraising method where new projects sell their underlying crypto tokens in exchange for existing cryptocurrencies, mainly Ethereum and Bitcoin. It’s analogous to an IPO in the traditional stock market but for cryptocurrencies. ICOs don’t necessarily require a third-party intermediary like a DEX or CEX to conduct the fundraising. As mentioned, ICOs became infamous for scams and less transparent operations, leading to the rise of IEOs and IDOs as alternative fundraising mechanisms.

IEO (Initial Exchange Offering): Positioned as a successor to ICOs, IEOs are conducted on centralized exchanges (CEXs). The exchange itself takes on multiple roles, including vetting of the projects, collecting funds, and distributing the new tokens. This setup offers an additional layer of trust, as the exchange stands as a gatekeeper, ensuring only viable projects make the cut. However, while it offers more security than ICOs, it lacks the complete decentralization of IDOs.


Degen, short for "degenerate," refers to individuals taking high-risk actions, especially in crypto trading, without thorough research.


FUD stands for "Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt," a strategy to spread misinformation or negative news, often in crypto markets.


WAGMI stands for "We're All Gonna Make It," a positive affirmation often used in crypto and online communities.

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