An Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) is a fundraising method conducted via exchanges as a means to raise funds for further development of the project. Several notable entities have already conducted IEOs, simultaneously raising significant sums of money. The arrival of IEOs is a direct reaction to the negativity surrounding ICOs, which have reduced significantly since 2018.
In an IEO, a token issuer pays the exchange a listing fee and a portion of the tokens that are sold. If the IEO is successful, the token gets listed on the exchange’s trading pairs, giving the token some additional liquidity very early on.
The most well-known of IEOs is arguably the BitTorrent Token, which raised over $7 million in 15 minutes. The token was launched on the Binance Launchpad, one of the most popular IEO launch platforms. The success that was clearly visible on Binance Launchpad spurred other exchanges to launch their own IEO platforms. Bittrex, BitMax, Huobi, OKEx and KuCoin have all announced their IEO intentions. IEOs have been growing so much as a trend that even the likes of Coinbase are considering launching one, as recent reports seem to indicate.
It has been noted that IEOs have somewhat weeded out disingenuous projects, because exchanges ensure that only quality products are given the greenlight for sale. Additionally, IEOs have been remarked as being easier to participate in than a Security Token Offering (STOs) due to less demanding regulations.
Given that IEOs are so tied to the exchange itself, exchanges often feature their exchange token - like Binance’s BNB token - to the IEO platform, giving users discounts and incentives to participate in it.