Free shipping when you buy a Ledger Nano. Only until Oct. 3

Shop Now

Up your Web3 game

Ledger Academy Quests

  • Test your knowledge
  • Earn POK NFTs
Play now See all quests

Initial DEX Offering (IDO) Meaning

Jun 11, 2023 | Updated Jul 19, 2023
An Initial DEX Offering (IDO) is a crowdfunding method that enables blockchain projects to release their native coins or tokens through a decentralized exchange (DEX).

What is Initial DEX Offering (IDO) in Crypto?

Imagine you’re attending a startup fair, where founders showcase their ideas and projects. One of the projects presented is innovative and has prospects to make an impact, but it needs funding to bring it to life. Instead of approaching investors or acquiring bank loans, the founder(s) offer a token to anyone who contributes. The token holders can utilize it to access perks or services once the project is complete. This fundraising method is like an IDO in the crypto space.

An Initial DEX Offering (IDO) is a crowdfunding approach that raises investment capital from everyday investors. It takes place on a decentralized liquidity exchange (DEX) through the use of liquidity pools and smart contracts

IDOs are an alternative to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) that allow new cryptocurrency projects to launch their tokens on a DEX platform. In ICOs and IDOs,  anyone can participate in the crowdfunding process by providing liquidity to the pool and receiving tokens in return.  IDOs are often characterized by decentralization, ease of use, accessibility, and liquidity provision.

How IDOs differ from IDO and IEO

Even though the outcome for ICOs, IEOs, and IDOs is the same, these fundraising approaches are quite different. For instance, ICOs don’t go through any vetting process since the project runs the fundraising itself. The tokens are usually created after the sale through the project’s website. The project also manages investors’ funds, creates and runs smart contracts. For these reasons, scams and rug pulls became widespread in ICOs, forcing the crypto community to develop alternative crowdfunding methods, like Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) and IDO.

In IEOs, a centralized exchange (CEX) vets the crypto project, manages investors’ funds, creates and runs smart contracts and lists the token. On the other hand, the vetting process in IDOs is carried out by a decentralized exchange. The DEX is also responsible for creating and running smart contracts and handling funds. During the IDO, the smart contract handles the allocation and distribution of tokens based on their contributions. It collects funds, usually in the form of a base currency such as Ethereum (ETH), and automatically calculates the corresponding token amounts based on the predetermined price or exchange rate.


The term “fiat” or “fiat currency” refers to a type of currency that is declared by governments as a country’s legal tender. Fiat currencies include the USD, Euro, Sterling Pound, and Chinese Yuan amongst others.

Full definition

Quantum Computing

Full definition

Ponzi Scheme

A Ponzi Scheme is a fraudulent investment strategy where investors are promised high returns with minimal to no risk.

Full definition