What is an IDO (Initial Dex Offering) & How does an IDO Work?
Initial DEX Offering, or IDO, is a unique approach to fundraising that is quickly gaining traction in the crypto sphere. Continue reading this article to know more about what is an IDO, how does it work & its benefits.
26 MAY 2023, 4 min read
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An IDO is a crypto project's public debut on a decentralized exchange (DEX), enabling it to raise funds by issuing tokens to the public.  They provide a unique platform for crypto projects to raise funds, but what exactly is an IDO, and how does it work? This guide aims to answer these questions and more, providing a comprehensive overview of IDOs.

What is an IDO?

An Initial DEX Offering (IDO) is a fundraising method that enables crypto projects to launch their token on a Decentralized Exchange (DEX). As an evolved successor to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), IDOs offer an efficient, transparent, and secure model to raise capital and accelerate project development.

Think of an IDO as a crowdfunding event happening within a DEX ecosystem. The DEX facilitates a democratic and open market environment for the project's tokens, allowing anyone to invest, not just accredited investors.

How do IDOs in Crypto Work?

The process of an IDO is rather straightforward. First, the project creates a new token representing value or utility within its ecosystem. The token is listed directly on a DEX, like Uniswap or Sushiswap. The tokens are placed into a liquidity pool with another stable coin (like ETH or USDT), creating a new market for the token.

Investors can buy the token directly from the DEX, contributing to the project's fundraising efforts. The price of the new token fluctuates based on supply and demand dynamics within the liquidity pool.

Differences between IDO & ICO

The following table illustrates the key differences between an ICO & an IDO.





A method of raising funds where a project launches a token through a Decentralized Exchange (DEX).

A fundraising event where a project sells its tokens directly to the public, essentially bypassing any intermediaries.

Regulatory Oversight

Typically minimal regulation due to the decentralized nature of DEXs.

Varies widely depending on the project and the region. Some ICOs are fully compliant with securities regulations, while others are not.

Risk Level

Moderate to High - The decentralized nature means that scams are possible, although the immediate listing and trading of tokens can limit risk.

High - The ICO space has historically been associated with high risk, including scams.


Open to anyone who can access the DEX.

Open to anyone who can participate in the ICO, although some may restrict access based on geographic location.

Benefits & Disadvantages of IDOs

While IDOs offer a dynamic and innovative platform for crypto launches, they have advantages and drawbacks.

Benefits of IDOs:

Decentralization: As IDOs are conducted on decentralized exchanges, they enhance the democratic nature of crypto fundraising. Anyone can participate, there's no gatekeeping or regulatory hurdles typically associated with traditional fundraising models.

Immediate Trading: Once the IDO concludes, tokens are instantly available for trading, providing immediate liquidity.

Transparency and Trust: Since transactions are executed via blockchain-based smart contracts, investors can be more assured of their investments' security and transparency.

Affordability: IDOs usually entail fewer expenses for project developers as they don't require intermediaries or heavy listing fees of centralized exchanges.

However, every coin has two sides, and IDOs are no exception.

Disadvantages of IDOs:

Risk of Scams: Just as ICOs have been criticized for fraudulent activities, IDOs, due to the lack of regulation, can also be targeted by scam artists.

Price Volatility: The token prices can be very volatile immediately after the IDO, which might result in investors buying at higher prices than initially intended.

Technical Knowledge Required: Participating in IDOs often requires some technical knowledge, which could be a barrier for non-tech-savvy investors.

How to Invest in IDOs

Investing in an IDO can be a rewarding experience if done correctly. Here are a few steps you can follow:


Start with thorough research about the project. Look into the team's background, the problem the project aims to solve, and its growth potential. Also, analyze the tokenomics and ensure they are structured for long-term sustainability.

Choose a Reliable DEX

Select a decentralized exchange hosting the IDO. The DEX should be reliable, secure, and have a user-friendly interface.

Get Whitelisted

Most IDOs require you to get whitelisted, which often entails owning and staking a certain number of the platform's native tokens.

Prepare Your Wallet

Ensure you have a crypto wallet compatible with the DEX. This wallet should contain the crypto you'll use to purchase the IDO tokens.

Participate in the IDO

Once you're prepared, you can participate in the IDO by swapping your crypto for the IDO tokens.

Remember, while IDOs can offer lucrative opportunities, they're also risky. Never invest more than you can afford to lose.

In conclusion, while IDOs present an innovative way of fundraising in the crypto world, it's important to understand what they are and how they work. Always research and consider the risks involved before making any investment decisions.

Also Read: Centralised V/S Decentralised Exchanges

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of an IDO?

One notable example of an IDO is Uniswap's governance token, UNI, launched in September 2020. Uniswap is a decentralized exchange (DEX) that operates on the Ethereum blockchain, and it used an IDO to distribute the UNI token.

How to participate in an IDO?

Participating in an IDO requires some preparation. You need to research the project, get whitelisted, select a reliable decentralized exchange (DEX), set up a compatible crypto wallet, and finally, participate in the IDO by purchasing the tokens.

How to invest in IDOs in India?

Investing in IDOs in India isn't vastly different from elsewhere. You still need to follow the general steps mentioned earlier. However, it's also important to stay updated with the latest crypto regulations in India to ensure you're compliant with local laws.

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