Initial exchange offering (IEO)

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An initial exchange offering (IEO) is the execution of an initial coin offering (ICO) on a cryptocurrency exchange.

Major non-U.S. domiciled exchanges like OKCoin, KuCoin and Binance offer to host IEOs.[1] U.S. exchange Bittrex hosted two IEOs in April and May 2019 for Ocean Protocol and VeriBlock respectively, both of which had lost more than 75% of their offering price within months of issuance.[2]

While still operating under a cloud of suspicion due to the ongoing investigation by the New York Attorney General, Bitfinex announced the launch of its own IEO platform, Tokinex.[3]

On May 13, 2019, Valerie Szczepanik, the SEC’s senior advisor for digital assets and innovation, told a panel audience at CoinDesk's Consensus conference that issuers and exchanges which conduct IEO's may be subject to U.S. regulation if any of the buyers are U.S. residents.[4]

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