The simple answer: a company seeking to source funding. Anyone can invest in a ICO, think of it like crowd funding. In the more traditional sense this is sort of like a company wanting to raise finance through an IPO.
Investing in an ICO (initial coin offering) is similar to investing in any business. You have to understand that you may lose all of your investment if the company fails. However if the company succeeds the returns can be very very rewarding. Imagine buying bitcoin, or Apple stock a few years ago. Then selling them today! Because you got in so early before the companies had really taken off you got a really good price. Hence the risk you took when you made the purchase. Always do your own research into the business. (DYOR).
Typically you must be prepared to hold onto your investment for a long period of time. Possibly years before the business takes off. Another strategy some use is to sell the tokens as soon as they hit exchanges trying to make a quick profit. But you may not be able to do this if the price the coin lists at is below the ico price.
To buy into mostly any ico at the present you will need to purchase bitcoin, Ethereum or maybe another crypto currency. (Click here to buy digital currency’s at coinbase, or read our guide). Then send the coins over to the ico. Once the ico has successfully completed and raised their target fund raising they will usually give a date you will be able to receive the coins/tokens. Some icos do not complete successfully so you do not get the coins. Then hopefully you should get your investment back.
So now you must wait. For the ico to finish, then to receive your new coins, and then for the coin to become tradable on an adequately liquid market. You cannot sell your coins if there is no one to buy them from you.
During the time you are waiting the price of bitcoin, Ethereum, fiat etc can fluctuate up and down. All of which will be changing the value of your investment. Interest rates, or inflation could change that may cause a change in the price of usd gbp or whatever fiat currency you use.
Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. We accept no liablity. Any actions you take are entirely at your own risk. Bitcoin and crypto currencies are highly volitile.