ICO vs IEO vs STO: Understanding the Differences

Uncover the distinct characteristics of ICOs, IEOs, and STOs. Learn how each fundraising method can benefit your blockchain project.


In the world of blockchain fundraising, there are three primary methods startups can consider: Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs), and Security Token Offerings (STOs). Each of these fundraising methods has unique characteristics and benefits. In this article, we will explore the differences among ICOs, IEOs, and STOs and how to choose the right method for your startup.

What are ICOs, IEOs, and STOs?

  1. ICOs: In an ICO, a company sells tokens to investors in exchange for cryptocurrency or fiat currency. These tokens typically represent a utility within the project's ecosystem. ICOs provide a way for projects to raise funds without the need for traditional financing.
  2. IEOs: In an IEO, a cryptocurrency exchange administers the token sale on behalf of the project. The exchange conducts KYC/AML checks and lists the tokens after the sale, providing an immediate market for investors.
  3. STOs: An STO is similar to an ICO but with an important distinction: the tokens represent securities that are backed by real-world assets like shares, real estate, or commodities. This brings STOs under the purview of securities regulations, providing additional legal protections for investors.
Choosing the right fundraising method can make all the difference. We guide our clients through this decision, ensuring they select the best path for their unique project.
Ariadna Gardner

The Differences: ICO vs IEO vs STO

Each fundraising method has unique characteristics, which include:

  • Regulatory Oversight: STOs are regulated by securities laws, whereas ICOs and IEOs may not be, depending on the nature of the tokens.
  • Security: IEOs offer additional security due to the involvement of the exchange, while STOs offer legal protections. ICOs, in contrast, may be riskier.
  • Reach: ICOs allow startups to reach a global audience, while IEOs and STOs might have geographical limitations due to exchange access or securities laws.
The choice between ICO, IEO, and STO can shape the trajectory of your project—choose wisely.

How LimeICO Can Help with Your ICO, IEO, or STO

No matter what fundraising method you choose for your blockchain project, LimeICO can provide the support you need. Here's how we can assist with each type of offering:
  • ICOs: We provide end-to-end ICO services, including token creation, whitepaper writing, website creation, marketing, and more. Our team can guide you through the entire ICO process, ensuring a successful token sale.
  • IEOs: Our IEO services include exchange selection, token creation, KYC/AML compliance, marketing, and more. We have partnerships with top crypto exchanges and can help ensure a successful IEO launch.
  • STOs: We offer comprehensive STO services, including token creation, regulatory compliance, whitepaper writing, marketing, and more. Our team can guide you through the complex process of launching a legally-compliant STO.

Why Choose LimeICO for Your Fundraising Needs

Here's why blockchain startups trust LimeICO for their fundraising needs:

  • Expertise: We have a proven track record of successful ICO, IEO, and STO launches. Our team knows what it takes to have a successful token sale.
  • Custom Solutions: We understand that every project is unique. We tailor our services to meet your specific needs and goals.
  • Complete Support: We offer comprehensive support, from the initial planning stages to post-launch support.
Ready to start your blockchain project's fundraising journey? Contact us today for a free consultation!
  • Q:
    We're unsure which fundraising method is right for our blockchain project. Can LimeICO help?
    Definitely! LimeICO offers a tailored approach, assisting you to choose the most suitable fundraising method—ICO, IEO, or STO—based on your project's specific needs and market dynamics.


Whether you choose an ICO, IEO, or STO depends on your project's specific needs and goals. By understanding the differences among these methods, you can choose the best fundraising method for your project. And with LimeICO by your side, you can navigate the fundraising process with confidence and achieve your goals.

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