I nitial Coin Offering (ICO) is a fundraising mechanism in which new projects sell their underlying service through a brand new crypto currency coin or token to their investors and/or public.
ICO allows the company to either raise funding for a crypto-related project or tokenize its existing assets. Such coins vary in utility or use but generally its objective is to enable the investor or public to participate in the underlying project.
Alternatively, the coins may allow the holders certain voting rights, interest or to receive future returns similar to financial instruments.
In the latter case, some ICOs shall be considered as securities and thus need to be regulated by the financial regulator. One of the most important issues is the ICO Token standard.
While in technical terms, ICO issuer might deem certain token as utility token there is risk that legally it might be qualified as a security. The Legal implications of running your ICO is present in all your offering documents and materials.