Initial exchange offerings (IEO) are processes by which cryptoassets are initially made available to investors through exchanges. The assets are typically tokens sold by companies (often startups) for the purpose of raising capital. IEOs function similarly to ICOs, with the key distinction being that IEOs employ exchanges as intermediaries to facilitate transactions rather than using smart contracts to sell tokens directly from the business to the investors, as ICOs do.
Some consider IEOs a safer alternative to ICOs, as exchanges are better able to exclude fraudulent or malicious actors from these transactions through KYC and AML measures. Other potential benefits of IEOs over ICOs include marketing assistance from exchanges and automatic token listing on exchanges following the initial offering.