An ICO is an Initial Coin Offering. Their purpose is to give early investors a chance to get new digital currencies at a reduced price before it hits the market or launched as a coin to be used. To participate, you typically must go to the company's website and pay with crypto like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar or other crypto, while some allow you to pay with credit cards or wire transfers.
IIf you find yourself looking for the next big coin, participating in an ICO may be high risk, but also has the potential for a high reward.
Most initial coin offerings offer a set limit of a new digital currency to sell at a fixed rate for a limited time. Some ICOs also allow users who sign up to get airdrop rewards to help promote their new coins.
While the main purpose of ICOs is to sell initial amounts of the new coin, it allows investors to be the first to buy at a reduced cost the more that's bought. Investors buy in the hopes of reaping huge profits.
While some ICOs can increase in value, far too many have fallen in value, failed or are simply scammed. Always do your due diligence before investing and never risk more than you can lose.