The popularity of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) has risen so dramatically that this year Merriam-Webster added definitions for both phrases to its most recent edition. In light of the wave of regulatory actions and private litigation that has followed ICOs—a wave that is sure to accelerate—it is perhaps more than a coincidence that Merriam-Webster’s newest edition also added the phrase “dumpster fire.”

Some innovative companies have sought to use ICOs as a new method to raise capital. In an ICO, a company will offer a coin or token in exchange for fiat currency or other cryptocurrencies, which provide capital to the company or fund specific projects.

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