ICO stands for Initial Coin Offering. An ICO is essentially a way for technology companies to fundraise for their project by selling tokens in exchange for cryptocurrencies or fiat money (usually Bitcoin, Ether, and USD). This is similar in concept to an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Anyone can invest in ICOs as long as you have the required monetary instrument to do so. Most ICOs will accept Bitcoin, Ether, and USD.
GEO-Restrictions are in place for certain ICOs to maintain specific national laws for participation in ICOs. If your country is listed as a GEO-Restriction, you cannot legally participate in that token sale.
ICOs go through three main stages. Upcoming suggest that an ICO is currently in the early stages of their Startup and also possibly in Pre-sale mode where they sell tokens at a discount at pre-determined levels. Active ICOs are in their main token sale. Ended is anything after the ICO is over.
A whitepaper is the blueprint of a company’s business/product. This is the single most important document you need to research prior to investing in a particular ICO.