In the context of cryptocurrency, IOUs are often used to represent a claim on a new currency or token before it is officially issued. For instance, a cryptocurrency project might issue IOUs to raise funds before launching a new token. These IOUs signify that the holders are entitled to receive the actual token at a later date.
Additionally, cryptocurrency exchanges might trade IOUs for a new token before it’s officially listed on the exchange. This allows people to buy and sell the rights to the tokens before they are actually in circulation.
It’s important to note that an IOU is essentially a form of credit transaction, and it does not represent ownership of an actual asset or currency; therefore, it carries associated risks that participants need to be aware of.