Reasons Why ICOs Fail And Avoiding ICO Failure In 2019–2020

Anurag Ganguly
4 min readNov 1, 2018


Greetings, everyone.

The substantial rise of cryptocurrencies and exchanges have no doubt, doubles up the ability to pitch a project and bring it to masses. From healthcare to anything one is able to recall, we have seen it all.

Launching an ICO can surely be beneficial to raise funding from investors over a span of time. But have you tried looking at the number of the ICOs fail that take place?

Articulating The Reasons Why ICOs Fail

Just going through multiple articles and statistics lets you wonder why there has been a mismatch between the successful ICOs and the ICOs the fail. Looking at the comparison itself, the sum of failed ICOs is much higher than that of successful ICOs.

This may make one feel that launching an ICO is not a great idea. But this is like saying an accident happens due to the car, and not because of the driver’s attention capabilities. It can be either, or both, this can lead to a lengthy-but-intellectual debate. But that’s not the case.Here are some reasons that stand as the major reasons why ICOs fail, and some ways that’d help you avoid them.

Read ahead!

1- Fail to leave the brand mark

Let’s start this by taking an example.

You are traveling the world, and have landed to some foreign place where you are not much aware of the linguistics. You seem to be hungry, and want to have a hamburger for the lunch. But hey, you don’t know how to read their native language. Somehow, you spot a read colored restaurant with drive-thru and a big golden ‘M’, or the arcs. It doesn’t take a moment for you to think and you quickly hop in at McDonalds’.

That’s how a brand identity is. Not only the language, texts but the visual identity and aesthetics to matter. They might not the first thing to get noticed by the consumer, but may subliminally affect the way someone identified you as a brand.Failure to implement such a level of impact on your day-to-day drivers is one reason why an ICO can fail. Brand identity can go as a loyal staple on your-

– Whitepapers

– ICO Marketing Website

– Social Media Channel Graphics (Banners, Logos, etc)

– Telegram Groups

– Traditional Prints & Marketing (when at events, etc)

Branding your ICO can be tedious, but try and understand what colors can mean to your project. A food business needs warm colors for example, like reds, oranges and yellows. Color theory as as important as brushing your teeth.

Set no more than 3 fonts for the whole marketing and visuals, including online and offline media activities.

Think about the same as being on the investors side. Would you invest in a project if the website, whitepaper looks amateur and unappealing to you? Would you invest in a project that has a social media graphic for ICO marketing guide for 2019 that looks designed by a teenage school kid who just loves to bring every font on a thirty-word-paragraph?

2- Think like your users, not yourselves

Try asking some questions from the users perspective before you actually try and market out your tokens in the market. It’s your users who are going to be using your project material, is that even something worth explaining and mentioning in this blog article? Will the users adopt to the application of your product?

Ask it twice to yourselves, and you’ll get the answer.

One prime reason due to which an ICO might fail is lack of user adoption. There are multiple tokens released which are extremely creative and innovative. But somehow, don’t stand to be effective in the real world applications. This is where introspecting from the users point of view comes in place.

You may want to read the common jargons used in Crypto world here.

3- Failure of implementing project technology

There are a lot of projects that have started to show early signs of not implementing a technology that stays stable. While an investor might invest in the project ICO in 2019–2020, it might get out till 2022–2023 in the market. There are several R&Ds going behind the screen.

That’s where implementing a technology that is ahead of time, stays stable and has community support to it becomes important.

4- Imbalance between the budgets and the objectives

This article might be getting a bit into introspection for not landing in an ICO failure zone.

There might be scenarios where the aims and budgets don’t necessarily meet the finished project. Instead it may end up putting the whole stake of business in a trouble and get into the ICOs fail zone

Make sure the goals match the scope of the project. One can easily check the feasibility of the token sale within a circle of people you know before getting into a public sale.

A rough sum of 58–60% ICOs fail just because they are unable to bridge out the gaps between unrealistic objectives of the projects and irrational budget over the same.

Until next time,




Anurag Ganguly

Product UX/UI Designer • Brand Strategist • Art Director | Minimalist | Tech Geek