ICO Quality: Development & Trading

In a recent study, we’ve attempted to classify ICO’s by quality. This encompasses the lifecycle of an ICO, from the original proposal of fundraising availability through to the most mature phase of trading on a cryptocurrency exchange (also known as “online trading platforms”) (“exchange”). This is a high level look above a market cap of $50M only, as an initial attempt to improve on the reporting we have seen to date on percentage failed ICO’s. We will continue to develop our research in this area and produce a more in-depth study in coming months.

We break down ICO’s into groups, with the following definitions:

· Scam (pre-trading): Any project that expressed availability of ICO investment (through a website publishing, ANN thread, or social media posting with a contribution address), did not have/had no intention of fulfilling project development duties with the funds, and/or was deemed by the community (message boards, website or other online information) to be a scam.

· Failed (pre-trading): Succeeded to raise funding but did not complete the entire process and was abandoned, and/or refunded investors as a result of insufficient funding (missed soft cap).

· Gone Dead (pre-trading): Succeeded to raise funding and completed the process, however was not listed on exchanges for trading and has not had a code contribution in Github on a rolling three-month basis from that point in time.

· Dwindling (trading): Succeeded to raise funding and completed the process, and was listed on an exchange, however had one or less of the following success criteria: deployment (in test/beta, at minimum) of a chain/distributed ledger (in the case of a base-layer protocol) or product/platform (in the case of an app/utility token), had a transparent project roadmap posted on their website, and had Github code contribution activity in a surrounding three-month period (“Success Criteria”).

· Promising (trading): Two of the above Success Criteria.

· Successful (trading): All of the above Success Criteria.

On the basis of the above classification, we found that approximately 81% of ICO’s were Scams, ~6% Failed, ~5% had Gone Dead, and ~8% went on to trade on a exchange.

Within the 8%, in coins/tokens with an MCap of $50M+: ~47% were Successful, ~20% were Promising, and ~34% were Dwindling.
In coins/tokens with an MCap of $50M — $100M (the lowest tier tracked): ~24% were Successful, ~22% were Promising, and ~54% were Dwindling.
By MCap Ranking

Written by Sherwin Dowlat & Michael Hodapp of Satis Group


Sources include: coinschedule.com, icodata.io, coindesk.com, icorating.com, coinscamlist.com, deadcoins.com, tokendata.io, ico-check.com, coinmarketcap.com

Our data is approximate, based on sources listed above, and subject to changes in the posted data and misinterpretation of the data by those sources.

Our source data, Github activity, and market capitalization ranking data were recorded on March 8, 2018.


Satis Group LLC publications are intended solely for general information purposes on our insights into the changing state of the cryptocurrency and digital asset markets and not for the purpose of giving legal, tax, financial, investment or other advice. Satis Group LLC publications are subject to our website terms of use. You should contact your attorney, accountant, financial or other advisor to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Satis Group LLC publication does not create a client relationship between Satis Group LLC and anyone.