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Analysis
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Dead Coins: Over 50% of Cryptocurrencies Have Failed

4.5
| by
Shaun Paul Lee
-

How Many Crypto Coins Have Died?

Over 50% of all cryptocurrencies have died. Of the over 24,000 cryptocurrencies listed on CoinGecko since 2014, 14,039 have died.

Most dead cryptocurrencies came from projects launched during the 2020 - 2021 bull run. 7,530 cryptocurrencies from that period have died, accounting for 53.6% of all dead cryptocurrencies on CoinGecko. Over 11,000 cryptocurrencies were listed on CoinGecko during the previous bull run, with ~70% having shut down since.

In comparison, 1,450 projects launched during the 2017 - 2018 bull run have since shut down. This is on the back of over 3,000 cryptocurrencies listed, resulting in a similar failure rate of ~70%. 

The high number of dead coins during the 2020 - 2021 period can be attributed to the ease of deploying tokens, and the rise in popularity of memecoins. However, many memecoin projects launch without a product, with the majority being abandoned after a short period of time.

5,724 cryptocurrencies from 2021 have failed

Cryptocurrencies launched in 2021 have suffered the worst, with 5,724 having died as of January 2024. Over 70% of cryptocurrencies listed on CoinGecko in 2021 have died, making it the worst year for project launches. 

This is followed by 2022 listed cryptocurrencies, with 3,520 having died thus far, a rate of ~60%.

289 cryptocurrencies listed on CoinGecko in 2023 died. This represents a failure rate of <10%, with over 4,000 cryptocurrencies listed, a sharp decline from previous years. 

Cryptocurrency Failures by Year of Launch

The number of cryptocurrency failures by year of launch are:

Year of Launch Number of  Dead Coins
2014 37
2015 27
2016 32
2017 346
2018 1,104
2019 1,154
2020 1,806
2021 5,724
2022 3,520
2023 289

Methodology

This study examines the total number of coins and tokens, collectively termed as ‘cryptocurrencies’, once listed on CoinGecko that are now deactivated (‘dead’ or ‘failed’), grouped by the year it was listed, from 2014 to 2023, year-to-date.

Cryptocurrencies may be deactivated and delisted from CoinGecko based on the following circumstances:

  • Cryptocurrencies do not reflect any trade activity within the last 30 days.

  • Projects are revealed as a scam or rug pull, through the news or direct reports to CoinGecko from verifiable sources.

  • Projects request to be deactivated, i.e. when the team disbands, rebrands, shutters the project, or undergo major token overhauls where old tokens become sufficiently illiquid or dead, according to CoinGecko standards.


If you use these insights, we would appreciate a link credit to this article on CoinGecko. A link credit allows us to keep supplying you with future data-led content that you may find useful.

Curious to find out more about our previous research studies? Check out this one we did on Top Crypto Narratives of 2023!

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Shaun Paul Lee
Shaun Paul Lee
Shaun is a Research Analyst at CoinGecko, who has lived and breathed crypto since 2017. Previously a community manager for Synthetix and RedFOX, he dived down the crypto rabbit hole to grasp a better understanding of the industry. He now spends copious amounts of time on Crypto Twitter and Telegram, searching for the next idea for CoinGecko Research. Follow the author on Twitter @ShaunPaulLee

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