The number of failed crypto coins, by year (2013-2022)
Since the first major crypto boom in 2011, tens of thousands of cryptocurrency coins have hit the market.
And while some cryptocurrencies have done well, others have gone out of business or ended up as failed or abandoned projects.
These charts from CoinKickoff break down the number of failed crypto coins by year they died and year they started. The data covers a decade of coin falls from 2013 to 2022.
What is the marker of a "dead" cryptocurrency?
This analysis looked at data from failing crypto coins listed on Coinopsy and cross-referenced with CoinMarketCap to verify previous market activity. The reason for each part death was also tabulated, including:
- Failed Initial Coin Offerings (ICO)
- Quit with less than $1,000 in trade volume over a three-month period
- Scams or coins designed as a joke
Dead Crypto Coins from 2013 to 2022
While many familiar crypto coins – Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum – are still on the market today, there were at least 2,383 cryptocurrencies which bit the dust between 2013 and 2022.
Here is a breakdown of the number of cryptocurrencies that die each year by reason:
|ICO Failure /
Of short time
|Joke / No
Discontinued coins with a fixed trading volume accounted for 1,584 or 66.5% of cryptographic failures analyzed over the past decade. Comparatively, 22% ended up being scam coins and 10% failed to launch after an ICO.
Looking at individual years, 2018 saw the highest number of annual casualties in the crypto market, with 751 dead crypto coins. More than half of them were abandoned by investors, but 237 coins were revealed as scams or embroiled in other controversies, such as BitConnect which turned out to be a Ponzi scheme.
Why was 2018 such a great year for crypto chess?
This is largely because the previous year Bitcoin prices surged above $1,000 for the first time with an eventual peak near $19,000. As a result, speculation intensified, new crypto issuances surged, and many investors and companies became bullish in the market for the first time.
How many newly tossed coins died?
Of the hundreds of coins launched in 2017, more than half were considered lapsed by the end of 2022.
Indeed, many previously launched coins have since died. The majority of coins launched between 2013 and 2017 have already become “dead coins” by the end of 2022.
|Start year of the piece||Dead parts by 2022|
This was partly because the cryptocurrency field itself was still being discovered. Many coins were released in a time of experimentation and innovation, but also volatility and uncertainty.
However, the trend started to change in 2018. Only 27.62% of coins launched that year have bitten the dust so far, and failure rates in 2019 and 2020 have dropped further to just 4.74% and 1.03% of coins launched, respectively.
This suggests that the crypto industry has become more mature and stable, with new projects establishing themselves more securely and investors becoming more aware of potential scams.
How will this trend evolve in 2023 and beyond?
This article was published as part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite creators from around the world.