The Defiant

More Than Half Of Crypto Is Dead: CoinGecko

Over 24,000 tokens have been listed on CoinGecko. More than 14,000 are dead.

By: Pedro Solimano Loading...

a graveyard of coins

In the past decade, CoinGecko has tracked all cryptocurrency tokens reaching the market. About half of the many thousands of tokens listed are now dead.

Of the 24,000 tokens cryptocurrency listed since 2014, 14,039 are now defunct, according to an analysis conducted by CoinGecko.

The 2020-2021 bull run was the deadliest for digital assets, registering a whopping 70% mortality rate. More than 11,000 tokens were listed, of which 7,530 have deceased.

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There is a pattern of high failure rates that coincides with bull runs, which should caution investors moving forward. It also showcases that seemingly compelling trends–especially during positive market conditions–can be short-lived, with projects easily abandoned and traders moving on to other networks.

The data aggregation platform underscores three metrics to consider a token dead: No trade activity in the past 30 days, projects revealed to be scams or rug pulls, and when a project requests to be deactivated.

Few Dead Tokens in 2023

Notably, the number of dead tokens declined sharply in 2023. Only 289 tokens of 4,000 listed have perished, representing less than a 10% death rate.

The overall death rate of tokens aligns with the failure rate of startups, as about 90% of startups don’t make it, according to a 2019 report by Startup Genome.

Tokens fail the most during bull markets, with dead tokens jumping by 1,000% surge during the 2016-2017 bull run, and increasing by about five times in the 2020-2021 boom cycle.

Conversely, in bear markets investors take on less risks, and projects are less likely to launch and therefore, fail.

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