CoinGecko has been compiling dead token data on its platform since 2014, showing that 2021 was the biggest year for deactivated coins, with 3,322 projects folding.
Unusually, in the height of crypto winter, the number of dead tokens this year was significantly lower than the previous year, at 951.
947 dead crypto projects expected per year
In total, more than 8,000 projects have been listed on CoinGecko as the bull market accelerates in 2021. But now, “about 40% are deactivated and delisted.”
“This is 2.5 times the amount of failed cryptocurrencies listed in 2020 and 3.5 times the YTD in 2022.”
Explaining the significant increase in dead coins in 2021, the platform has assigned responsibility for the “meme coin season” that was prevalent among maniacs last year.
At this time, many projects were born with anonymous development teams, offering investors “little or no value.” These projects often failed due to low commitment from developers and overnight cash grabs.
CoinGecko currently has 13,130 coins listed, well above 8,000 in 2021. This suggests that meme coin issuance is less prevalent this year than last year.
However, it is worth noting that CoinMarketCap currently lists in total. 21,903 tokensAs such, CoinGecko’s data does not represent a complete overview of the market.
CoinGecko has dubbed 2021 an “extraordinary year”. Excluding the 2021 data, i.e. the 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022 datasets, an average of 947 crypto projects per year have disappeared.
To determine if a cryptographic token is dead or deactivated, CoinGecko examined the token for:
- There has been no trading activity within the last two months.
- Revealed as fraud or ragpull via news or direct reports from verifiable sources.
- Or the project has requested deactivation.
The latter occurs when teams disband, rebrand, project closure, or undergo a major token change to the point where old tokens become illiquid or dead.