Initial Coin OfferingScams

ICOs Which Failed Miserably

According to Vitalik Buterin 90% of ICOs will fail!

ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings are hot selling cakes in the crypto world. Essentially they are fund raising instrument for startups, to collect finance for implementing their unique business ideas. It is done by crowdfunding and in last few years it has become a strong source of capital for startup companies.

What Are Initial Coin Offering a.k.a ICOs

In an ICO, a pre-defined quantity of the crowdfunded cryptocurrency is allocated to initial investors in the form of “tokens” in exchange for fiat currency or other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). Tokens are also called “coins” and that is why it’s called “Initial Coin Offering”. Read What are ICOs? if you want to further know about ICOs.

Although similar in concept, ICOs are very different from IPOs. Unlike IPOs, ICOs do not allocate any company stocks but issue tokens to passionate investors depending on their investment amount. Compared to an IPO, an ICO campaign is much more efficient as startup companies do not need to go through rigorous and extensive capital raising process with venture capitalists and banks, which usually involve a lot of bureaucracy and paperwork.

Successful ICOs

Many of the early investors and supporters who bought ICO tokens during public sale events have made jaw dropping gains. Many of them in some successful ICOs have already become millionaires. Here are the Top 10 ICOs of all time with maximum return of investment (ROI) since there launch.

1. Nxt +1867061%
2. Iota +551029%
3. Neo +426645%
4. Spectrecoin +375341%
5. Ethereum +337797%
6. Stratis +187192%
7. Ark +66009%
8. Lisk +27767%
9. Populous +19414%
10. Storj +14497%

But not all ICOs perform well and many of them fizzle out after reaching a stage. In the strictest sense an ICO can be considered a failure if they fail to perform, what they proclaimed at the time of initial coin offering. However, cryptocurrencies world is like the wild west with new ups and downs everyday, as there are so many unknowns. Therefore, there is always some changes as ICO startup starts implementing their whitepaper.

Failed ICOs

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin claimed that 90 percent of initial coin offering (ICO) tokens launched on top of the Ethereum protocol will fail. There are already some 700 failed ICOs and this number is not exhaustive. There are much more ICOs which fizzle out over a period of time. Deadcoins website has maintained a really interesting and extensive database of failed ICOs, you should definitely check it out. Bloqtimes staff noted down list of some failed ICOs, whose successful implementation would have changed the world.

1. SpaceBIT

SpaceBIT was one of the most ambitious digital currency project of its time. It was the first decentralized space company, that planned to create a space banking platform for crypto currencies. SpaceBIT idea was coined in the last quarter of 2014. The company had plans to launch a constellation of nano satellites that would provide depositories for digital cash. As a platform, they planned to provide global and universal access to remote areas around the globe where payment infrastructure is not sufficient. But in the early 2015 they suddenly disappeared from the cryptocurrencies stage. Probably they could never implement any working product or prototype about their idea.

Year: Jan, 2015
Funds Raised via ICO: $100 million
Token: not available
Service Domain: Space Banking Platform
Platform: Unknown


GetGems was a social networking platform that paid cryptocurrency to members for viewing advertisements within their smartphone App. GetGems developers were so proud of their idea, in 2014, they announced it would disrupt the social media as we know it. But those claims seem to have fallen flat. By the end of 2014, their company reported a disappointing crowdsale, raising only $111,000 USD. Their ICO sale was not even close to their claims of disrupting the existing social media and much smaller compared to other cryptocurrency projects.

Year: Mid 2014
Funds Raised via ICO: $111,000
Token: GEM
Service Domain: Retail Advertisement
Platform: Ethereum

3. DAO

DAO ICO was launched in April, 2016 and it was one of the hottest project in the cryptocurrency community. DAO had an objective to provide a new decentralized business model for organizing both commercial and non-commercial enterprises. Every investor was allowed voting rights on proposals, and that means this could change business model for investors for the better.

The DAO was the largest crowd-funded project of its time. By May, 2016 it had raised around $150 million of funding through their token sale. Their project code was entirely open source. However, there were some vulnerabilities in their project code which DAO team could not fix effectively and in a timely manner. Hackers already had eyes on the project and successfully attacked DAO several times, resulting in the loss of millions of worth of funds. This led to the collapse of entire DAO project.

Year: April, 2016
Funds Raised via ICO: $150 million
Token: DAO
Service Domain: Digital decentralized autonomous organization, software venture capital fund
Platform: Ethereum


PayCoin was launched by Josh Garza and GAW miners. With Paycoin, GAW Miners hoped to improve on existing coins by producing a decentralized network structured to promote price stability, fast transaction times and rich features, all of which were intended to hasten the global adoption of cryptocurrencies. PayCoin had a huge launch as it quickly became one of the largest cryptocurrencies across the globe by market capitalization, baffling the entire crypto community by its sheer size.

Garza’s whitepaper drew a promising picture and called for a new strain of blockchain technology that would produce a new breed of cryptocurrency. But the house of cards began falling, when there was no progress on the technology side. Garza quickly converted PayCoin into a generic clone of altcoin as this apparently helped his team to push it into the market faster. With PayCoin’s developers continuously failing to follow through its promises, investors began losing faith in the cryptocurrency. Eventually, PayCoin touched the bottom and GAW had to completely shutdown its operations in 2015. Federal authorities sensed foul play in the entire ICO launch. Subsequently, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sought more than $10 million from the GAW Miners in connection with its ongoing securities fraud suit.

Year: Oct, 2014
Funds Raised via ICO: 12 million coins premined (more than 97%)
Token: XPY
Service Domain: Financial (Price stability)
Platform: PayBase

5. Inchain

Inchain was a decentralized insurance platform and was launched as a safe and unique solution for crypto investors, as cryptocurrency platforms and wallet services were increasingly coming under hackers attack. It would have immensely mitigated the crypto community’s risks associated with loss of assets from hacking incidents. Based on Ethereum blockchain, the platform was planned to issue and maintain tokenised insurance policies and bonds.

The platform was designed to operate with minimal human interaction by implementing smart contracts at the core. However, Sergey Primatchik, the Founder and CEO of InChain, had to cancel their ICO entirely as investors had reservations regarding the team members, an unclear business viability model, and a lack of proof of concept for the technology. In the end, CEO Primatchik announced that all investors, who had pledged funds in the project during ICO, will get a refund as per ICO Terms and Conditions.

Year: Oct, 2016
Funds Raised via ICO: NA
Token: INC
Service Domain: Blockchain Insurance Platform
Platform: Ethereum

6. MetaGold

MetaGold (MEG) token was a token that would have served as a means of payment in big games like “War of the Magi” and “Project X”. MEG token could be used to buy different stuff in games like characters, custom skins, gadgets. It was also meant to buy, sell and trade any items related to games on a marketplace. This would have made buying selling stuff in the game lot easier, faster and would have also helped in cutting transaction and service fees often charged by credit card companies. MEG was an ERC20 token based on Ethereum blockchain technology. However, due to lack of transparency and less information about co-founders investors started doubting the intentions of founder and the whole project. Eventually, project was abandoned and failed to materialize.

Year: April, 2017
Funds Raised via ICO: $250,000
Token: MEG
Service Domain: Gaming Industry
Platform: Ethereum

7. Muniti

Muniti was a ground-breaking project with innovative features aimed at becoming the first touristic cryptocurrency. This project was initiated by a group of Maltese IT developers to promote tourism and integrate it with the existing system. Muniti was planned to be distributed via door-to-door (D2D) distribution with each Maltese household receiving a total of 156 Muniti. Currently, it’s not traded on any of major exchanges and deemed a big fail.

Year: April, 2014
Funds Raised via ICO: 7 million coins (via D2D)
Token: MUN
Service Domain: Tourism
Platform: X11

8. Chain of Points

Chain of Points was a blockchain-based token that could have provided a simple and flexible solution to merchants and customers in establishing a successful loyalty rewards exchange program (transform loyalty into rewards). POINTS was designed to be a speedy and lightweight solution, allowing businesses to not worry about rewarding customers and instead focus on their business execution. Project planned to employ a new and promising delegated proof-of-stake based blockchain validation algorithm. However, things failed to materialize as claimed in the whitepaper.

Year: Feb 2017
Funds Raised via ICO: 21 million coins
Service Domain: Commerce & Retail
Platform: Unknown

9. Aircoin

Aircoin sought to accomplish instant mobile phone payment transfers as a simple and technically viable option for all. It planned to enrich the payment transfer market by pioneering removal of the foreign currency exchange in transactions. Mobile-based payments was priority for Aircoin. However, their plan on paper could not materialize on ground.

Year: Feb 2014
Funds Raised via ICO: 357 million coins
Token: AIR
Service Domain: Instant Payments
Platform: Scrypt

If you like above article then Bloqtimes recommends below articles which might be of interest to our readers:

World’s Richest Person in Cryptocurrencies
What are ICO Bounties
How to Buy Your First Bitcoin Using Coinbase

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Sean is a passionate Blockchain and Crypto nerd. He has strong enchantment for blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and geo-politics.

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