Last week, cryptocurrency code-tracking firm CoinCodeCap published their 2019 Inactive Coins Analysis. The report examined the development of more than 2,000 post-launch cryptocurrency projects, tracking both their code-publication history, availability on exchanges, and overall market cap. While long-time cryptocurrency observers will not be surprised by the report’s findings that many once-hyped tokens are effectively dead, some will be shocked to learn that a high percentage of seemingly dead tokens live on a kind of zombie state. These tokens continue to be traded, and even mined, long after the projects are abandoned by their creators and developers. This is just one of the report’s many unexpected findings.
In this post, we’re going to explore five of the most surprising revelations from CoinCodeCap’s report.
1. 32% of cryptocurrency token projects have not published a single line of code in 2019. The analysts examined more than 2,000 publicly available cryptocurrencies, and discovered that more than 640 of them are effectively dead as software projects. The report found that 282 of these zombie tokens are still being actively traded on exchanges.
2. Cryptocurrency exchange YoBit is the top exchange for zombie tokens. CoinCodeCap found that the Russia-based exchange trades 62 such tokens. Other top traders of zombie tokens include CoinExchange (39 tokens), Crex24 (30 tokens), Hotbit (24 tokens), and Livecoin (23 tokens).
3. Zombie tokens still hold a surprising amount of value. CoinCodeCap found that the combined market cap of the 282 actively traded undead tokens is $415 million. That’s an average value of nearly $1.4 million per token. A total of 11 tokens have market caps in excess of $10 million.
4. The most valuable zombie cryptocurrency is Proton Token (PTT). According to the report, PTT has a market cap of nearly $85 million. Created for “big data and artificial intelligent applications,” Proton Token’s code hasn’t been updated since September of 2018.
5. Many listed tokens have little or no published code at all. One particularly egregious example cited by the report is the BTQX token created by “social crypto hedge exchange” BTQ. The token has a market cap of more than $45 million, yet has only published 305 lines of code on GitHub since its launch in 2018.
The report’s authors conclude by noting: “Crypto landscape is full of lies and empty promises. To make this ecosystem better we need to weed out projects which are not fulfilling their promises made to investors.” If their results are accurate, they may just have a point.