Ernst & Young has presented a new report on the development of ICOs. It is an update on a study carried out last December. 86% of the projects examined are currently traded below the listing price. 71% have still not launched a product. Investments in ICOs fell below $300 million in September for the first time since May 2017.

To seasoned spectators of the crypto realm, EY’s report doesn’t come as a huge surprise. The conclusions to be found on the trading floors mirror those of the report:

  • Most ICO tokens have lost significant value
  • A good proportion is completely worthless
  • The ICO market has dried up
  • Most projects don’t care for token bag holders
  • A handful of tokens generate all the value

ICO losing value

Ernst & Young has studied 144 ICOs that were held in 2017. A whopping 86% of the tokens are now below listing price. Nearly a third lost more or less all of their value. In total, the investors lost two-thirds of their investment.

ICOs losing value
ICOs losing value


No working products

Well, what did we expect? 71% of all projects that sold tokens in 2017 have no working product one year later. A year is little time from idea to market. But now it comes to haunt the projects to have sold tokens with nothing more than ideas. In this sense, the proximity of the term ICO to IPO is a joke. IPOs usually happen with a well-proven business case. Nevertheless, Ernst & Young is disappointed to see so little progress.

ICOs have no working product
ICOs have no working product

Investors are cannon fodder

Tokens need utility to maintain and generate value. If they are of no use why keep them? Since they are not bound to equity they won’t necessarily rise when the company does fine. Here it is surprising that EY found 7 out of 25 projects accept other currencies which reduce the utility of their own token. Some projects even dropped their own utility tokens.

A fistful of tokens

According to Ernst & Young, the top 10 ICOs of 2017 bring 99% of the overall net gain since the initial coin offering. It can be truly stated that ICOs where a bad deal for investors. These projects have left scorched earth in their wake.