The cryptocurrency universe (often dubbed the “cryptosphere”) is a fascinating new ecosystem that holds many promises for investors, tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and many others. Since the inception of Bitcoin, it has slowly gained attention from the media, gathered early adopters, and attracted significant capital from all over the world.
Today, new projects are gathering the attention of banks, governments, and venture capitalists. While this extraordinary growth has some communities very excited for the development of decentralized currencies, smart contracts and even an upgraded web experience, others see the cryptosphere as bloated and they think that the bubble will burst eventually.
Looking back, since the beginning of Bitcoin alternatives (or altcoins) many have already failed or are at risk of failure in the near future. Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s founder and chief scientist, predicts that 90% of token startups will fail, a number that isn’t very far from the rate at which firms tend to fail in other industries. This grim message comes after a string of negative remarks on Bitcoin by people all over the world, including Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffett and Jordan Belfort. Bitcoin’s price has kept increasing steadily, but these dire warnings have prompted the creation of satirical Bitcoin Obituaries.
Even with a growing cryptocurrency market cap, list of projects, and number communities forming around digital currencies, the cryptosphere have already seen its fair share of victims. For Halloween, we’re taking a look at prominent coins that have either already been discontinued or are expected to by experts and members of the crypto community. Each coin is assigned a score from 1 to 5 (in spooky pumpkins), based on their potential to separate you from your funds. These are our picks for 2017’s dead coins:
A currency based on NeoScrypt, Feathercoin soared over $1 in late 2013, but is now hovering around the $0.05 mark. Without any news hinting at adoption, significant use cases or clear value proposition, the coin has been stagnating. With a few bumps in price since its surge and subsequent price, a very small community and little coverage, FTC is rated 3/5 spooky pumpkins.
Widely suspected within the cryptocurrency community to be a pyramid scheme, Bitconnect’s model relies on users ‘lending’ Bitcoin on the Bitconnect platform, which are then used by a trading bot. The proceeds from these trades are then redistributed to the community. On top of too-good-to-be-true guaranteed returns, the site offers a generous referral program that encourages a growing user-base and relies on influencers heavily promoting the business through platforms like YouTube. Bitconnect is a top-10 cryptocoin in terms of market capitalization, but because of the project’s lack of transparency, the unknown identity of founders, shady business model and inflated trading volume (95% of all Bitconnect trades are completed on Bitconnect’s own exchange), BCC is rated a full 5/5 spooky pumpkins!
One of the first coins, along with Dogecoin and other meme-based altcoins, Nyancoin was not meant to solve any current problems or even be considered a serious token. This coin was based on the Nyan Cat meme, the animated cat stuck in a pop-tart riding through space that seduced the internet in 2011. It has since then been discontinued and, while some users may still hold the coin on their own machine, it is a relic. Because of its harmless nature, we rate Nyancoin 1/5 spooky pumpkins.
A coin that gained some fame based on rumors of a deal with Visa that never happened, and it has been on the decline ever since. With competitors like TenX, Metal and Bitpay, Monaco’s time has already passed as far as many crypto enthusiasts are concerned. In addition to this resistance, users who backed the project by ordering a Monaco card are still wondering when it will be sent. Monaco is rated at 4/5 spooky pumpkins.
Not to be confused with Bitshares, Blockshares was a first attempt by the developers of the B&C exchange to create a coin. It has since been discontinued and spawned NuBits, a cryptocurrency with a market cap under 1 million USD. While the team of developers and community is still active, the original coin, Blockshares, is very much dead. This is a different approach than the more popular practice of re-branding current technology to better reflect its value. We rate Blockshares, as it has already been discontinued, at 1/5 spooky pumpkins.
As with any investment, it is important to be critical and conduct extensive research before investing in any project, cryptocurrency or not. This article is not intended as investment advice, but we believe that they may be of interest to you if you are passionate (just like we are) about the ‘Cryptosphere.’