Boston College Study ‘Digital Tulips’ Reveals Most Blockchain ICO Projects Failed


According to a research conducted by the Boston College Carroll School of Management only 44% of blockchain projects survive after completing their Initial Coin Offering (ICO) events. The study, done by two professors, evaluated over 4,000 ICOs that had amassed a whopping $12 billion during their token sales. Besides the appalling survival rate, the report, whose scope was January 2017 to March this year, also contains several interesting facts about the ICO space.

Market Overview

Currently, ICO events are substantially undervalued because the ICO market is still in its developmental stages. The study established this by assessing data from leading ICO websites such as ICOrating, ICOcheck, ICOdata, and ICOdrops. Consequently, the market averages a holding period of 16 days for the token sale price to return to the initial coin price. Furthermore, the survey discovered that on average, an ICO must raise at least $11.5 million to be considered successful. However, this figure is skewed by multi-million dollar crowdsales. To attest to this, the report reveals that upon calculation of the median, the value dropped to $3.8 million.

Notably, less than a half of the completed ICOs announced that they had achieved the targets of the token sale events. On the other hand, the other half either failed to reach their fundraising goals or continued with the project without making public declarations. In this case, ICOs that failed to attain soft cap goal had to refund the contributions to investors. Also, some of these startups were fraudulent schemes that stole investor funds.

Twitter’s Influence On ICOs

Interestingly, the survey established that there is a correlation between an ICO’s popularity on Twitter and its success in the real world. In this regard, the study revealed that an average ICO activates their Twitter account eight months after starting, while the median value is 3 months.

Additionally, ICOs that have had a longer period of existence on Twitter is slightly more prosperous than the newbies. Also, ICOs that trend for extended periods is more likely to raise higher amounts as compared to the less popular token sales. Nonetheless, the report maintains that is this is a mere correlation, and thus does not equate to causation.

Remarkably, the survey discovered that lack of activity on Twitter post-ICO always ends up as failures. In summary, this report suggests that investors can predict the imminent future of a blockchain project by evaluating the level activity on their Twitter account after the completion of an ICO.

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