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Satis Group research: 81% of all ICOs turned out to be fraudulent


Satis Group, the leading advisory group on ICO issues, classified the primary location of the tokens according to their quality to demonstrate a real picture of the actual progress of the projects. According to Satis Group's findings, almost 81% of ICO turned out to be fraudulent, and only 1.6% have real prospects for success. The Satis Group classifies ICOs from the first fund-raising offer until the appearance of the token on the exchange. Researchers divide the projects into the following groups:


ICO projects that aggressively advance through social networks and press people into calling for immediate investment. Usually they offer great profits and low risks, while the project team is not disclosed, and Whitepaper is either missing, or the necessary information in the document is small. Such projects are not initially set up to create a useful product and disappear when they collect a sufficient sum of money.


The projects that fell into this group managed to collect a part of the funds, but did not achieve the set goals. They are a bit different from scammers, because they return money to investors if the project was unable to collect the minimum amount claimed by the startup when entering the ICO.

Not reached the stock exchanges

These projects are exactly in the middle between those that achieve success and those who fail. Similar to ICO it is possible to raise funds and complete the process, but you can not get to the stock exchanges.


Developing projects succeeded in raising funds, completed the ICO process and were enrolled in stock exchanges. They meet at least one of the following success criteria:

Deploying the blockchain / distributed registry / product / platform;

Presence of a clear and transparent map of technological development on the site;

Make changes to the code on GitHub for at least three months in a row.


Projects that meet the above two criteria.


Projects that meet all three of the above criteria.

Conclusions of the researchers

According to Sherwin Dowlat, an analyst at Satis Group, the results of the study are very depressing. Dovlat and his team came to conclusions after analyzing the ICO industry on the basis of various sources, such as ICO and CoinMarketCap rating sites. Below are the results for ICO projects worth more than $ 50 million:

  • 81% - fraudulent projects;
  • 6% fail during fund-raising;
  • 5% can not get tokens on stock exchanges;
  • 4.4% fall on the stock exchange (developing);
  • 1.9% - successful projects;
  • 1.8% - promising projects.

Of the 8% of projects that have entered the stock exchanges, almost half of successful projects, 2.8% of developing, and 1.6% of promising projects.

Research Satis Group once again confirms that it is necessary to be extremely cautious when investing in ICO and carefully study the project before transferring money for its development. It is worth paying attention to the partners of the project - if among them there are large companies, this can reduce the risk of investment. However, it is worth making sure that statements about partnership are true.

Remember also that your funds can be stolen not only by the project organizers. One recent study found that more than 10% of all funds raised by ICO were abducted by hackers.

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