71% of the Top 141 Class 2017 ICOs Don't Even Have a Prototype of a Product

Erst & Young, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms, recently published a small but concise initial coin offering analysis report, focusing on the top 141 ICO-funded blockchain startups from 2017.

This report was a follow-up on a previous study EY performed on 372 blockchain-based ICO-funded projects back in December, 2017. The projects studied accounted for 87% of the total initial coin offering funding received in 2017.

The follow-up report highlights the fact that, the majority of the class 2017 ICO projects still don’t have a working product, not even a prototype of such. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that, since the first study back in December, the projects with a prototype or a working product have increased by the measly 13%.


From the first study, 84% were fundamentally just an idea, 11% had a prototype, and 5% had a working product. As per the study, a prototype is defined as a “the beginning phase of product development, provides testing models and validation” and a working product is defined as “the beginning of product sales”.

Compared to the follow-up report from October this year, we see only a 5% increase in projects with prototype products and 8% increase in projects with working products. That still leaves 71% of the ICO-funded blockchain projects with nothing to show.

To compare this to the more traditional venture-backed software startup, you would usually expect a much higher percentage of companies to have a functional product within a year of the date of the funding.