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What Are the Seven Worst Cryptocurrency Tokens in History?

With over 10,000 cryptocurrencies on the market, there are good and bad tokens lying in wait around every corner.

There have been spectacular home runs and miserable failures along the way. For now, let’s examine seven of the worst tokens in history, ranging from the recent Squid Game rug pull to the infamous Bitconnect ponzi.

The infamous OneCoin cryptocurrency ponzi scheme.

Squid Game (SQUID)

This is a fairly recent failure which only occurred in October 2021. SQUID launched hot off the heels of the success of the Netflix series, Squid Game. Assuming it to be a promotion related to the series, buyers swarmed into the token, increasing it’s value by 45,000%. At its peak, SQUID was worth $2,856.

CoinMarketCap would eventually issue a warning about the token informing users that the project had been “rugged” and it’s value plummeted after coming to light that SQUID had been a scam all along.

Get Gems (GEMZ)

Get Gems had some pretty big ambitions at their launch. Their aim was to change the nature of social media ad revenue monetization. The idea was to create a platform that would reward users for viewing ads.

Unfortunately, the company had disappointing revenue in 2014, generating just $111,000. The project is still up and running today, but has seen only very minor success, mainly in Uzbekistan.

OneCoin (ONE)

OneCoin was a large-scale ponzi scheme, run by its Bulgarian founder, Ruja Ignatova. Her partner, Sebastien Greenwood is currently in prison in the United States. OneCoin’s business model revolved around selling educational material that turned out to be mostly plagiarized. Members could participate in OneCoin’s official exchange if they had bought more than the basic package they offered. Clients would then earn more rewards based on recruiting newcomers.

In 2016, the governments of Norway, Hungary, and Vietnam had begun investigating OneCoin as a potential ponzi scheme. In 2018, it was discovered that Ruja had fled and left her brother, Konstantin Ignatova in charge of the company. Konstantin was arrested after Sebastien Greenwood, in 2019.

BoringCoin (ZZZ)

One of the odder cryptocurrency projects has been BoringCoin. It has taken no measures to promote itself and relies purely on word of mouth spread.

It’s claim to fame has been “It’s just a coin”. Since it’s launch it’s just been really unimpressive and hasn’t taken off, as can be expected from an industry where speculation alone can drive serious gains or losses.


An ambitious crypto project that never took flight was SpaceBit. Advertised as a decentralized space company, Spacebit’s business model was to offer cryptocurrency services and wallets through satellites that would be accessible all over the world.

After generating a lot of media attention the project faded away in just a year. However, SpaceBit’s company has since shifted gears to other crypto projects that are more down to Earth.

Ethereum DAO (DAO)

The Ethereum Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) was an infamous project that generated a lot of attention throughout the cryptocurrency community in 2016.

Ethereum had supposedly created the dream of crypto-anarchists and cipherpunks from the 1990’s. It drew in about $168 million USD and made history as the largest crowdfunded project in history. DAO ended up suffering a massive attack that resulted in the loss of $50 million USD worth of tokens, which sent the price of DAO spiralling downwards.

The DAO crash resulted in the Ethereum Founders doing a fork of the ethereum blockchain, which ended up being controversial, as it flew in the face of the philosophy of early cryptocurrency adopters and cipherpunks. The fork went through and the money was replaced. Ever since, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic have been competing for consensus.

BitConnect (BCC)

BitConnect was a cryptocurrency that was connected to a “high yield investment program” which is a kind of ponzi scheme. BitConnect offered users the opportunity to earn 40% interest on their contributions every month.

The organization claimed that once users have locked in their Bitconnect Coins for investment, “trading bots” would work out the optimal ways to trade them and return with their profits after the agreed upon lock in period.

This is all classic ponzi scheme behavior, but BitConnect had managed to swindle several billion dollars worth of money through their scheme. Investors in BCC eventually came to lose $3.5 billion dollars as the price of BCC crashed after it was ruled a ponzi scheme by US authorities.

Closing Remarks: Be Careful Out There

Coins fail or are abandoned for a number of reasons, but mainly due to four big ones. They are: Fraudulent activity, failure to follow through with business plans, loss of mindshare (BoringCoin for example), and developer problems.

If a project is faced with a number of these symptoms, it might be in your best interest to stay away until you can confirm their legitimacy more closely.

The predatory trend present in the above coins have all relied on the ignorance of a given investor who is curious about the cryptospace. Always make sure to do your due diligence before purchasing cryptocurrencies.

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Michael Brown

About the Author

Michael Brown

Michael Brown is the acting Chairman of community based thought collective, Subcultural Research Lab. His interest in Crypto began while studying industrial engineering in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. His passion lies in geopolitics, social phenomenon, and the exchange of data. You can find Subcultural Research Lab at

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