What Happens If a Crypto Coin Goes To Zero?

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Crypto Coin Goes To Zero

What happens if your favorite crypto coin goes to zero: You wake up one morning to check your crypto portfolio, only to find that one of your coins has crashed. Your heart sinks as you realize your investment is now worthless. Don’t panic. Although losing money is never fun, it’s not the end of the world. Crypto is volatile, and coins can crash for many reasons. The good news is you have options.

In this article, we’ll walk you through what happens when a crypto goes to zero, and what you can do about it. From tax implications to recovering losses, we’ve got you covered. With the right mindset and strategy, you can bounce back wiser than before. So take a deep breath and keep reading to learn how to handle a crypto crash. This too shall pass.

What Does It Mean for a Crypto Coin to Go to Zero?

What Does It Mean for a Crypto Coin to Go to Zero?

When a cryptocurrency goes to zero, it means the currency has become worthless and unusable. Investors lose all the money they put into that crypto. This can happen for a few reasons:

Lack of Liquidity

If a crypto coin lacks liquidity, there are no buyers to purchase the currency from sellers. With no demand, the value drops to zero. This often happens with smaller altcoins that never gain mainstream popularity.

Security Issues

If there are security issues with a crypto coin like hacking vulnerabilities or stolen funds, investor confidence plummets. People sell off their coins as fast as possible, crashing the value. The crypto can become worthless if the issues are not fixed.

Regulation issues

Government regulation is a double-edged sword for cryptocurrencies. If a country bans a crypto or makes it difficult to use or trade, its value may drop to zero.But regulation can also boost mainstream adoption and increase a crypto’s value. It depends on the specifics of the regulation.

Competition from Other Cryptos

In the fast-moving crypto world, hot new coins can gain popularity and value very quickly while older coins fade into obscurity. If investors turn their attention to newer, shinier coins, an existing crypto can lose value and drop to zero. Staying innovative and useful is key to survival.

While the possibility of any crypto going to zero exists, the major coins with mainstream popularity like Bitcoin are very unlikely to drop to zero. They have large market caps, high liquidity, and dedicated communities supporting them. As with any investment, only put money into cryptocurrencies that you can afford to lose.

Reasons a Crypto Coin Could Crash to Zero Value

Loss of Investor Confidence

If investors lose confidence in a cryptocurrency, its value can quickly plunge to zero. Investor sentiment is a key driver of cryptocurrency prices. When investors believe a coin will rise in value, demand goes up and so does the price. But the reverse is also true. If investors believe a cryptocurrency is risky or overvalued, they sell their coins, demand drops, and the price can spiral downwards.

Security Breaches and Hacks

Cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets are targets for hackers. If a major exchange is hacked and coins are stolen, investors get spooked and sell their holdings. The value of the hacked cryptocurrency can crash as trust in the system evaporates. Some coins never recover from a major hack.


Governments around the world are grappling with how to regulate cryptocurrencies. If a government banned a cryptocurrency or made it illegal to own or trade, its value would likely drop to zero. Investors don’t want to own an asset that could land them in legal trouble. Harsh regulations are a constant risk in the volatile cryptocurrency market.


Some cryptocurrencies are built on new, experimental technology. If a new crypto coin’s technology or platform turns out to be flawed or inferior to competitors, the coin can quickly become obsolete and worthless. Cryptocurrency values are largely based on speculation, so if a coin’s utility or platform doesn’t pan out as expected, investors will flee and the value drops to zero.

In the end, a cryptocurrency is only as valuable as the confidence investors have in it and the demand to own it. Without investor interest and trust in the technology or platform, even major cryptocurrencies could potentially go to zero. The crypto market is volatile, so do thorough research and never invest more than you can afford to lose.

Impacts on Investors When a Coin Goes to Zero

Loss of Investment

If a cryptocurrency goes to zero, investors lose their entire investment in that coin. You won’t be able to sell the coins for any value, essentially locking in a 100% loss. For investors who went “all-in” on a particular crypto asset, this can be financially devastating.

Margin Calls

Investors who bought coins on margin may face margin calls from their crypto exchange or broker to deposit more money or sell other assets to pay off the loan. If you can’t meet the margin call, the exchange may forcibly sell your other crypto holdings to pay off the debt. This can lock in losses on those assets too and wipe out a big portion of your portfolio.

Loss of Confidence

When a major cryptocurrency fails, it shakes investor confidence in the entire crypto market. People worry that other coins could drop to zero too, so they sell their holdings. This contagion effect spreads fear and can lead to a broad market selloff, dropping the value of blue-chip cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Regulatory Scrutiny

Regulatory Scrutiny

Crypto failures also bring increased scrutiny from regulators, who start questioning whether the market needs more regulation to protect investors. They may pass rules restricting crypto trading, mining, or new coin offerings until the industry addresses concerns. Harsher regulations usually slow growth and innovation in the crypto space.

Losing money in the stock market or other traditional investments is painful enough. But with crypto, you can potentially lose everything on a single trade or investment. As exciting as the crypto world is, never invest more than you can afford to lose. Do thorough research, understand the risks, and only invest money that you’re prepared to lose if a project fails or a coin drops to zero.

How Crypto Exchanges Handle Coins That Crash

A “coin crash” occurs when the price of a cryptocurrency drops dramatically in a short period of time. If a coin’s value goes to zero, it means the coin has become worthless. As an investor, this is one of the worst scenarios that could happen.

What Happens to Your Coins

If a coin crashes to zero, the unfortunate reality is that your coins will become worthless. Any coins you hold in the native wallet or on an exchange will have no value and cannot be sold or traded. The money you invested is essentially gone.

Exchange Delistings

When a coin’s value drops near zero, exchanges will often delist the coin. This means they remove the ability to buy, sell or trade that coin on their platform. They do this for a few reasons:

  1. There is little interest or activity in the coin, so it’s not worth the resources to support trading.
  2. They want to avoid potential legal issues that could arise from facilitating trading of a worthless asset.
  3. Delisting the coin helps avoid confusion for new or inexperienced traders who may not realize the coin has crashed.

Withdrawal Period

Most reputable exchanges will not immediately seize your coins or prevent withdrawals when a delisting occurs. They typically provide a window, often a few weeks to a few months, for you to withdraw any remaining coins from the exchange wallet to a private wallet you control. However, since the coins are worthless, there is little reason to withdraw them.

The bottom line is that when a cryptocurrency goes to zero, the money you invested is gone. While exchanges take measures to avoid potential issues, investors must go into crypto with the understanding that coins can crash and become worthless at any time. The crypto market is highly volatile, so only invest money that you can afford to lose.

Famous Examples of Coins That Went to Zero


Bitconnect was a popular crypto project that promised investors high returns for lending their coins. However, in January 2018, Bitconnect abruptly shut down its lending program and exchange, rendering the Bitconnect token worthless. Many investors lost their life savings, and lawsuits followed. The rapid crash highlighted the risks of crypto investments with little intrinsic value or regulation.


OneCoin was a massive multi-level marketing crypto scam that defrauded investors out of billions of dollars. The project was founded in 2014 and promoted a new cryptocurrency called OneCoin, claiming it would be the “Bitcoin killer.” In reality, OneCoin had no blockchain or value. The project’s founders pocketed over $4 billion from investors before authorities took action. However, many of OneCoin’s leaders have not yet faced legal consequences for the scam.

Pincoin and iFan

Pincoin and iFan were two interlinked Vietnamese crypto Ponzi schemes that scammed over 32,000 investors out of $660 million in 2018. The projects promised unrealistic returns for buying Pincoin and iFan tokens. However, the founders made off with the money, and the tokens became worthless. The scams highlighted the risks of unregulated crypto markets and greed blinding investors to obvious fraud. Many investors faced financial ruin after the scams fell apart.


E-gold was a digital currency launched in 1996 that allowed users to instantly transfer gold ownership over the Internet. At its peak, millions of people used E-gold. However, E-gold became popular for money laundering and other illegal activity. In 2007, the U.S. government shut down E-gold and prosecuted its founders for money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transfer business. E-gold highlighted how digital currencies could enable criminal behavior without proper regulation.

Protecting Your Investment From Potential Coin Failures

If a cryptocurrency goes to zero, it means the project behind it has essentially failed and the coins you hold are worthless. As an investor, the worst thing that can happen is losing your entire investment. However, there are a few steps you can take to avoid getting burned if a crypto coin goes belly up.

First, do your own research on any coin before buying it. Don’t just jump on the latest hype train. Look into the team behind the project, their experience, and roadmap. See if they have a viable use case for their coin or if it’s just empty promises. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make.

Diversify your holdings across multiple coins and sectors. Don’t go all in on any single cryptocurrency. While the returns may seem tempting, the risks are huge. If that one coin fails, you’ve lost everything. It’s better to spread your investment across a variety of coins in different areas like finance, gaming, data storage, etc. That way if one sector struggles, the others may still do well.

Consider using stop-loss orders. These allow you to set a price at which your coins will automatically sell, limiting your losses. For example, if a coin drops 50% in value, have a stop-loss set to sell at 40% down. You’ll lose money but not everything. Stop-loss orders give you peace of mind that the most you can lose is a set amount.

Keep coins in your own crypto wallet rather than on an exchange. Exchanges can be targets for hackers and thieves. If an exchange is compromised, the coins held there could be stolen. In a wallet, you control the private keys. Even if an exchange fails, you’ll still have access to your coins to sell or trade elsewhere.

Stay up to date with the latest crypto news and market movements. The faster you can react to changes, the more you can protect your investment. If a coin shows signs of trouble like lack of developer updates, trading issues, or drops dramatically in value, consider selling before it goes to zero. While not foolproof, vigilance and quick action can help minimize potential losses from a failing cryptocurrency.

Recovering Losses When a Coin’s Value Is Wiped Out

Recovering Losses When a Coin's Value Is Wiped Out

If a crypto coin goes to zero, the money you invested can potentially be lost forever. However, all may not be lost if you act quickly. Here are some steps you can take to potentially recover some of your losses:

First, see if the coin is still actively trading on any exchanges. Even if a coin loses most of its value, as long as it’s still trading, there’s a chance its price could rebound. Check sites like CoinMarketCap to find out which exchanges a coin is still trading on. Then, you can buy more of the coin at the lower price in hopes it will regain value over time. This is very risky, but could allow you to recoup losses if the price recovers.

Second, look for opportunities to switch to a more stable coin. Do research to find a coin with strong technology and partnerships that is less prone to huge price swings. Then, you can sell your holdings in the failed coin and use the proceeds to buy a more stable option. Any money you can recover this way means less losses overall.

Finally, use it as a tax write-off. If a coin drops to zero, the loss in value may be tax deductible. You’ll need records to prove your cost basis in the coin and the fact that it became worthless. The write-off won’t recover your losses directly but can reduce your tax burden.

In the end, there are no guarantees when a coin fails. However, by taking quick action, tax planning, and seeking new opportunities, you give yourself the best chance possible to recover from a crypto coin that goes to zero. The keys are acting fast before the coin loses all liquidity and value, learning from your mistakes, and working to build back your portfolio. With time and patience, you can recover from even the biggest crypto losses.

Alternatives if Your Coin’s Value Collapses

So you invested in a new crypto coin, but now its value has dropped to zero. What do you do? Don’t panic. There are a few options to consider before writing off your investment completely.

First, if your coin still has a chance of rebounding, you can hold onto it and wait. Crypto markets are volatile, and a coin’s value can skyrocket just as quickly as it plummets. Do some research to determine if new developments are on the horizon that could boost your coin’s value. If you see potential for recovery, hold tight.

Second, you can sell at a loss and reinvest in a new, more stable coin. Cut your losses, learn from your mistakes, and put your money into an established, reputable crypto like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Their values fluctuate less and have a proven track record of gains over time.

Third, you can exchange your coins for fiat currency like U.S. dollars to at least recover some of your initial investment. Most major crypto exchanges allow you to trade coins for cash. You’ll lose money compared to what you put in, but you’ll get real money back that you can use to invest in safer ways.

Finally, if your coin has truly become worthless, you may have to accept the loss. Crypto is risky, and no investment is guaranteed. But don’t be discouraged. Learn from this experience and use it to make smarter choices next time. Talk to others, do more research, and only invest money that you can afford to lose. With knowledge and patience, you can find success investing in virtual currencies.

The most important thing is not to make rash decisions out of fear or regret. Carefully weigh your options and determine what is right based on your situation. And remember, one failed investment does not mean you should give up on crypto or any high-risk, high-reward opportunity. Learn and grow, then try again.

FAQs: What Happens if a Crypto Coin Goes to Zero?

If a crypto coin goes to zero, it means the value of the coin has dropped to nothing. This can happen for a few reasons.

First, the crypto project behind the coin may have failed or been abandoned. Crypto coins depend on the teams developing the blockchain and network. Without active development and support, the crypto coin loses functionality and appeal to investors.

Second, there could be a “run on the bank” situation. If many investors lose confidence in the crypto coin and try to sell at once, it can drive the price down rapidly. The crypto market is volatile, and investor sentiment can shift quickly. Once a selloff begins, it’s hard to stop.

Third, the crypto coin may be exposed as a scam. Unfortunately, there are crypto coins launched with the intention to defraud investors. Once these scams are exposed, the value of the crypto coin plummets to zero immediately.

If you own a crypto coin that goes to zero, you’ve lost your entire investment in that coin. Your crypto coins essentially become worthless digital assets with no value or liquidity. There is no way to recover your funds. This is a risk all crypto investors take when buying and trading crypto coins.

To avoid being left with worthless crypto coins, do your own research to evaluate crypto projects before investing. Consider the experience of the team, the problem they aim to solve, partnerships and adoption, and risks like competition or regulation that could impact the project. Diversify your crypto holdings so you’re not exposed to just one or two risky coins. And never invest more in crypto than you can afford to lose.

The crypto market is young, innovative and risky. While the potential rewards are high for successful crypto coins and projects, the risks of losing your investment are real. If a crypto coin goes to zero, there is no safety net. But with careful research and prudent investing, you can build a balanced crypto portfolio and enjoy the thrills and opportunities of this new digital asset class.


You now understand what happens if a crypto coin goes to zero. The risks are real, but with careful research and smart investing, you can avoid getting burned. Diversify your holdings, pay attention to market caps and volume, and don’t put in more than you can afford to lose.You’ve got this! With the right knowledge, you can navigate the crypto seas safely. Just remember, invest based on project viability, not hype, and you’ll be sailing smoothly. The journey may get rocky, but the rewards make it all worthwhile. Bon voyage!


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