The term 'dead' projects relates to projects that were either scams or projects that failed to deliver any product, eventually leading to zero trading volume.
While 2018 has seen a year-long bear market, this could be attributed to some projects falling victim to becoming defunct. However, most of the projects were simply initial coin offerings (ICO) which took advantage of the popularity of ICO's in late 2017. Most of these projects simply turned into cash grabs or even more blatantly, exit scams, losing investors millions and running off with the investor funds.
DeadCoins currently features 934 coins which are categorized as either scams, hacked, deceased or parody projects. While Coinopsy features a more in depth analysis totalling 462 coins but does not feature the past months results. Coinopsy includes ICO dead coins, joke dead coins, scam dead coins, and abandoned dead coins. Coinopsy specifies an Instant dead coin as ranked below 1000 for over three months, volume under $1,000 for three months, website dead and no trace of updates and lastly, no nodes or other similar problems.
So many dead projects should not come as a surprise in 2018 following the ICO hype from early 2018. Just last week, Wall Street Journal reported that 15% of ICO whitepapers where plagiarised or featured red flags citing issues such as frequent promises of "high returns" in the text body.