by Yuval Halevi
The Rise of “Shadow Teams” — 64.7% of Top 1,000 Crypto Projects Fail to Showcase Their Team Members

The crypto sphere has seen many changes since it first began. Every high point brought hundreds of new projects, but each low point made many more disappear. We are a Web3 PR agency that has worked with both well-known industry leaders and new projects hoping to build a name for themselves. During this time, we’ve spotted a recurring issue that is especially common among projects that don’t last.

We call this phenomenon “Shadow Teams.”

Shadow Teams are projects that choose not to display their team members on their websites. In many cases, these team members are also absent on LinkedIn.

A comprehensive research published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, involving 885 institutional venture capitalists (VCs), emphasized the significance of a management team over business-specific features like product or technology.the importance of team in the eye of investors - research screenshot


Despite this, many crypto companies seem to overlook this aspect, making it difficult to uncover their team members.

Seeing this discrepancy, we at GuerrillaBuzz decided to dig deeper into the level of transparency in team representation among the top 1,000 crypto projects.

Research Objectives

The goal of this research article is to unravel the degree of team transparency among the top 1,000 cryptocurrency projects. We aim to specifically:

  • Determine how many of these top 1,000 cryptocurrency projects present a designated team section on their official websites.
  • Investigate the number of projects that maintain an active LinkedIn page.
  • Assess the claimed number of employees associated with these projects.


Our research methodology was straightforward but labor-intensive. We manually scrutinized each of the top 1,000 projects listed on CoinGecko. Here are the steps we followed:

  • We sourced the list of the top 1,000 crypto projects and performed a manual review of each website.
  • We examined each website to see if it included a team section, either on the homepage or on a separate dedicated team page.
  • Additionally, we noted whether the company maintained a company LinkedIn page and recorded the number of employees they claimed to have.

The Data We Used

In this study, we built upon the primary dataset from our previous research on the blogging habits of the top 1,000 crypto projects.

ProjectURLBlog (Y/N)Latest Article (Year)# of Articles in 2023Domain/SubdomainMedium (Y/N)Team: Yes/NoLinkedIn: Yes/NoEmployees (LinkedIn
Band Protocol
Alchemy Pay
OMG Network
Dogelon Mars
Reserve Rights
Nervos Network

Note I: The data in this study was collected manually. When evaluating the presence of a team section on each site, we looked for any mention of the team on the homepage or a separate dedicated team page. There may be a few cases where the team information is obscured within the site, causing us to potentially overlook it.

Note II: The data presented in this article was meticulously collected and verified in May 2023.

Key Findings

  • 64.7% of the top 1,000 crypto projects fail to showcase their team members on their sites.
  • 21.5% of the top 1,000 crypto projects do not list a single employee on LinkedIn.
  • According to the data we gathered from LinkedIn, the top 1,000 crypto projects collectively employ 69,037 individuals.
  • Of the top 1,000 crypto projects, 438 have fewer than 10 employees, if any.

Diving into the Findings

To comprehend our research findings more profoundly, let’s examine the rationale behind some of these results:

Most Crypto Projects Don’t Publicize Their Team Members

Our research unveils that 64.7% of the top 1,000 crypto projects do not publicize their team members. What might be the reasoning behind this unusual behavior?

Displaying a credible, strong team is an essential aspect of any marketing campaign for a project aiming to establish itself as a market leader. We hypothesize that the lack of team visibility may stem from the following reasons:

  1. There is an insufficient understanding of marketing and branding principles, a widespread phenomenon in the crypto industry.
  2. The project attempts to avoid spam and the excessive outreach that is prevalent in the crypto sector.
  3. There is a desire to maintain anonymity in case things go south for the project. The unfortunate reality of “exit scams” is not uncommon in the crypto sphere, and remaining anonymous could provide an easier escape route.

A Significant Number of Crypto Projects Don’t List Employees on LinkedIn

Our research indicates that 215 out of the top 1,000 crypto projects do not list a single employee on LinkedIn. Having a LinkedIn presence isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s essential. Showcasing your company, its mission, and the team behind it is a vital part of establishing credibility and trust.

Much like how companies are expected to have a secure domain address (SSL certificate), a LinkedIn presence is also a standard expectation. Just because we as an audience aren’t actively demanding it doesn’t mean it’s not expected or necessary.

Remember, we’re examining the top projects in a market worth over a trillion dollars (as of the 7th of June 2023). The expectations for these top 1,000 projects should be high; these projects should strive for stronger foundations and better marketing. Simultaneously, the crypto community should also expect and demand higher standards.

One way to accomplish this is by investing in and supporting companies with solid foundations. Evaluating them using parameters that might seem obvious, like: Does the company disclose their team members?; Do they have active LinkedIn, Crunchbase, and main social profiles that help in establishing online presence and credibility? This, along with transparency, should become a standard practice in assessing a company’s credibility and potential for success.


Author’s Note

This research should serve as a wake-up call emphasizing the importance of establishing a robust online presence not only for crypto companies but also for crypto investors, traders, enthusiasts, and the broader community.

We should expect more from the companies we plan to invest in. Our collective standards can elevate as we learn and grow together as a community. Remember the ICO boom? Investors soon realized that a one-page website featuring an ICO fundraising countdown and a whitepaper with nonsensical tokenomics was no longer acceptable. Those types of projects have largely disappeared.

At the end of the day, crypto projects must meet the community’s evolving expectations and standards to stand out. By holding these companies to a higher standard, we can all contribute to the maturity and development of the crypto industry.


Author Yuval Halevi

Yuval is a savvy SEO and marketing expert with over a decade of experience. Specializing in the blockchain industry, he's the go-to guy for crypto companies looking to simplify their digital marketing strategies and achieve explosive growth. As a digital nomad and successful company builder, Yuval brings a fresh, creative perspective to every project he tackles.