Metascore Explained

2018, Feb 20    

The Sangus Metascore is one of the first things users see on our site, but what does it really mean and how should it be used?

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First, the metascore does not try to predict the performance of an ICO, nor is it the Sangus team’s subjective opinion or review of that ICO. Instead, the metascore is a single, easy-to-reference number that aims to consolidate available information about a particular ICO and represent how it stacks up against others.

Second, in order for this number to be truly useful, we also had to avoid the 5-star problem: where everyone is rated so highly that the numbers become essentially useless. We want metascore to be nuanced; to represent the true range of possibilities and diversity in ICO offerings. I know it’s hard to think of anything less than 90% as a good thing, but here, it is. We try to help signify great, good, and not so much to our users by coloring the metascore accordingly: 75%+ will appear green, 25%+ yellow, and <25% red.

Calculating Metascore

So what are the biggest factors that contribute to metascore?


We at Sangus believe in the value of transparency (hence writing this post!), and in the age of ICO scams, this is particularly important. So a big factor in metascore is completeness of information. While ICO owners submit their listings to our site directly, we make sure to review this information before any ICO listing goes live. More information submitted means a better chance of receiving a good metascore.

Unlisted Info vs. Listed Info

Just remember, not every piece of information is displayed on our site; some of it is reserved for backend uses only. For example, we can use the ICO Address to display raise amounts, but we won’t list the address itself anywhere on an ICO listing page.

We also don’t go out of our way to solicit missing information. If an ICO owner chooses to submit only the bare minimum, we won’t pester them just to boost metascores. We do allow changes/additions to the information originally submitted, but it is always submitted by an ICO owner or engaged Sangus user. A lazy ICO owner probably deserves a lower metascore anyway right?

User Engagement

The other big contributor to the Sangus metascore is user engagement. This can include actions on our site (i.e. up/down votes, etc) or outside of Sangus. The more users appear to be truly engaged with an ICO offering, the better. Again, completeness of information can play a part here. If we don’t know about the most popular channel for users to talk about an ICO, we obviously can’t factor it in.

What’s Not in Metascore

There are several other factors that contribute to metascore, but none as big as completeness of information or user engagement. In order to avoid giving away the secret sauce or making metascore gameable, let’s instead talk about some factors that do NOT go into metascore.

The most obvious is money. ICO owners have a lot of control when it comes to their metascore, but they cannot pay to boost it. We’re happy to work with ICO owners to get missing information added and encourage users to engage with their listing, but Sangus does not sell manually boosted metascores (nor have any ability to do so, so please don’t ask).

In this vein, we also do not incorporate the scores of other listing/review sites into metascore. Having a review present can contribute towards completeness of information, but the scores/grades/conclusions of those reviews do not play a part. While we do display these scores on our ICO listing pages, this is only as a convenience to our users as they complete their research. Unfortunately, some listing and review sites do allow money to be a part of their reviews, so we don’t want this to seep into ours.

Using Metascore

What is a good metascore anyway? Generally, anything over 75% is a great score, and over 50% is pretty good too. In fact, the average for ICOs ending in 2017 was only 38% and so far, 2018 is only a few points higher. We tried to make these ranges clearer for our users by coloring the metascore number accordingly. A score up to 25% will appear red, 25-75% yellow, and 75% or more will be green.

Red Metascore Yellow Metascore Green Metascore

A few more specific numbers from 2017:

  • Sangus listed 843 ICOs ending in 2017
  • Average metascore: 38%
  • Median metascore: 33%
  • The most common metascore was 21%
  • Minimum: 3%
  • Maximum: 95%
Metascore Chart

About Us

Sangus is a one-stop site to help find ratings, details, and links for every Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Our mission is to help the ICO evolve into a trustworthy and respected fundraising mechanism, starting with providing would-be token buyers with all the information they need.

ICOs don’t pay a fee to list on our site and we don’t charge for reviews or ratings. If you’d like to learn more, read about us here or jump straight into the site.