For the preparation of electrically conductive composites, various combinations of cellulose and conducting materials such as polymers, metals, metal oxides and carbon have been reported. The conductivity of these cellulose composites reported to date ranges from 10−6 to 103 S cm−1. Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are excellent building blocks for the production of high added value coatings. The essential process steps for preparing such coatings, i.e. surface modification of CNCs dispersed in water and/or alcohol followed by application of the dispersion to substrate samples using dip coating, are low cost and easily scalable. Here, we present coatings consisting of Ag modified CNCs that form a percolated network upon solvent evaporation. After photonic sintering, the resulting coatings are electrically conductive with an unprecedented high conductivity of 2.9 × 104 S cm−1. Furthermore, we report the first colloidal synthesis that yields CNCs with a high degree of Ag coverage on the surface, which is a prerequisite for obtaining coatings with high electrical conductivity.