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What is “Meme Cryptocurrencies”?

05 January 2022 09:20, UTC
Nick Jones

What is a meme cryptocurrency? Is it something valuable? Or is it just a joke to poke fun at the old men in suits on Wall Street? Well, more likely the latter option. Meme cryptocurrencies began more or less with Bitcoin itself. Your first thought was Dogecoin, wasn’t it? So, let’s discover its phenomenon.

Dogecoin’s Influence and Success Story

Much like most memes, Dogecoin was made as a joke. It was just a pet project of a savvy developer, who didn’t really expect the heights it would reach. But, being based on a popular meme, everybody simply pounced on this coin for the ‘lolz”. Soon enough, Dogecoin was breaking records simply because it was the first meme coin to actually own up to its name.

So, once the community saw this “joke” it was only a matter of time before they supported it for the giggles, only to see their $1 investment rise quite significantly. Soon enough, DOGE was getting thousands of dollars worth of investments from its previous and new fans, rising the ladder like no other coin.

To be a bit more numerical let’s take a look at how exactly DOGE was performing throughout the years.

On January 1st, 2021, DOGE  was trading at $0.0052 with a daily volume of around $230 million. Within just one month, on February 10th, 2021, the volume had reached $6.8 billion with a price per coin of $0.07, an already astronomical growth of 1246%, but it wasn’t done there. On May 7th, 2021, DOGE reached its all-time high at $0.68 with a daily trading volume of $28.62 billion. If we assume you bought your friend $100 worth of DOGE on January 1st as a joke new-year gift, your friend would have made $13,000, a mind-boggling 13,000% growth. Talk about a new year gift right?

Unfortunately, however, DOGE is now just a shell of its former self. Due to the very short attention span of crypto traders, DOGE-killers as new cryptos like to call themselves managed to steal away the hype, leaving DOGE with very little. Today, November 26th, 2021, DOGE traders at $0.2 with a daily trading volume of $2.3 billion.

To better understand what happened with DOGE, we need to take a look at the DOGE-killers and what they took away so quickly.

The “DOGE-killers”

The monumental success of DOGE and SHIB was reason enough for many entrepreneurs to try their luck with their own crypto, flooding the market with pretty much garbage, but there are some diamonds to be found as well.

You see, most meme cryptos are designed to grab the hype and run away with it, but some are here to stay. But let’s be honest, most want to run away as fast as possible. I’ve encountered probably 4 categories that apply to meme coins, let’s discuss them below:

The Veteran

The veteran coins are meme cryptos that have already tasted the hype, even mooned and established themselves as legitimate crypto projects. The first crypto that comes to mind in this category is SHIB.

It managed to steal hype away from DOGE and become its own thing while also dominating price charts and becoming the antihero of the crypto world. To be exact, it grew 1083 times its starting price in just under a year. Can you imagine? You could have pretty much bought the latest iPhone with just $1 if you had just waited around for SHIB.

To put it more into perspective, let’s take a look at some numbers. On January 31st, 2021, 1 SHIBA token cost $0.00000001 and the trading volume was $24 million. The first jump it experienced was on April 19th, where it jumped to $0.0000037 per token and $425 million trading volume. Nothing spectacular, but still pretty nice.

What really earned SHIB the attention it deserved was on the 10th of May, where it jumped from $0.0000037 to $0.000035. To help you better understand, that’s a 349,900% jump from January. THAT much in just 4 months. But we’re not done yet. The most important thing SHIB is known for is when it Mooned. This happened on October 27th, 2021 when the price of 1 SHIB was $0.00008 and the daily trade volume was $39 billion.

So, imagine. If you had bought $1 worth of SHIB on January 31st, you would have made $800,000 by the end of October. Mind-blowing.

The Bozo

This category is for the coins that already ran away with the money. The most recent one that falls within this is the Squidgame token. These guys just got up and disappeared in pretty much one day. They didn’t put any effort in the coin, just made something based on an already hypey TV show and hoped for the best. They created a back door in the liquidity pool to just siphon out as much as they could and made it off with about $3.4 million dollars. 

It’s always a bad idea to invest in something based on something else if the creators of the crypto are not the authors of that something else as well. It always pays off to just wait for an audit to make sure that the project is legitimate and that there are no back doors or exit plans in the making.

The New Guy

You know them, you love them. New guys are always here with crazy ideas on how they want to change the world of crypto with their amazingly innovative projects. Most of them fall flat on their face, but some get on to a pretty good start.

Take Stadium.Finance as an example. It’s a pretty fresh crypto project, with an OK following and nice progress. The idea was to pit communities against each other with two native tokens, and it seems to be working pretty well.

But the main hype behind the project is its meme background. You see, this one is pretty complicated. To understand it completely, we have to go back to the Gamestop short squeeze.

During that absolute chaos, a new meme was born, you’ve probably heard of it. “APES TOGETHER STRONG!”. Ring any bells?

The main idea behind this meme was that losing money with friends is OK, as long as you’re having fun. Therefore, knowing that their project was going to be based on memes, Stadium.Finance decided to take the king of memes Pepe and have him fight another meme. Since it is a financial project, the best pairing would be Ape due to Gamestop. Now, if you take a look at the Stadium.Finance chats, you’ll immediately remember the chaos that was the r/Wallstreetbets subreddit.

It’s the purest form of meme, as it includes community participation and just praying for gains, but with an interesting twist. If you’re searching for numbers, however, there’s plenty to see.

The Shapeshifter

The shapeshifter is a crypto meme coin that was suddenly given a purpose besides being a meme coin. It’s pretty much like the New Guy crypto, but with a purpose given to it by something else.

The first coin that comes to mind on this is the Samoyed coin. This project was supposed to be just another hype grab with a plain meme coin but suddenly found itself as the representative of a blockchain platform called Solana.

These coins are nothing to scoff at as well, by simply existing, Samoyedcoin quickly jumped by a whopping 1328% within a few months. To be exact, the price jumped from $0.015 to $0.2 in less than a week. This changed the daily volume from $2.63 million to $64 million. However, the Samoyed coin quickly dropped once everybody realized it was just a meme coin and nothing extraordinary.

But, once a partnership was signed with Solana, a very similar jump was seen again, pretty much identical to the first jump. But now, Samoyed coin is on a downward spiral, proving that even fancy partnerships are not enough. You need Elon for that.

So...When Will Meme Tokens Finally Stop?

They’re unlikely to stop. As long as they keep on delivering considerable benefits to their owners, more and more of them are going to pop up as we go into the future. Nobody expected BTC to reach the heights it did, and definitely, nobody expected the crypto market to be full of different dog breed coins scoring 100x consolidations in mere weeks. So, yeah, meme coins are here to stay. The question is whether or not you’re ready to co-exist with them.