Cryptocurrencies are some of the hottest topics in the financial sphere, being the subject of discussion for enthusiasts ranging from the newbie to digital money to the seasoned investor. Even though the market has not been a reason to rejoice lately, given the tribulations experienced, Bitcoin has been on an upward trajectory recently, witnessing a price recovery as institutions and investors are warming up to digital assets again.
Similarly, meme coins, the cryptocurrencies that were mainly meant to be used as a form of entertainment and go viral, are also doing well. They’re making a comeback, piquing investors’ attention again, after keeping a low profile and letting well-established crypto coins room to thrive. Meme coins are just an example of an innovative project that picked up steam when it emerged in the market, and it seems like it’s once again their moment to shine.
So, what are meme coins all about and what fuels their comeback?
Deciphering meme coins
When it comes to cryptocurrencies, there’s no shortage of groundbreaking ideas turning to reality and taking a slice of the pie. New developments and improvements to the blockchains make the headlines and shape the crypto sphere, positively or negatively impacting investor sentiment. However, meme coins were not created with the same purpose as their predecessors.
They emerged as parodies of the reigning coins and lighthearted jokes, ridiculing the speculative nature of cryptocurrencies, with Dogecoin marking the inception of a new chapter as it set the trend for the following meme coins. Their worth resides in the popularity of the internet memes they are based on, meaning that they lack utility or value but gain fame depending on their status on social media.
Regarding their development, they work similarly to crypto coins, relying on blockchain technology. They’re not difficult to mine and only take a minimum of technical knowledge, which is another reason behind their rising popularity.
A quick look at meme coins’ past
To fully grasp what meme coins are about and what encourages their hype, it’s essential to see how they arrived where they are today. It all started when Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, two software engineers, intended to poke fun at the high level of speculation influencing the crypto market. They created Dogecoin in 2013, depicting a Shiba Inu dog, based on the famous “Doge” meme that was viral at the time. The coin picked up steam given its low transaction fees, and its utility went beyond serving as entertainment; owners would use it to tip others online.
The coin rose to popularity thanks to celebrity endorsements like those from Snoop Dog and Elon Musk. After it, other meme coins followed in Dogecoin’s footsteps, like SafeMoon, Shiba Inu, and Pepecoin. These assets gained ground given their unique features, like liquidity pools and burn rates.
Hyped up meme coins this year
If you want to jump on the bandwagon and invest in meme coins, then you should know a few things about the most popular of them.
- Shiba Inu. With a market capitalization of approximately $6 billion and one of the most popular coins today, it provides utility like its NFTs and metaverse. It was issued in 2020, and its worth is often associated with its counterpart, Dogecoin. It is accessible on several notable crypto exchanges as it’s been backed by a thriving community.
- Pepe. Pepe is another meme coin that intended to transform the market when it appeared in April 2023. Pepe features a weird-looking dog based on a cartoon character from The Boy’s Club, a 2005 comic. Ever since, it’s turned to be an iconic internet movement, seen everywhere on 4Chan and Reddit.
- Floki. Floki, another dog-themed meme coin, also started as a parody, just like Shiba Inu and Dogecoin. This time, the inspiration behind it was the name of Elon Musk’s dog. The community-driven development approach and its unique branding have fueled its popularity.
- Wojak. Wojak is a newcomer and a crypto on the Ethereum blockchain, and it gained traction ever since it was created in April of this year. It features a sad-looking man inspired by the Wojak meme. Like other meme coins, this is also about trolling and virality.
- AIDoge. AIDoge makes use of AI and the hype around Dogecoin to create a DeFi meme coin. The integration of artificial intelligence and the way its development revolves around its supporting community have boosted the coin.
- Tamadoge. This token brings the Tama and Doge memes together, and the community endorsement and unique branding have pushed it to the heights it has reached.
Meme coins vs. crypto coins – what’s the catch?
Meme coins differ from crypto coins like Ethereum and Bitcoin, which were created with entirely different goals in mind, like acting as long-term stores of value and serving as reliable payment options. Seasoned investors with long-term perspectives who know that fads come and go turn to well-established crypto coins when seeking assets that have the power to weather any arising storms.
While you can use crypto coins to make purchases and pay for goods and services, this isn’t true for meme coins. They were mainly intended as a type of social criticism and created for amusement, compared to crypto coins that act as mediums of exchange. Their designs also differ greatly.
Additionally, most meme coins have a limitless supply, and more coins appear as different memes grow increasingly viral. On the other hand, some crypto coins, like Bitcoin, have a finite supply.
Meme coins are again in the spotlight. These are a type of cryptocurrency defined by the online community endorsing their development, and meme images or animated characters identify them. The craze around the featured meme and endorsement from public figures mainly determines their value. Some reasons backing up their popularity include the easiness with which they can be created, the budget-friendly transaction fees, and the opportunities to generate income rapidly owing to their high volatility. However, this concept is yet to be fully explored, so it will be around for some time until it fades away again.