One of the most interesting things that blockchain and cryptocurrency have birthed are memecoins.
If you’ve heard of cryptocurrency, then you have probably heard of Dogecoin, or Shiba Inu.
You may have heard of these two cryptos before you’ve even heard of Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency.
Memecoins have become extremely popular as cryptocurrency, in general, has become more mainstream.
So, what exactly is a memecoin? What are the uses of memecoins? And what are the most popular memecoins? Let’s take a look.
What is a memecoin?
A memecoin is a type of cryptocurrency that is created based on memes.
Memecoins are built on the blockchain just like any other cryptocurrency. They are known to be some of the most volatile cryptocurrency sometimes hitting extreme all-time highs and then crashing even just a day later.
Memecoins can be easily created by just about anybody, since platforms like Ethereum and Solana allow smart contracts that can issue their own tokens. All someone has to do is run a smart contract, that they can just copy and paste from someone else, and now have their own memecoin.
The popularity of these coins is based on pop culture and have been known to make many people rich, but also cause many people to lose money. Usually, what will happen is that a large community will get together and start hyping up the memecoin while buying loads of it. This tempts others to join the bandwagon as they see the price steadily increasing.
Normally, memecoins have massive supplies which makes the price extremely cheap and makes it super easy to hold a large amount of tokens. I think that’s part of the appeal. What’s cooler than owning a million of something? Probably owning a billion of something.
There are thousands of different memecoins out there, but let’s look at some of the most popular memecoins.
was the very first memecoin ever created. Its purpose was meant to parody cryptocurrencies, but mostly to make a joke out of Bitcoin. It was copy and pasted, for the most part, from another crypto called Litecoin in 2013. Dogecoin was based on the “Doge” meme. Much surprise, very wow.
Dogecoin became popular due to its community, who would use it to tip people on the internet whenever someone did something funny or interesting. Dogecoin did some cool things in its early days. Once it helped send the Jamaican bobsled team to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. At this time, the coin was not even worth a penny, and even a penny seemed pretty much impossible at this time, considering the price was about $0.0001 per DOGE.
But everything changed in 2021, when the cryptocurrency got attention from Elon Musk, who constantly tweeted his support for Dogecoin. In May 2021, Elon Musk talked about the cryptocurrency on Saturday Night Live. On this same day, Dogecoin hit an all time high of $0.72, with a market cap of $90 billion. Unfortunately, during the Saturday Night Live episode, the price of DOGE crashed and has never seen that high again.
Elon Musk continued to talk about Dogecoin, though, even going as far as saying that SpaceX will “put a literal Dogecoin on the literal moon”. Well, since there is no such thing as a literal Dogecoin, I am skeptical about that. But I guess you can’t really doubt Elon Musk sometimes.
Nowadays, Dogecoin is still the biggest memecoin by market cap, and doesn’t look like it will be toppled anytime soon. It has lived through several bear markets, and always comes out on the other side. Since it was many people’s first taste of crypto, people will always have a soft spot for it.
Shiba Inu ($SHIB)
Shiba Inu Coin was another memecoin that was created during the Dogecoin hype to try to steal a bit of the market share. It was created in August of 2020 as the “Dogecoin Killer.”
The difference between Dogecoin and Shiba Inu is that Dogecoin has the same blockchain architecture as Bitcoin, whereas Shiba was created on the Ethereum blockchain, making it an Ethereum token. This means that Shiba can take advantage of smart contracts, and have apps built on top of it. Dogecoin cannot do that, so Shiba can have a bit more utility.
In fact, Shiba does already have some dApps built on it, including a decentralized exchange called ShibaSwap. On ShibaSwap, you can exchange different Ethereum-based tokens with each other, but also stake and earn its governance token called $BONE. ShibaSwap allows the trade of NFTs called “Shibatoshis”, which are just Shiba related NFTs.
Another interesting project being built on Shiba is ShibaVerse, which is a metaverse-like, virtual world where users can purchase NFTs, shop, experience virtual walks, interact with educational tracks, and much more. The project is young, and who knows where it will be in a few years, if it even still exists, but it is interesting!
Shiba Inu is known to be easy to acquire a massive amount of tokens because the price is so low due to the huge supply. Right now, a SHIB token is worth $0.0000101, so $1 can get you almost 100,000 SHIB tokens. At Shiba’s all time high, it reached $0.0008 with a market cap of $41 billion.
Shiba’s most outspoken investors have a firm belief that SHIB can reach one penny
some day, however, this is most likely impossible. The reason is that Shiba has a large supply of circulating coins, 549 trillion of them, which means that Shiba would need a market cap of 5.49 trillion dollars in order to hit a penny. That’s 5 times more than Bitcoin at its all time high, twice the size of Apple, and 5 times the market cap of Telsa at its all time high.
Culture is Becoming Crypto
We're at a point where culture is becoming crypto.
Because it is so easy to create a blockchain and cryptocurrency using a platform like Ethereum, basically anyone can create a token and try to sell it to people. Some people get lucky and theirs becomes popular enough to make a few bucks from.
However, most of these memecoins have actually started to get a nickname, “shitcoin”, because they are created as get rich quick schemes. They basically serve no purpose other than to gamble on. A lot of these shitcoins end up being rugpull or pump and dump scams
where the developer of the crypto ends up running away with everyone’s money.
This is essentially what happened with a crypto that took its name and rode the bandwagon from the popular Netflix series, “Squid Game”.
The price of the Squid Game token exploded around the time the show was popular, going from $0.01 to over $90 per token! Many people were super excited that they were now going to be rich! Or were they? Nope.
The catch was that no one except the developer of the token could sell leaving everyone with a completely worthless crypto. Of course, the dev got away with a ton of money.
If anyone would have read the whitepaper they would have known it was a total scam, since in the whitepaper it states that the coin was unsellable. Remember to do your research!
Will Smith Inu
Will Smith Inu was a cryptocurrency spawned almost instantly from a cultural moment.
At the Oscars in 2022, Will Smith “smacked the shit” out of Chris Rock for a joke. The internet was obviously going wild over this, trending on every social media. A developer took advantage of the hype to create a new token called Will Smith Inu.
The coin had hype for about a week until it dropped back down to zero, but the early investors were able to come away with some profits. Though, most were left with less than they invested.
It was well known that Will Smith Inu was always worthless, but it goes to show that memecoins are made to gamble on and people’s greed can lose them a lot of money. It’s also interesting how culture affects the cryptocurrency market.
Memecoins are even created after dogs. Wait, didn’t we know that already? Well, this was created after a specific dog. Elon Musk’s Shiba Inu named Floki.
Floki skyrocketed in price just like most of these memecoins. People gained money, people lost money, but the price inevitably went down. It is closer to the price of when it started, but is not yet at zero.
This crypto wants to be more than a memecoin, though. They have projects being built like a metaverse called Valhalla, an NFT marketplace called FlokiPlaces, and an education platform called Floki Inuversity. So maybe there is a future with memecoins!
Do memecoins have a future?
Memecoins don’t have many uses, but if any memecoins are going to stick around for the long term, it will be the ones that provide some sort of value to their users. They aren’t totally useless gambling tokens that have a small possibility to make you rich out of nowhere. They do have a few real uses.
Getting users into crypto
Like how memecoins have been known to turn users on to cryptocurrency. The whole Dogecoin/Saturday Night Live fiasco got a ton of people to start getting interested in cryptocurrency. In fact, around that time the cryptocurrency market was as popular as it had ever been. It seemed like everyone was talking about Dogecoin! Even my mom!
Even though most people probably sold their DOGE at a loss and quit crypto altogether, there are some people who will inevitably have stayed and learned more and more about cryptocurrency and blockchain. These people may have started to do research on coins with an actual use, or maybe they just kept chasing the high and throwing money into the newest memecoin hoping to get rich.
Used as a payment method
Popular memecoins be sent as currency and as payment methods. In fact, Dogecoin started out being used to tip people on Reddit and Twitter, and is now accepted by businesses around the world.
Something like 2,000 businesses accept Dogecoin or Shiba Inu as a form of currency including AMC, Gamestop, Twitch, Newegg, and even Tesla accepted Dogecoin for a while. More and more businesses have gotten comfortable with accepting cryptocurrency as a method of payment, and this number will only increase over time.
A memecoin is a cryptocurrency that was inspired by memes or other pop culture references. This type of crypto is known to be extremely volatile and can make investors huge amounts of money sometimes, though it’s mostly considered gambling. They can be created by just about anyone, easily, by taking advantage of other blockchains.
Some of the most popular memecoins are Dogecoin and Shiba Inu. Dogecoin was created as a parody of Bitcoin, but got extremely popular due to its community and even went mainstream on Saturday Night Live. Shiba Inu was created to ride the hype of memecoins, but also reached popularity due to its community. Both of these memecoins still remain in the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap.
Culture is playing a role in the cryptocurrency world. Since you can make a lot of money from crypto, people rush to create tokens that ride the popularity of something going viral in real life like Squid Game, Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, or Elon Musk’s dog. Most of these memecoins end up being rugpull scams.
Memecoins could have a future and have a few uses such as getting new people interested in cryptocurrency, or being used as a payment method.
Now that you know all about memecoins, learn about other types of cryptocurrency