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The Rise Of Meme Coins

They all start as a joke

By Langa NtuliPublished 4 months ago 3 min read
The Rise Of Meme Coins
Photo by regularguy.eth on Unsplash

Meme culture is an internet phenomenon. Aside from humour, companies are now using memes to advertise their products.

This culture has spread to even cryptocurrencies, with Dogecoin and Shiba Inu being the two largest and most popular in this realm.

CoinMarketCap lists tons of these silly cryptocurrencies with peculiar names like Yummy, Loser Coin, Rotten, Pitbull, and SpacePenguin. Meme coins have brought light-heartedness to the often complex crypto world. Despite this, it has not been without many opposing detractors.

Furthermore, meme coins have been the subject of fraudulent activities, most commonly pump-and-dump schemes and rug pulls. But some investors have taken these tokens more seriously, given some of their impressive returns in short periods.

Nonetheless, let’s explore meme coins and why they’ve become so popular.

What is a meme coin?

Meme coins are cryptocurrencies based on a popular internet meme. But, they may also combine this with a pop culture phenomenon, online community, or so-called influencer.

Some experts consider meme tokens as having no utility, although this isn’t technically true. Moreover, meme coins have niche communities championing them and using the token for donations and tipping.

A key component common among meme coins is the clever and heavy use of social media platforms like Reddit, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter.

It’s common for the value of a meme token to appreciate or depreciate based on a simple post. This promotion involves hype from influencers and high-profile figures.

The first meme coin, Dogecoin, was created in December 2013 by two software engineers based on the influential Doge meme.

This depicted an image of a Shiba Inu surrounded by comical and broken English Comic Sans text.

How have meme coins become popular?

While Dogecoin started in late 2013, meme coins only began cropping into the mainstream in 2020. The popularity in this particular year may boil down to the pandemic. Many lost their jobs and started jumping onto the bandwagon of crypto investing.

People began spending more time on social media networks and saw meme coins being promoted by several influential public figures.

So, what are the key components of a meme coin? Branding, website creation, token creation, and strong social media promotion. Surprisingly, you can outsource many of these processes to professionals in their respective fields with enough money.

In fact, is a marketplace exclusively for meme tokens and allows anyone to make their own. Many of these coins are listed on decentralized exchanges, which enable free listings.

Overall, the barrier to entry for such cryptocurrencies is relatively low.

Final thoughts: are meme coins investable?

So, the golden question is should anyone invest in meme coins?

Let’s look at the surprising positives. First, many meme coins have substantial circulation, often in the trillions or quadrillions.

This ample supply of coins provides a low-cost avenue for investing because the prices are often worth fractions of a cent. Thus, it’s technically less expensive than buying into other established projects like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

Secondly, social media hype can drastically influence prices. For instance, Shiba Inu rose an incredible 21 000% from its August 2020 inception to May 2021. By any investor’s standards, these figures are once-in-a-lifetime.

Now let’s consider the serious downsides. On a fundamental level, most of these coins are run-of-the-mill. Also, they have been the subject of various scams like pump-and-dumps and similar schemes.

Hence, the risk is heightened even more than with traditional coins. Yet, there are a few rare gems with the proper research. Nonetheless, many investors have intentionally bought meme coins just for pure fun since they only form a small portion of their overall portfolio.

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About the Creator

Langa Ntuli

- fascinated by the financial markets & TradingView charts. Freelance writer @upwork (

Medium account:

Also a humble music nerd, football fan, knowledge hoarder, peace/love extremist.

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