Deciphering Meme Coins

Kerala Blockchain Academy
8 min readFeb 14, 2024

By Arya V N, Content Writer at Kerala Blockchain Academy

Donald Trump-themed Meme Coins!

Donald Trump-Labeled Wallet Has Over $1M of TRUMP Meme Coin

An article from CoinDesk last month has sparked significant interest in the crypto community, especially among meme coin enthusiasts. These tokens, inspired by the iconic figure of America’s ex-president Donald Trump, have seen a drastic surge in popularity across platforms such as Ethereum and Solana.

Source: (Arkham)

While the issuance of the TRUMP token has nothing to do with the former U.S. President directly, some are using the tokens as a speculative bet on his ongoing presidential campaign. Yes, the surge comes amidst the United States Presidential Election 2024 backdrop, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the meme coin phenomenon.

So, what exactly are meme coins?

“Meme coins” refer to cryptocurrencies created or gaining popularity based on internet memes, jokes, or viral trends rather than their intrinsic value or technological innovation. These coins often have quirky names, logos, and marketing strategies that capitalise on Internet culture to attract users and investors. Meme coins are often named after characters, individuals, animals, artwork, or other entities, serving as a form of replication or imitation.

Some popular examples of meme coins include Dogecoin (DOGE), which started as a joke based on the Shiba Inu dog meme, and Shiba Inu (SHIB), a spin-off inspired by Dogecoin but focusing specifically on the Shiba Inu dog breed meme. Other meme coins include Safemoon, Floki Inu, Baby Doge Coin, etc. Before we move to the tokens in detail, let’s get to the journey of Meme Coins so far.

Evolution of Meme Coins

Genesis & Early Days (2013–2017)

Meme coins trace their origins back to the launch of Dogecoin in December 2013. Dogecoin started as a joke based on the popular “Doge” internet meme featuring a Shiba Inu dog. Despite its origins as a parody, Dogecoin gained a significant following and community support.

Dogecoin’s success later paved the way for other meme coins, such as Hoge Finance (HOGE), SafeMoon, and Dogelon Mars (ELON). Coins like DogecoinDark (rebranded as Verge), PepeCoin, and even Coinye (ultimately shut down due to legal issues) attempted to capitalise on the meme culture. Dogecoin grew in popularity over the years, particularly as it gained support from notable figures like Elon Musk and became associated with charitable causes. Its simple branding and enthusiastic community made it a recognisable and approachable entry point for many into the world of cryptocurrencies. These coins often incorporated meme culture into their branding and marketing strategies, leveraging internet trends for popularity.

Boom in Popularity (2017–2020)

During the cryptocurrency boom 2017, meme coins saw increased attention and proliferation. Several new meme coins were created, often as forks or derivatives of existing cryptocurrencies. These coins often gained traction due to their catchy branding and the sense of community they fostered. Projects like PepeCash, based on the Pepe the Frog meme, and Garlicoin, inspired by a Reddit joke, gained popularity during this phase.

DeFi and Yield Farming (2020–2021):

In the wake of the decentralised finance (DeFi) boom, meme coins began incorporating elements of yield farming, liquidity mining, and other DeFi mechanisms. Coins like SafeMoon and Hoge Finance gained attention for their unique tokenomics, which often involved redistributing transaction fees to holders or implementing automatic liquidity locks.

CoinMarketCap has listed more than 1300 currencies, wherein Dogecoin and Shiba Inu are often listed as the most valued meme tokens.

Meme Coins are considered a playful investment option. It serves as a gateway for beginners to grasp the concepts of crypto tokens and blockchain technology. Active participation in a trading community proves advantageous as it helps to analyse the rising value of the token, which results in gaining potential profits. That said,” investing in community-based meme coins carries risks due to their volatility. A solid understanding of community trends is essential for smart moves”.

Meme coins are known for their extreme volatility and speculative nature. Due to their reliance on hype and social media trends rather than traditional fundamentals, meme coins can experience rapid price fluctuations, often driven by sentiment and speculation rather than underlying value.

Likewise, the meme coin space has also seen its fair share of scams and pump-and-dump schemes. Some projects with little to no utility or development behind them have gained attention solely through aggressive marketing tactics and false promises, leading to significant losses for unsuspecting investors.

The long-term viability of meme coins remains uncertain. While some may fade away as internet fads, others could evolve into more established cryptocurrencies or blockchain projects if they develop sustainable use cases and communities beyond their meme origins.

Meme Coin Community

Meme coins rely heavily on social media platforms like Reddit, Twitter, and TikTok for promotion. Communities formed around these coins, often called “meme armies,” enthusiastically supporting and promoting their chosen coins. Social media hype and celebrity endorsements play a crucial role in driving the value and popularity of meme coins. Users share memes, discuss trading strategies, speculate on price movements, and promote their favourite meme coins. These communities often have a strong sense of humour and camaraderie, and they play a significant role in driving the adoption and value of meme coins. However, it’s important to note that investing in meme coins can be highly speculative and volatile, and the Meme Coin Community should exercise caution and conduct thorough research before participating in any investment activities.

Development Stages of Meme Coins

Genesis of meme coins involves stages like conceptualisation and the creation of tokens managed through smart contracts. Subsequently, community engagement becomes pivotal for governance, marketing, collaboration, publicity, and participation tasks. At last, the meme coin undergoes liquefaction and is officially listed.

Popular Meme Coins

While seasoned investors tend to scoff at these high-risk assets, meme coins have shown an impressive ability to generate exponential returns for early adopters. In this article, we’ve highlighted five meme coins that are popular in demand as of February 2024.

  1. ApeMax (APEMAX): Innovative “Boost-to-Earn” model on Binance Smart Chain
  2. Bonk (BONK): Community-focused meme coin thriving on Solana
  3. Snek (SNEK): Cardano-based, deflationary token with governance features
  4. Floki (FLOKI): Web3 project inspired by Elon Musk’s dog
  5. Shiba Inu (SHIB): Ethereum-based “Dogecoin killer” with a vibrant ecosystem.

1. ApeMax (APEMAX)

ApeMax has distinguished itself with its innovative “Boost-to-Earn” model and integration on the Binance Smart Chain for improved efficiency and lower transaction costs. ApeMax has acquired over 10,500 holders and sold 9.8 billion tokens during its presale. With unique presale dynamics, ApeMax offers discounted loot boxes and daily price increases during its presale.

Moreover, token holders benefit from immediate token access, allowing them to utilise the boost-to-earn staking mechanism. This mechanism allows token holders to earn more APEMAX by boosting their favourite Web3 projects, influencers or creators. The ApeMax presale is set to end on the 21st of February, after which it will be listed on Uniswap.

Bonk (BONK)

The cryptocurrency token in the Solana blockchain was launched on 25 December 2022. Dogecoin inspired BONK. The TikTok platform was used for marketing, increasing this crypto token’s popularity and demand. The Bonk ecosystem consists of BonkSwap, BonkDex and BonkVault. Bonk can be bought, sold or traded online as a digital asset. Its supply is capped at 1 million. The system burns a certain percentage permanently from circulation in every transaction, reducing the total supply of Bonk meme coins.

Snek ( SNEK)

Snek brings a playful yet strategic element to the Cardano network, leveraging a deflationary model and governance capabilities to engage users. Its proof-of-stake mechanism pushes active participation within its ecosystem.

Floki (FLOKI)

In 2021, “Floki Inu” transitioned beyond meme coin status, rebranding simply as “Floki.” Named after Elon Musk’s Shiba Inu pup, it gained widespread popularity as a meme-based cryptocurrency. Evolving beyond its meme origins, the project rebranded to “Floki,” becoming a multi-chain token operating on both Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain (BSC) networks. FLOKI is compliant with both ERC-20 and BEP-20 standards.

Shiba Inu (SHIB)

Shiba Inu was launched in August 2020 in Uniswap as an Ethereum-based token. Used the original dog breed of Japan as the name and symbol of this meme coin. The canine version of the white paper was called ‘Woof Paper’, the guiding principle of the coin. The crypto community was called ‘ShibArmy’. It was created by an anonymous person or group called Ryoshi and transferred 50% share to Vitalik Buterin, who transferred 5% to the India Covid Relief Fund. It is based on the Automated Market Maker Protocol (AMM).

To Conclude

The meme coins have evolved remarkably, driven by internet culture, social media hype, and speculative fervour. While they offer opportunities for excitement and profit, they also come with significant risks and challenges, including regulatory scrutiny and market volatility. The absence of a regulatory body and rapid price fluctuations contribute to a lack of trust in meme coins. Security vulnerabilities threaten these coins’ integrity, while shifting community interests can adversely impact their survival. Despite facing vulnerabilities and price fluctuations like other cryptocurrencies, meme coins are traded as popular tokens within community-based networks. Therefore, as with any investment, due diligence and caution are essential when considering meme coins. Additionally, the future of meme coins relies on community interest and is inherently risky. Like Trump-based meme coins, the community interest mints new meme coins, and their price range depends on the community’s interest and socio-political background.

Disclaimer: This article discusses the evolving trends of meme coins in 2024, as observed through top cryptocurrency exchange listings, without endorsing specific exchanges or coins.

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