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Whether a boomer or Gen-Z, there’s one key unifying fact; no one wants to be left behind. It is built in humans as social beings. At the dawn of time, barter trade was the primary transaction method. It gradually moved to specified objects like that lump of salt idling in the kitchen, before swinging to metals. Gold then emerged as the favorite unit of exchange before the incorporation of promissory notes.
The evolution of currency hasn’t stalled; cryptocurrencies are slowly substituting fiat money. Yet, not many understand just how versatile crypto and blockchain technology is.
A Brief on Meme Coins
Simply put, a meme coin is a cryptocurrency that either traces its origin or is closely associated with a meme. The other alternative inspiration for such coins is some internet joke.
It should be noted that, unlike most other cryptos, meme coins aren’t usually created to improve usability or efficiency levels in cryptos. So it doesn’t surprise that the blockchain community generally views even coins as a joke rather than an actual product.
Key Characteristics of Meme Coins
Since not all altcoins are same coins, how can one identify them? There are several telltale signs of same coins.
Very High Price Volatility
Cryptocurrencies are characterized by quite a high price volatility, largely because their value is determined by demand and supply. The sole exception is stablecoins which usually have a pegged value to an underlying asset such as gold or fiat currency.
But even among cryptos, even coins are infamous for their abnormally high volatility. Prices will swing by huge margins at the slightest media publication or comment by a large personality holding the coin.
Little Usability as a Unit of Currency
For crypto, even coins have an awful usability record. That’s because they are not created for much usability but rather to be traded based on meme reactions and mentions.
One shouldn’t be surprised to encounter a meme coin that isn’t accepted in any outlet. The main aim of their existence is to create trade margins on value gains influenced by trends and memes.
Limited Upgrade to Existing Infrastructure
Even coin creators put minimal effort into the drafting the blockchain’s cryptography. Most have very basic blockchain technology with simple protocols and little usability.
Once launched, not much is done in the form of upgrading infrastructure. It will do just fine as long as it’s working and isn’t exposed to a security risk. However, not all meme coins follow the same notion, with some boasting impressive infrastructure.
Notable Examples of Meme Coins
Their rather uncouth origins or inspiration doesn’t mean that meme coins are a bunch of lousy failed altcoins. Several candidates have made quite a name for themselves and earned investors a fortune. They include;
Any mention of same coins without Dogecoin somewhere in there would feel incomplete. Created in 2013 by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, it has cemented its position among the world’s largest cryptos.
It is the world’s first meme coin and has attracted huge names like the world’s richest man, Elon Musk. Or it could be the other way around, with Dogecoin attracting tons of investors thanks to the billionaires’ tweets regarding it. Even more helpful was the acceptance of doge as a means of payment in Musk’s SpaceX.
The largest meme coin by market cap is currently hovering at around $17bn. Doge, which utilizes the proof-of-work consensus protocol to run its architecture, is currently placed at position 13 among all cryptos.
The problem with Doge as the first meme coin, it has always had a target on its back. No other meme coin comes closer to implementing a takeover for the top position as shiba inus. With a $13bn market cap, it is the 2nd largest meme coin and 14th largest crypto. It is widely regarded as the Dogecoin killer.
Unlike most of its peers, Shiba Inu has some serious cryptography up its sleeve. The coin’s development team is working on a package of products to support and work alongside the coin. They’re creating a crypto exchange, an array of tokens, and the creation of a crypto community to complete their ecosystem.
SHIB, an ERC-20 token, is Shiba Inu’s native token. While the coin’s price volatility is still in the high meme coin range, a substantial portion was sent to Ethereum’s founder as a way of tackling inflation. Other tokens on the ecosystem include LEASH and BONE.
The brainchild of the pseudonymous developer Mr. Watanabe, monacoin is a cat-like meme-based coin. It is one of the oldest meme coins, having been launched in 2013.
Tracing its origin in Japan, monacoin is the 5th largest same coin by market cap. Its fame, however, comes from the fact that it is quite special among meme coins. Unlike most of its peers, it is used as a unit of trade in Japan, both in stores and online marketplaces. Its native coin, MONA, is even approved by the Japanese Financial Service Agency, earmarking its desire of not just being a joke to be traded.
An anomaly amongst the list since it isn’t among the largest meme coins, Volt Inu is an interesting coin to look out for. It is a highly deflationary token that is based on the Ethereum blockchain.
While its developers are anonymous, following the SHIB path on this end, the goal of the project is investments ultimately leading to buybacks and burns also coupled with a wide range of other utilities. Such a simple yet effective strategy has helped it gain increasing popularity among small-cap meme coin investors.
Meme coins are part of the most fun-filled part of blockchain technology. The coins themselves are regarded as products of internet jokes, many having little usability, if any.
They, however, serve as good ways of making huge returns on investments for sharp traders. While the mentioned coins are of particular importance, there are many meme coins in existence for investors to try.
As an investor, it is upon you to do extensive research on projects to avoid falling victim to rug-pull scams. It is essential to review the project’s goals, its development team’s track record, the validity of its liquidity pools, the distribution of coins held. Where possible, one should also check the transparency and audit status of a coin.
Note: Investment in cryptocurrency is subject to risk and readers should do their own due diligence. Entrepreneur Media does not endorse any such investment.