What Makes A Meme Coin Successful?
Breaking down the origins of meme coins, and what makes a meme coin successful.
In today’s edition of the Ground Floor we will be breaking down the origins of meme coins, and what makes a meme coin successful.
What Makes A Meme Coin Successful?
What makes a meme coin successful?
In recent weeks, PEPE, the Internet's new favorite meme coin became the fastest token on Ethereum to reach a $1 billion market cap ~ taking all of 15 days to achieve this market cap.
Dogecoin is the original meme coin.
Created in 2013 by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, Dogecoin was branded around a then popular meme ~ the adorable Shiba Inu dog.
The founders created Dogecoin to make fun of Bitcoin ~ choosing to deliberately misspell dog to ensure this meme coin was “as ridiculous as possible.”
The Attention Economy
NFTs & meme coins share many similarities.
Most importantly, they both exist within the attention economy.
In 2014, when the Jamaican bobsleigh team qualified for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia they were unable to fund the trip.
In response, the Dogecoin community came together to raise around $30,000 to send the team to the Olympics. Unsurprisingly, this story was picked up by mainstream media and Dogecoin appreciated in price.
Courtesy of being placed in the spotlight by Elon Musk, the most followed person on Twitter ~ Dogecoin reached a peak market cap of$88 billion in May 2021 when Elon mentioned Dogecoin several times on his Saturday night live appearance.
Successful Meme Coins
With countless new meme coins launched each year, what separates a successful meme coin that reaches a billion dollar market cap vs the countless coins that become irrelevant?
Similar to NFTs, a meme coins ability to remain relevant is the primary factor that separates the 0.01% of meme coins that succeed, vs the 99.9% of meme coins that fail.
In the case of dodgecoin, the community that supported this coin were able to retain its relevancy by continuously creating new memes, aided by the amplification of individuals such as Elon Musk who found favor with these memes.
In the case of PEPE, the coin gained very significant traction as a direct result of the treasure trove of memes that had already been created over the course of its 18 year lifespan since Matt Fury created this now iconic image in 2005.
As such, when PEPE launched, the community that supported this coin were in the very advantageous position of having the ability to draw upon this treasure trove of memes as a means to take over Twitter by flooding people's feeds with PEPE memes for days on end.
It's important to note that PEPE the coin wasn't created by Matt Fury the creator of PEPE the frog, however, moving forward, any & all PEPE memes will be directly associated with PEPE the coin which to a certain degree solidifies this meme coins ability to remain relevant.
There's a lot to be said about the most successful meme coins.
As is the case with NFTs, the most successful meme coins accrue value based on their ability to achieve cultural relevancy ~ a variable that is largely determined by the level of support a project receives from their community.
BTC = Money
ETH = Money + Code
NFT = Money + Code + Culture
— Jordan Lyall (@JordanLyall)
May 3, 2023
What makes the most successful meme coins standout is their ability to accelerate this process of achieving cultural relevancy by building upon existing images / ideas that have already obtained cultural relevancy on the internet.
This is further aided by the ease at which people can participate in these projects as they appreciate in price in contrast to the 48 ETH required to own a Bored Ape today which allows a much larger community to participate in successful meme coins vs successful NFTs.
Yes, meme coins may very well be looked back upon as one of the most ridiculous applications of blockchains in the years to come, however, there's no denying that the phenomenon that is meme coins has retained community market fit in 2023.
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This newsletter is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial or business advice to any person or entity.