Further disrupting a disruptive industry is not easy but in the last few months, meme-based coins have been doing just that. The market is flooded with them and the public seems to have an insatiable demand for coins that appear to have little more value than a meme association.
So what are meme coins and where do they come from?
As their name suggests, meme coins are crypto tokens that take their inspiration from internet-based jokes and memes. If you have read our blog post about Dogecoin, you will have a fair idea of how it all started. Bearing the image of a Japanese Shiba Inu dog, the internet meme amused the public with deliberately bad English phrases. The dog’s image was then used by a couple of people to create a new cryptocurrency on a whim. Intended as a joke cryptocurrency, nobody ever imagined that it would become the multi-billion dollar economy it is today.
Meme coins attempt to capitalize on this phenomenon, emulating the non-serious nature of memes to replicate the same formula in an attempt to progress from a joke to a serious investment vehicle. Today, there are hundreds of these joke-based coins zipping around in the cryptosphere. Some of them like Shiba Inu have done fairly well, while others still struggle.
Non-serious as they are, the joke, for now, is on the non-believers. Meme coins have put cryptocurrencies at a crossroads through a collision of finance and culture. They may not have underlying value other than a meme but look at them — everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.
Right now, they are as tradable as any other crypto token but you will not find any financial utility — no one is exchanging them for goods or services, or using them as a means of payment (other than Dogecoin, which has always had a loyal network of merchants). That may change though. If the trend continues, we just might see a time where meme coins will be as much accepted as a means of value transaction.
Cryptocurrencies are created to tackle real-world issues and that has been the major driving force behind the public accepting them. Bitcoin, Ethereum and a host of others are accepted by merchants and people all around the world as these offer a faster, secure alternative to traditional money. Some act as a medium for their host platforms that offer financial or operational services. Meme coins, on the other hand, serve no purpose apart from being just a digital token.
There are exceptions though. Mona Coin is a seasoned meme coin (has been around 2017) and is approved by the Japanese Financial Services for trading on local exchanges.
But if we don’t account for outliers such as Dogecoin and Mona, the question that begs asking is, why are people buying them? The answer lies in social media, celebrity power and influencers. Memes coins are gaining ground because they have become a fashion statement. Celebrities are endorsing the tokens, influencers are talking about these and now, so is everyone else remotely active in the space. This is driving people to buy and invest in these. Consequently, this pumps the price and the soaring value pulls in more people and the cycle repeats.
Now, I am not telling anyone to not buy or saying you should. From one standpoint, these coins have no reason to have value or any long-term viability. Then again, we all have heard stories of how people have made mad profits off of these and there seems to be no stopping the tidal wave now.
But then, should you dive in? Well, that’s for you to decide. Personally, the scientist in me would love to invest in a Dr Neil deGrasse meme token, if one of you would be so kind as to launch one.
Disclaimer: This blog post does not contain investment advice and should be seen as a thought-provoking piece for entertainment purposes only. This is an outlet for team members to share their opinions and interests. Individual contributors of this blog do not represent the official opinions of Bitcoin PR Buzz.
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