The crypto industry is bigger than ever. There are thousands of different crypto coins on the market, each powered by different technology and guided by different principles and philosophies.
In recent years, memecoins have been among the most popular cryptocurrencies available, with countless people eagerly tracking Dogecoin performance and checking the Pepe price. In this article, we take a closer look at what memecoins are and ask whether they are still relevant in the crypto ecosystem. Read on to find out more.
Memecoins: More Than a Joke
If you have never heard of a memecoin, you likely have an idea of what they are if you know what a meme is. Memes are jokes that spread across the internet, often repurposed into various formats and used to comment on current events. Memes are culturally significant and often transcend the digital spheres where they originate to be picked up by major brands and organisations.
As you might have already guessed, memecoins are cryptocurrencies inspired by these internet gags. Often, they take their names directly from the meme in question, with logos and branding that reflect it as well.
At a glance, memecoins seem silly or even gimmicky; something fun that offers some respite from the technically dense, jargon-heavy world of cryptocurrency. While many memecoins are nothing more than a very basic blockchain and cryptocurrency setup with a humorous reference to an internet joke, many more are in fact fully-fledged cryptocurrencies with the tech and capabilities to rival the industry’s major coins.
The jokey appearance and design of memecoins can be misleading, often to their detriment. Some investors may overlook them, assuming they offer little value when compared to more established and more ‘serious’ cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
However, there is much to be said for considering memecoins as investment options. In some cases, they are among the most exciting in the sector and are helping to develop and implement cutting-edge technology.
Which Memecoins are the Most Popular?
Dogecoin is widely considered to be the first example of a memecoin. Launched in 2013, the cryptocurrency is based on the Doge meme, which pairs a picture of a Shiba Inu dog with humorous text.
As well as being the original memecoin, Dogecoin is also the most popular. It is currently the ninth-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $9.02 billion, coming in just behind the more traditional cryptocurrencies Cardano and Solana.
After Dogecoin comes Shiba Inu, which is another coin based on the same Doge meme. Shiba Inu has a market cap of $4.22 billion, which makes it the nineteenth-largest on the market today.
There’s a bit of a drop-off after Dogecoin and Shiba Inu. The next two coins are Pepe and Floki, which come in at the 99th and 101st in terms of market cap.
As we can see, memecoins, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu in particular should not be discounted as a mere gimmick. Read on to find out why they remain so relevant in the crypto ecosystem.
Attracting Newcomers to the Crypto World
Earlier in this article we touched on the fact that the world of cryptocurrency can be technically complex and filled with unfamiliar terms and concepts. These digital assets are highly advanced, and as a result, they require a degree of knowledge and understanding before they can be effectively used.
Many people who want to explore the world of crypto will be instantly discouraged when they attempt to understand it. It can seem impenetrable and complex to the point of complete incomprehension.
Memecoins are important because they can help attract newcomers to crypto. By repackaging these digital assets with recognisable and lighthearted branding, beginners will feel less intimidated and more willing to continue learning and discovering more.
Maintaining a steady influx of investors and traders is key to the future of cryptocurrencies. Memecoins are the perfect vehicle for this; they can help attract new users who don’t necessarily have a background in tech or finance.
Paving the Way for New Technology
Cryptocurrencies aren’t simply digital replications of fiat currencies. While they can be used as alternative payment options, the technology that powers cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks can be used for a variety of other purposes.
Shiba Inu is the perfect example of this. It is built on the Ethereum network, which means it can be used to build and launch decentralised apps (dApps). These apps make up what’s known as the Shiba Inu ecosystem, an interconnected array of tools and platforms, including marketplaces for buying, selling and trading cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
We’ve seen a number of non-memecoins adopt a similar approach, using their network to create a comprehensive, self-contained ecosystem that offers users everything they need to trade crypto.
Memecoins are demonstrating that cryptocurrencies don’t have to take themselves too seriously. The industry likes to see itself as a pioneer that is heralding a new tech age, but memecoins are highlighting that this can be done while also putting a smile on the face of users. Detractors might brush off memecoins as a passing fad, but as Dogecoin’s 10-year existence proves, they can demonstrate remarkable longevity, and they are certainly still relevant in today’s crypto ecosystem.