What Is A Meme Coin?

Published: July 21, 2023   |   Last Updated: July 21, 2023
Written By:
Eric Huffman
Eric Huffman
Staff Writer
Edited By:
Shannon Ullman
Shannon Ullman
Managing Editor

What Is A Meme Coin? 

A meme coin is a coin that was created to be available for trading and is based on a meme. The most popular meme coin is Dogecoin—and recently Pepe—but there are many meme coins in circulation. 

In simple terms, a meme coin is a cryptocurrency asset that is based on a meme. 

It isn’t hard to determine what is or isn’t a meme coin. Don’t worry! Everyone will tell you. Then they’ll tell you how it’s gonna go to the moon any day now. 

Chances are, if a meme is in circulation and it is popular, there’s at least one meme coin in circulation based on it. They can be extremely popular, even having a higher market cap than some legit companies. 

What Is A Meme Coin Used For? 

Meme coins have a few purposes. 

The first and most obvious meme coin use case is when you want to play around with a cryptocurrency that you like the meme of. It’s something fun to do, allows you to trade, and gives you a breather from the demands of more formal investing. 

That being said, savvy traders will absolutely trade meme coins. Some make huge gains (as seen with DOGE and PEPE). Meme coins inherently have little technical or intrinsic value, as almost all their value is derived from the momentum generated by interest. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t profit from them, but be careful trading or investing based on technical or fundamentals that don’t actually exist. This is why they are so, so ripe for pump-and-dumps. This is an explicit warning to be extra aware when trading large blocks of meme coins. The volatility is insane.

Meme Coin Examples 

Some examples of meme coins:

  1. Dogecoin: DOGE: Doge is the daddy of meme coins. Market cap of over $10b, and a favorite of Elon and Snoop. Dogecoin is the meme coin that started the craze and still sees immense trading volumes per day. Dogecoin was created by Billy Marcus and Jackson Palmer in 2013. 
  2. Shiba Inu: SHIB: Shiba Inu cleans up the traders who didn’t pile into Doge. Its cap is around 50% of Doge, which, let us remind you, is still $5b. There are WAY more coins in supply than Doge, but when you look at the trading charts, they trade in pretty similar channels. 
  3. Pepe: PEPE: Pepe launched in 2023 and immediately blew through the roof. The sad frog isn’t so sad now, with crypto fanatics piling in, hoping to ride the wave to retirement. The devs are unknown, which is certainly the trend. Rest assured, somewhere, someone just bought a mansion on the backs of hardworking Pepe coins. 
  4. Floki: Floki is cool because it isn’t just a cryptocurrency, but it’s also the utility token of the Floki Ecosystem. For those who don’t know, Floki is the name of EM’s pet Shiba. The coin is being used for good vis a vis EM’s brother Kimbal Musk, who uses the Floki ecosystem to build gardens through his Million Gardens Movement. Very cool guys. 
  5. Bone ShibaSwap: BONE: BONE is the governance token of the decentralized exchange ShibaSwap. Governance tokens, which are technically altcoins, can be used like voting shares. These tokens allow users to vote on and submit proposals. ShibaSwap is fully audited. 

History Of Meme Coins 

Meme coins came into existence in a serious way when Doge was launched in 2013. There was a bit of a lull before other meme coins started riding the wave of Doge’s success, but when the coin absolutely rocketed in 2021, the meme coin world went crazy, and millions of coins were minted. 

Although meme coins were issued to play around, their popularity has brought some pretty serious investors into the space. 

Like more traditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, meme coins have some heavy hitters and millions of others that usually end up going nowhere. That’s just the reality of the crypto space. 

Are Meme Coins Risky? 

There’s no way to butter this biscuit: meme coins are extremely risky. They share the traits of some of the riskiest investments:

  • Extreme volatility: Big swings day to day are the norm. If you buy and HODL, buckle up
  • Lack of liquidity: You could see a whale swoop in (whales swoop, right?) and bite off 20% of the available supply. Want to load up? Too bad. Want to exit? There aren’t willing buyers.
  • Regulation: Meme coins are a great environment for manipulators and scammers. Be extra careful with your wallet and transactions when dealing in the volatile space.
  • Long-term growth: So far, most meme coins have extreme jumps, then all but die, trading in a narrow channel forever. Meme coins are hard to see as a solid long-term investment.

Are Meme Coins A Good Investment?

Hmm…very loaded question. Meme coins can be a good investment if you believe either:

  • The value of the coin will go up
  • The coin has intrinsic value

Certain meme coins—like Floki—offer utility beyond just their trading price. That could make it a better investment than a meme coin that only exists to harvest those sweet FOMO premiums. 

If it seems like madness, it sort of is. But that’s ok because these are meme coins, and if you want something standard, Vanguard is always accepting clients. 

There are so many answers to this question, but the consensus is that anything can be a good investment if it fits within your investment strategy and adheres to your tolerance for risk. 

How To Buy Meme Coins 

You can buy meme coins—at least the popular ones—on pretty much every exchange. Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, CoinEx, etc., all allow meme coin trading. You buy and hold (or HODL) them just like you would Bitcoin or other non-meme assets. 

Order of ops goes: choose a wallet, deposit funds, place an order, freak out, hold or sell, repeat.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Some examples of meme coins are Dogecoin, Pepe, and Floki. Meme coins can be bought and traded, but some have unique utilities related to their blockchains or exchanges.

The biggest meme coin is Dogecoin. At the writing of this article, the coin is hovering around a $10b market cap. It wasn’t long ago that Uber was sitting around there. I guess what we’re saying is meme coins aren’t just pennies found on the street.

The most popular meme coins are the meme coins with the highest market cap. They are listed above in this article in order of total market cap. There will, for sure, be more important meme coins issued, but for now, the top three are Dogecoin, Pepe, and SHIB.

Nothing really. Meme coins are a type of crypto and are traded and listed on similar exchanges. Meme coins are considered altcoins as they are coins that are not Bitcoin.

Eric Huffman
Eric Huffman
Staff Writer
Eric Huffman is a staff writer for MilkRoad.com. In addition to crypto and blockchain topics, Eric also writes extensively on insurance and personal finance matters that affect everyday households.
Shannon Ullman
Shannon Ullman
Managing Editor
Managing editor working to make crypto easier to understand. Pairing editorial integrity with crypto curiosity for content that makes readers feel like they finally “get it.”

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