The token ecosystem would not be where it is today without memes. Since the advent of Bitcoin, memes have driven the cryptocurrency space forward, shining a light on blockchain’s world-changing potential and helping the global community of adopters grow. As tokens effectively live on the Internet, where memes have historically flourished, in many cases they have found success and built thriving communities after starting out as a fun meme. In recent years, the token ecosystem has seen the emergence of “meme coins,” assets that derive their value from the strength of their community and the narrative behind the project. Our Crypto’s Top Meme Coins Collection features all of the space’s most successful examples, and you can learn more about it below.
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The role of memes in crypto
Before meme coins, there was Bitcoin. However, even Bitcoin itself can be thought of as a meme coin. This is because it started out as an idea and snowballed thanks to its bold vision and passionate community of believers.
A “meme” refers to an element of culture, an idea, or a piece of content, that gets spread from one individual to another, often over the Internet. Over the past decade, memes have become integral to Internet culture, leading to the emergence of world-renowned stars like Doge.
When Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper, they presented the idea of “a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.” Bitcoin differed from traditional fiat currencies as its supply was limited to 21 million, something that became its most popular attribute over the years that followed. The Bitcoin meme first caught on in the Cypherpunk community and later spread around the world. Today, it’s often referred to as “digital gold,” another meme that helps strengthen the Bitcoin narrative and outlines its use case for onboarding new adopters.
While Bitcoin was the first crypto meme, many others have followed. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and every other crypto token live on blockchains, and as blockchains are built on the Internet, it makes sense that memes have helped the space grow. While memes have become a popular method of communication in the token community, several other “meme coins” have emerged since Bitcoin first started to gain traction.
How meme coins have shaped the space
The power of memes in the token universe came all the more apparent in 2021, when Shiba Inu-themed meme coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu soared during a rally across the market (one of the world’s most influential social media users, Elon Musk, helped the surge by endorsing Dogecoin to his large Twitter following). Both projects thrived by building passionate communities that placed their attention on having fun and adding an element of humour to the space. By championing Shiba Inu dogs, they stood at odds with the often complex and intimidating side to tokens found in other niches such as DeFi.
The stunning success of Dogecoin and its various derivatives showed that memes will become an essential part of the token ecosystem in the future. While many people have consciously avoided the space as they believe it is too complicated, meme coins have helped introduce people to the possibilities of tokens and onboarded thousands into the economy.
While there’s no guarantee that Dogecoin or Shiba Inu will reclaim their 2021 highs, their rise proves that memes drive the token ecosystem. In the future, newer adopters may not be interested in learning about the intricate details of Bitcoin or DeFi. They may look to invest in their favourite celebrities and memes instead.
The token.com Collection
Like all of the best memes, Crypto’s Top Meme Coins features a list of tokens that started out as a bit of fun and exploded beyond anyone’s expectations.
It includes Bitcoin, crypto’s first and most popular meme. As Bitcoin has grown over the past 13 years, its community of loyal evangelists have established a variety of memes such as “21 million coins” and “digital gold” to help the world understand its value. Notably, Bitcoin tends to be less volatile than other meme coins, which means it also acts as a hedge against the other tokens in our Collection.
It would be remiss of us to omit the star dog coins of 2021 from our Collection, so Dogecoin and Shiba Inu also both feature. While the Shiba Inu-themed coins exploded in popularity in the height of a phase of mania in the market, they have since established plans to build out their ecosystems. Dogecoin is weighing a move to Proof-of-Stake with Vitalik Buterin advising, while Shiba Inu may look to build a Metaverse, game, Layer 2 network, and stablecoin. If they succeed, they’ll prove that there’s more to dog coins than memes alone.
Our Collection also features ApeCoin, the meme coin created by Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs. In 2021, during the NFT boom, Bored Ape Yacht Club’s cartoon monkeys became the hottest memes in Web3, attracting the interest of major brands and celebrities and pushing their prices to astronomical highs. ApeCoin is the official currency for Otherside, Yuga’s hotly anticipated Metaverse world.
Since Bitcoin’s inception, memes have been integral to the growth of the token ecosystem. That’s led to the creation of outright meme coins, which have succeeded in onboarding countless new users. Now, the question remains whether they can continue to build with their communities, and how the space will evolve with memes taking centre stage. To learn more about how memes are changing the token ecosystem, go and check out the Crypto’s Top Meme Coins Collection for yourself.
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