Whether these are coins inspired by former and current US presidents or the famous dog meme that gave birth to Dogecoin, not a day goes by without hearing about the latest meme coin. Like it or not, these coins have taken over the cryptocurrency market, with some reaching billions in capitalization. But what is their real value, why are they so popular, and what is their future? Let’s try to understand this phenomenon in our article. 

What is a meme coin?

To answer the question, meme coins are a cryptocurrency inspired by internet memes, pop-culture references, and viral online trends. These coins often contain a humorous or parodic element, tapping into the psychology of humour, fear of missing out (FOMO), and the human desire for entertainment. This creates a sense of fun and excitement that attracts investors and users.

In essence, meme coins leverage the power of social media and online communities to build hype and drive user adoption.

The evolution of memecoins 

The story of memecoins began with the creation of Dogecoin in December 2013 by programmers Billy Marcus and Jackson Palmer. They aimed to introduce cryptocurrency to a broader audience through a humorous approach, using the popular meme of a Shiba Inu dog named Kabosu. The developers deliberately misspelled “dog” as “Doge” to emphasize the coin’s meme-based nature. To their surprise, Dogecoin quickly gained a substantial following.

The rapid rise of Dogecoin, despite having no intrinsic value, was fueled by social media hype. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Dogecoin’s most famous supporter, began tweeting about Dogecoin and proclaimed himself the “father of Doge.” This led to a surge in interest from investors and influencers, driving Dogecoin’s value to an all-time high of $0.5 in May 2021. As of today, Dogecoin’s market value exceeds $17 billion, making it the 8th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

The success of Dogecoin, bolstered by endorsements from prominent figures like Elon Musk, paved the way for other memecoins, such as Shiba Inu. Created in 2020 by an anonymous individual named Ryoshi, Shiba Inu is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain. Despite lacking a fundamental use case, Shiba Inu has thrived, ranking 12th among the top cryptocurrencies with a market value of around $10 billion.

In March 2021, Elon Musk tweeted his desire for a Shiba Inu puppy, which inadvertently boosted the SHIB coin. Following his tweet and a picture of a puppy, SHIB’s market capitalization skyrocketed, with its price increasing twentyfold in just five days.

In 2023, a new era of memecoins emerged with the introduction of PEPE. Inspired by the famous meme of a green frog, the @pepecoineth account appeared on Twitter in early April with the slogan “Make Memecoins Great Again.” Two weeks later, the PEPE token was launched, with anonymous developers issuing 420.69 trillion coins and trading them on the decentralized exchange Uniswap. Influencers on Twitter, Telegram, and Discord discussed PEPE, causing its price to surge over 900% within a day and its market capitalization to exceed $1.6 billion in less than three weeks. Today, PEPE ranks among the top three memecoins, alongside Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.

Interestingly, the artist who created the Pepe character for comic books did not profit from the PEPE cryptocurrency craze.

Following PEPE, memetic tokens began flooding the cryptocurrency market. The LADYS coin emerged after another tweet from Elon Musk. In the summer of 2023, tokens on the Base blockchain, a second-layer solution for the Ethereum network by Coinbase, started appearing en masse. One notable token, BALD, saw a 289,000% increase in price within the first 14 hours of trading. Since March 2024, over 500,000 new tokens have appeared on the Base network, surpassing Ethereum and other second-layer networks like Optimism and Arbitrum. Only Solana has seen more new tokens, with over 540,000 created last month alone. The “meme coin mania” on the Solana blockchain, driven by its low fees, has even contributed to Solana’s boom this year.

The market continues to evolve, with interest in memecoins on the Bitcoin blockchain growing. BRC-20 tokens, similar to Ethereum’s ERC-20 tokens, can be created and transferred on the Bitcoin blockchain using the Ordinals protocol. This protocol allows data to be written into satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin and turned into tokens. Since the protocol’s introduction in March, tens of thousands of BRC-20 tokens have been issued, with a combined market capitalization of over $1 billion. 

What drives memecoins price? 

If the vast majority of memecoins lack any practical utility, what drives their prices upward? Let’s explore the key factors:


Imagine a close friend telling you they made millions by investing in a new memecoin. Naturally, you wouldn’t want to miss out on a similar opportunity. This fear of missing out, or FOMO, compels many to invest, hoping to replicate such success.

A glance at historical data by CoinGecko can intensify FOMO. For example, if you had invested $12 in SHIBA in 2023 or $820 in DOGE  in 2013, you could be a memecoin millionaire today.

Social Media Hype

Word of mouth and social media hype play significant roles. Stories of unknown traders making substantial profits, like one who turned $690 into $266,600 with the DADDY memecoin, spread quickly. This buzz increases demand, causing the coin’s value to skyrocket.

Celebrity endorsements

Celebrity endorsements also heavily influence memecoin prices. Dogecoin’s value often fluctuates with Elon Musk’s tweets. For instance, when he announced that Tesla would accept Dogecoin for some products, its price rose by more than 20%. Similarly, the meme coin MOTHER, issued by singer Iggy Azalea, surged over 200% in a week after news that token holders could use it to buy cell phones.

Strong community

Memecoins often foster strong, loyal communities. If your friends and favorite celebrities are part of “Shiba’s Army,” you might want to join too. Some memecoins even allow community members to influence the project’s direction. For example, the BONK community voted to burn 278 billion BONK tokens to mark a historic event.

Effective marketing strategies, such as partnerships with influencers, contests, and giveaways, further strengthen these communities and drive interest.

unnamed - Meme Coin Phenomenon: What is driving the hype?
Source: X.com

Emerging Utility 

Although most memecoins initially lack utility, developers are working to add value. A new wave of memecoins is combining meme appeal with practical uses. For example, the Dogecoin community launched Dogechain, a blockchain platform that allows users to access NFTs, games, and other Web3 features using DOGE tokens. This enhances Dogecoin’s value beyond just being a meme coin.

Financial Incentives

Some memecoins, like SafeMoon, promote themselves as lucrative investments. The premise is that holding the coin passively can generate more coins over time. Despite controversies and accusations of being scams, the allure of quick wealth remains a powerful motivator.

An example is Hamster Kombat, a tap-to-earn mini-game. Despite not having released its coin yet, it has amassed a community of over 150 million people, with promises of redeemable new cryptocurrency.

The current situation with meme coins in 2024

In 2024, the trend for memecoins continues to thrive, even as Bitcoin’s price weakens. Interestingly, even prominent market figures are starting to take memecoins seriously. For example, Arthur Hayes, co-founder of the BitMEX exchange, announced plans to increase his holdings of Pendle (PENDLE) and Dogecoin (DOGE) tokens. He also mentioned that part of his investment portfolio includes dog-themed coins like Dogecoin, Bonk, and Dogewifhat. Meanwhile, Real Vision CEO Raoul Pal believes that Elon Musk is poised to “do something with DOGE.”

However, not everyone shares this optimism. The CEO of CryptoQuant, for instance, predicts that the memecoin boom will soon end as their dominance in the altcoin market declines. CryptoQuant plans to shift its focus from memecoins to fundamental projects, similar to its strategy from a few years ago.

In summary, while memecoins remain popular and influential in 2024, opinions on their future are divided. Some investors see potential and are increasing their holdings, while others anticipate a decline and are shifting their focus to more substantive projects.


What is a meme coin?

Meme coin is a crypto inspired by internet memes, pop-culture references, and viral online trends.

What is driving the hype of memecoins?

Memecoins’ prices are fueled by FOMO (fear of missing out), social media hype, strong communities, and the promise of future utility, memecoin prices surge due to speculation rather than practicality.