See More

Not all cryptocurrency developers are driven by such altruistic ambitions. Some cryptocurrency developers just want to have a bit of fun. Enter the popular phenomenon, memecoins. Developers of major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum, which both run on decentralized computer networks, hope to transform the global financial system for the better.

They hope that their software can help empower individuals and strengthen economic freedom. But the trajectory of crypto’s global adoption suggests the dream of a more decentralized, fair society could become a reality within a generation. On the other hand, memecoins are different. Before going through a list of some of the most popular memecoins, let’s first examine what they are.

What are memecoins?

Dogecoin DOGE is a meme coin

Memecoins are cryptocurrencies that were essentially created as a joke. That was certainly the inspiration for the creation of Dogecoin. Given the substantial returns that Dogecoin has delivered to early investors, a series of copycat dog coins have sprung up. The motive for the creation of these copycat memecoins likely has more to do with the desire for high returns, rather than as a joke.

Some memecoins run on their own blockchains, powered by their own decentralized network of computers. Others run as tokens on top of other cryptocurrency networks — for example, as ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum network.

The original memecoin: Dogecoin

The first memecoin ever created was Dogecoin. Software developers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer launched Dogecoin’s mainnet in 2013 as a fork of Litecoin. Markus initially came up with the idea, getting his inspiration from a popular internet Shiba Inu meme. Palmer later helped Markus turn his idea into a workable cryptocurrency.

At the end of 2013, Dogecoin was trading on cryptocurrency exchanges in the $0.0003–7 region. In early 2014, it surpassed $0.001 for the first time. It took more than four years for Dogecoin to surpass $0.01 for the first time in mid-2018. Then, in May 2021, it briefly reached around $0.74 per coin. That represented a more than 1000x return versus its early 2014 levels.

As of October 2022, Dogecoin’s market capitalization — the market value of all outstanding tokens — is close to $8 billion. That means Dogecoin is more valuable than U.S. tech company Dropbox.

SHIB price meme coins
SHIB/USDT Chart by TradingView

There is no definitive answer to this question. Different investors take an interest in memecoins for different reasons. Many investors find memecoins attractive due to the potential for rapid gains. Popular memecoins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu have a well-documented history of posting rapid, exponential price gains.

Others enjoy the fact that memecoins represent crypto’s light-hearted side. Many might be a fan of the specific meme, dog, or another animal that the memecoin was inspired by. For these investors, the memecoin might serve as more of a collector’s item.

What are the risks of investing in meme coins?

Volatility

Memecoins are generally viewed as lacking in utility when compared to the major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum. Their utility mainly comes from the fact that they function as a collectors’ item. According to critics, this means they have no, or at least very little, fundamental value.

As a result, memecoin prices tend to rise and fall in tandem with the swings in emotion of their associated communities, and alongside the whims of the broader retail investment community. That means their prices can be extremely volatile and unpredictable. Adding to this volatility is the fact that memecoin distribution tends to be highly unequal. A few investors tend to hold a substantial market share, giving them an outsized ability to affect the market.

Prices can surge amid a sudden surge in Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). Something as simple as a celebrity endorsement can trigger FOMO. Back in early 2021, billionaire Elon Musk frequently touted his support for Dogecoin. This helped pump the cryptocurrency as much as 20,000% in the year.

Just as quickly as FOMO can boost prices, panic selling can trigger a crash. As of October 2022, DOGE is changing hands around $0.06, over 90% lower than the record highs it hit at $0.75 last year. SHIB is changing hands around $0.000001, nearly 90% lower than the record highs from 2021.

For investors who bought at or near the top as FOMO peaked, they have lost nearly all of their money. Meanwhile, popular memecoins can impact each other’s prices. For example, one coin may crash in price as investors flock to the new fashionable memecoin.

Rug pulls

Memecoin investors also risk falling foul of rug-pull scams. A high-profile example earlier this year was the Squid Game memecoin, which at the time piggybacked off of the popularity of a Netflix show which went by the same name.

After surging in price, and after the creators of SQUID cashed out on their tokens, Squid’s development team suddenly pulled the rug on their “project” and disappeared. SQUID tokens lost nearly all of their value immediately. Holders were even blocked from being able to sell.

How to buy memecoins?

Memecoins are easy to buy on most major cryptocurrency exchanges. The process only takes a few steps on simple-to-use platforms such as OKX. Here is an example of how to quickly buy Dogecoin via OKX.

  • Once you have set up and verified your OKX account, log into the platform. Make sure to click on the “Exchange” tab in the top left. Now hover over the “Buy crypto” tab at the top of the page. You then want to press “Buy with card”.
meme coins
  • Press You will now be directed to a page where you can enter the amount of cryptocurrency you want to buy and what fiat currency you want to buy it with.
meme coins
  • After selecting the fiat currency you wish to pay in, enter the amount of crypto you want to buy.
  • You will now be directed to a page that allows you to choose your preferred payment method.
  • Scroll down to see a preview of the exchange rate you will receive. Hit “Pay” to buy. If you have not yet entered your card details or completed certain KYC requirements, this is where you will be prompted to do so.

Best meme coins in May 2024

PEPE

meme coins pepe
PEPE coin: pepe.vip

Launched in mid-April 2023, the PEPE memecoin emerges as an embodiment of memability. It distinguishes itself as a meme coin with no inherent value or financial prospects.

Operating without a formal team or roadmap, PEPE serves purely as an entertainment-driven asset. While inspired by the beloved Pepe meme, the creators make it clear that the PEPE token has no affiliation with Matt Furie or his creation, Pepe the frog.

Pepe the Frog is a beloved cartoon character brought to life by cartoonist Matt Furie. Making its debut in 2005 within Furie’s comic series called Boy’s Club, Pepe quickly captured the hearts of readers and gained recognition as an iconic character.

MOOKY

$MOOK token: mooky.io

The core mission of MOOKY revolves around promoting environmental improvement and inspiring change through global tree-planting initiatives, anchored in the world of web3.

MOODY is community-owned, with token holders able to actively participate in decision-making through DAO voting, granting every community member a sense of platform ownership.

The MOOKY ecosystem also introduces fascinating 3D NFTs, which offer both ROI potential and practical utility. These NFTs provide access to the exclusive Mooky Venture Club, where members can enjoy various perks such as airdrops, merchandise, and passive income generated from investments.

DOGE

meme coins dogecoin
Dogecoin: dogecoin.com

Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that was created in 2013 as a light-hearted and meme-inspired digital currency. It takes its name from the popular “Doge” internet meme featuring a Shiba Inu dog. Dogecoin is a Luckycoin fork, which is a Litecoin fork (which is a fork of Bitcoin).

Over the years, Dogecoin has gained a significant following and has been used for various charitable causes and tipping content creators online. Its community is often referred to as the “Doge Army.”

Dogecoin’s value and popularity have experienced fluctuations in the cryptocurrency market, influenced by factors such as social media trends and celebrity endorsements. It’s important to note that while Dogecoin began as a playful and satirical cryptocurrency, it has gained recognition and utility beyond its initial intentions.

SHIB

meme coins shiba inu
Shiba Inu token: shibatoken.com

Shiba Inu Token is a cryptocurrency that was introduced in August 2020. It takes its name from the Shiba Inu breed of dog, which gained popularity as an internet meme. Shiba Inu Token, often referred to as SHIB, aims to capitalize on the meme culture and community-driven nature of cryptocurrencies.

SHIB is built on the Ethereum blockchain and is considered an ERC-20 token. It was created with the intention of providing a decentralized alternative to other cryptocurrencies and establishing a vibrant community of holders.

The token’s logo features the likeness of a Shiba Inu dog, which has become synonymous with the token’s identity. One of the notable aspects of Shiba Inu Token is its supply, as trillions of tokens were initially minted.

FLOKI

meme coins floki inu
Floki Inu: floki.com

Originated as a meme-coin inspired by Elon Musk’s dog, FLOKI has since transformed into a comprehensive web3 project encompassing decentralized finance, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the Metaverse, and philanthropy.

Positioned as the “People’s Crypto,” Floki has set ambitious goals, including the establishment of schools on every continent, with a particular focus on underdeveloped regions.

Operating on both the Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain (BSC) blockchains, FLOKI is a multi-chain token. It implements a built-in 3% tax mechanism that is applied to both token purchases and sales, ensuring ongoing support for the project’s initiatives.

Should you invest in memecoins?

For professional/serious investors and traders, trading memecoins offers the potential for rapid gains. That is also the case for casual/retail investors. But memecoin prices move rapidly. This complicates things for investors who don’t always watch markets. For this reason, casual investors likely face a higher risk of incurring substantial losses on their memecoin investments.

When it comes down to it, whether to invest in memecoins is up to the individual. If an investor is happy to own an asset that can fluctuate by orders of magnitude in a matter of days, all power to them. One piece of sound advice that most retail/casual investors are advised to follow, however, is not to invest more money in memecoins than they can afford to lose. Plowing one’s life savings into the latest trending memecoin could make a person rich, but could just as easily end in disaster and leave a person broke.

Will memecoins continue to flourish?

Memecoins have risen to prominence in the past few years, all riding on the back of Dogecoin. Now, the focus is on increasing the utility of the tokens, with many projects switching to games and technical developments to boost usage.

The market will likely see many more memecoins going forward. However, as it stands, the ones mentioned in this list are dominating the niche and are expanding with more features. These may even change the nature of memecoins, which could result in an interesting future.

Frequently asked questions

How do I buy memecoins?

What are memecoins?

How to find new memecoins?

Where to buy memecoins?

Which meme coin is the best?

Is a meme coin a good investment?

How much is a memecoin worth?

Top crypto projects in the US | May 2024

Trusted

Disclaimer

In line with the Trust Project guidelines, the educational content on this website is offered in good faith and for general information purposes only. BeInCrypto prioritizes providing high-quality information, taking the time to research and create informative content for readers. While partners may reward the company with commissions for placements in articles, these commissions do not influence the unbiased, honest, and helpful content creation process. Any action taken by the reader based on this information is strictly at their own risk. Please note that our Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, and Disclaimers have been updated.

IMG_4119.png
Joel Frank
Since graduating with a degree in economics in the UK in 2018, Joel has worked as a financial market/cryptocurrency analyst. Joel firmly believes that emerging crypto technology will transform the world for the better through the facilitation of decentralization.
READ FULL BIO
Sponsored
Sponsored