What’s a meme coin?

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It’s time to spill the beans: At least once in your lifetime, you have wondered what sort of beast meme coins. And we really can’t blame you as they are fun, tradeable, popular, and Elon Musk-related (a biggie for sure).
What’s a meme coin?
It’s time to spill the beans: At least once in your lifetime, you have wondered what sort of beast meme coins. And we really can’t blame you as they are fun, tradeable, popular, and Elon Musk-related (a biggie for sure).
In this article, we will provide you with all the key bits and bobs that will help you understand what this class of coins is all about and help you navigate the ever-growing pool of coins with cute doggo avatars.
What sets meme coins apart 
Let’s start with the easy part: the meme. This term encompasses any type of picture on the web that is usually humorous and viral because everyone loves it. Simple as that.

Since the invention of social media, – which, as our younger audience would be shocked to find, has been around for less than two decades, – memes’ succinct funny messages and pictures have become an integral part of the internet culture.
Because of their popularity and omnipresence, they quickly made their way into the crypto-verse, garnering attention from the public worldwide. 
Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two established mammoth cryptocurrencies, meme coins lack bells or whistles such as sophisticated hard forks. They are simply here for the traders to be traded. They are also highly volatile, often have an infinite supply, are dependent on media hype, and tend to have a very low value, i.e. way below the 1 USD threshold.
They are the kind of coins that are there just “for funz”, albeit with potential use cases. At least that is what well-known crypto bull Mark Cuban thinks.
They also seem to be targeting people from the “woof-woof” team, not the “meow-meow” one as virtually all of them feature dogs, particularly the Shiba Inu breed. 

Alas, we cannot explain why the creators decided to leave the kitties out this time. It is one of the many mysteries that the crypto-verse has to offer.
Top five coins 
Now that we know what meme coins are in a nutshell, let’s take a closer look at the leading meme coin projects. 
According to Coingecko, the five meme coins with the largest market cap include: 
· Dogecoin (DOGE)
· Shiba Inu (SHIB)
· Baby Doge Coin (BABYDOGE)
· Dogelon Mars (ELON)
· Floki Inu (FLOKI) 
Source: Coingecko

Source: Coingecko

Dogecoin (DOGE) is, arguably, one of the most well-known meme coins.
Launched in 2013 by Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, DOGE is a peer-to-peer, open-source cryptocurrency that features the Shiba Inu dog as its logo. Created as a joke, Dogecoin runs on the Litecoin blockchain and uses a script algorithm and the proof of work consensus.
Its main features include its low price, unlimited supply, and heavy dependence on praise from Elon Musk, who in 2019 came out, though jokingly, as its CEO. As with all things Musk-related, the community went cuckoo about this revelation, boosting its price overnight. 
Other celebrities, such as Cuban and the “la-la-la” rapper Snoop Dogg have also been promoting the coin – and with great success. In 2021, when Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, and Snoop Dogg endorsed Dogecoin, the coin saw a price increase of 800% within 24 hours. 

To date, Musk continues to support the project.
Like DOGE, Shiba Inu (SHIB), another meme coin, also features a dog of the same breed. 

Created in August 2020 by an anonymous person or group known as "Ryoshi", it is a decentralized cryptocurrency that calls itself the “Dogecoin killer.” In 2021, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, donated more than 50 trillion SHIB (worth over $1 billion at the time) to the India COVID-Crypto Relief Fund, which used it to curb the spread of the coronavirus in India.
Did it manage to kill DOGE though? The short answer is no.
Baby Doge, another popular meme coin, is likewise an extension of DOGE. Although it launched at an ultra low price of $0.000000000175 on June 1, 2021, in less than a month it saw a 44-fold increase. 

Then, however, it plummeted and has not shown a strong performance since. 
Baby Doge also has an NFT extension, which now offers users PlayToEarn (P2E) utility through its partnership with Petaverse in the Decentraland metaverse
Dogelon Mars (ELON) is another meme coin launched in 2021. What makes ELON special is that its mascot also stars in a comic series which is available as an NFT. Like Shiba Inu, ELON’s team decided to send half of the token supply to Buterin who again donated it – this time to the Methuselah Foundation in the US. 

In February 2022, the Foundation, which still has the coins, wrote a post saying, “If you dismiss $ELON as just another meme token, you’re totally missing the point. We believe in the potential of Dogelon Mars,” adding that “it is a mission token.”
The FLOKI Inu coin is the fifth largest meme coin by market cap, which “gives power and opportunity to the people — to the underdogs — instead of venture capitalists and hedge funds” and aims to “be the most known and most used cryptocurrency in the world”, according to the project’s site

The creators highlight the importance of the meme culture, with the team behind it saying that “our community loves and lives for the memes.” They also view it as a way to mainstream crypto adoption. 

“Memes appeal to everybody: to poor and rich, to small and great, and to young and old alike. This is why the people’s cryptocurrency is a meme at heart,” they write.
Though not leading the charts just yet, recently another meme token made headlines – the Saudi Shiba Inu, which is trending on CoinMarketCap. The project is already gearing up to launch a collection of NFTs and plans to create a decentralized exchange (DEX) that supports meme coin listing.
Wrapping it up
Even though most meme coins remain on the lighter side of crypto, it is undeniable that their allure is growing. New projects keep popping up in the crypto space, receiving publicity for reasons both good and bad. So, if you are thinking of investing in some of them, we advise that you do your homework thoroughly.