Meme Coin Mania: what drives the wild 100x pumps of the next generation of meme coins?!

From DogeCoin to Shiba Inu and now to PepeCoinEth, the memetic power is alive and kicking in the crypto space.

Memes have massive influence. Fact. They have become an integral part of internet culture and for younger generations simply an integral part of their own culture and digital identities. These viral images, videos, or phrases spread rapidly across the web, often with humorous or satirical intentions capturing hearts at scale: memes know no borders, no age differences, gender, or origin. Everybody loves them, all over the world. Their widespread appeal and easily shareable nature have led to a new viral phenomenon on platforms like 4Chan.

Until now they were mostly confined to digital formats, copy-pasteable .jpegs or .movs without much second thought. But since the invention of blockchain, NFTs, and DeFi, they have become a lot more powerful: they have become a new kind of currency in the world of cryptocurrency, simply called ‘meme coins’. In this post, we will explore the phenomenon of some of the most wildly successful meme coins, starting with a brief history of memes to get a better understanding of the underlying force, then evaluating some of the most successful meme coins we have seen to date, and concluding with a discussion of the biggest memes of all time ‘Pepe the Frog’ and the narrative around why a new coin called PepeCoinEth has seen such a strong rise to fame and a powerful rise to half a billion market cap within a few days. Chad moves.

‘I like Memes’

To meme or not to meme, that is the History of Memes

The term ‘meme’ was first introduced by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. Dawkins used the word to describe an idea or concept that could be ‘transmitted from person to person, just like genes are passed down from generation to generation’. However, the modern use of the term is associated with the internet culture, where memes have become a form of social currency.

‘The Selfish Gene’ by Richard Dawkins

The first internet meme is generally considered to be the “Dancing Baby” from the 1996 animated GIF. This meme gained widespread popularity on early internet forums and was widely shared via email. Since then, memes have evolved and diversified into various forms, such as image macros, reaction images, and videos.

Some of the most popular memes today include the “Success Kid,” “Grumpy Cat,” “Harlem Shake,” “Wojak”, “Doge,” “Pepe the Frog” and a number of other internet characters which describe pretty much any emotion and any state of mind one could eve experience (and most of us have gone through at one point or another in our lives).

Today, even mainstream media cannot get away without using memes every now and then to make you feel like one of them.

The Guardian’s use of ‘The White Guy Blinking’ meme has been quite the PR stunt.

In recent years, with the invention of Blockchains and Cryptocurrency tokens, both erc20s and erc721s, memes have taken over the financial media as well, including most of Twitter communicating exclusively with memes – so far that even the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, often uses memes to share his thoughts or point out the obvious on his Twitter profile (a platform which he now owns).

Elon Musk on Twitter: “Also the plot of Deus Ex / Twitter”

Also the plot of Deus Ex

But memes go even deeper in crypto since some degens have discovered that they can 1000x the force of memes when coupled with viral marketing campaigns and with liquidity games such as liquidity mining, vesting schedules, DEX strategies, and airdrops. Shibaswap was the first memecoin-defi platform, created by the Shiba community and fully operated by Shiba Inu Tokens and its derivatives such as $BONES and $WOOF. Needless to say, liquidity quickly dried up and everything went to sh*t in the bear market.

But so what are these Meme Coins all about, and why are some so successful?

Let’s dive in!

Who let the Doge out, who who who…


The Japanese Dog-e-coin, created in 2013 by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, is one of the earliest and most well-known meme coins. Its inspiration came from the Shiba Inu dog meme, which was popular at the time. Dogecoin’s success can be attributed to its appeal to the online community and its celebrity endorsements, notably from, again, Elon Musk who even recently made it the official Twitter logo.

At its peak in May 2021, Dogecoin reached a market capitalization of over $90 billion. However, its value has since declined significantly, and it currently has a market cap of around $35 billion. Despite this, Dogecoin remains a popular and well-known meme coin, with a loyal following. generally, it is portrayed as the Godfather Meme Coin, the Genesis Meme Coin so to speak. Then came, the “Shiba Army”…

Shibu Ina to the Moon!

Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu is another meme-inspired cryptocurrency that gained popularity in 2021. It is often referred to as the “Dogecoin killer” due to its similar origin story and community-driven nature. Shiba Inu’s success can be attributed to its low initial price and the support of social media influencers, such as Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum.

At its peak in May 2021, Shiba Inu reached a market capitalization of over $13 billion. Its current market cap is around $4 billion, indicating a significant decline in value. Nevertheless, Shiba Inu remains a popular and active cryptocurrency, with a large community and active trading volume.

But behold! The Dog days are over! Frogs are back in fashion.

Make Memes Great Again

$PEPE Coin: The Narrative of a Pepe Coin bull run.

Pepe the Frog is one of the most well-known and controversial memes of all time. It is potentially THE most well-known meme of all time. Originally created by artist Matt Furie in 2005, Pepe became a popular internet meme in the early 2010s. However, its association with far-right and white nationalist groups led to its classification as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League in 2016.

Despite this controversy, Pepe remains a popular and recognizable meme, with a large online community. The narrative around a Pepe coin is that it would be incredibly powerful due to its broad appeal and ability to bridge various online communities. However, it is important to note that any association with hate groups would likely be detrimental to the success of a new meme coin.

But this is no longer a dream. On April 14th, 2023, a group of anon degens launched PepeCoinEth — ticker $PEPE on Ethereum. The coin was heavily marketed by a number of NFT influencers and quickly grew to a $1.5B market cap, in a meteoric rise to fame, leaving many coping with the immense gains while making early speculators filthy rich in a matter of days.

At the time of writing $PEPE just made a new ATH, up almost 1250% on the week, as per Coingecko:

Ladies and gentlemen, Memes are the new Currency. CT even contemplates if $PEPE will lead the bull run in this cycle, and from what we currently see it could very well be the case. Don’t even get me started on $Wojak, $Bonk, $GChad or $Mong. Everything is pumping double and even triple digits — and it’s beautiful to see after almost 18 months of down-trending markets.

Last but not least, speculators and meme degens should however thread carefully around these highly volatile assets. The liquidity across DEXs remains low and from what the latest on-chain data shows one whale of the top 10 holders of $PEPE is enough technically to remove 99% of liquidity and ‘rug’ the coin to 0 within one or two transactions. It wouldn’t really be in anyone’s best interest to do that, even the big holder will probably still see a 1000x if they remain patient, but everything could happen at this point quite frankly.

The current total holder count of $PEPE however is only 60k — comparatively Shiba Inu sits at 1.3M holder. And although the market cap sharply rose to $1.5B within a three weeks, it is still very far away from the $35B or doge or even the $4B of Shiba, so we could still see massive upside in multiple metrics.

All in all, we can conclude that we are still pretty early in the overall meme coin markets, with only a handful of memes making serious headlines. The seriousness and longevity of the $PEPE coin have yet to be proven, so remaining cautiously optimistic is probably the best stance to take here for the time being. Secure your moon bags, let the market do the rest.

Yes, meme coins have become a new form of cryptocurrency, focusing on community and online culture. But while some, such as Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, have achieved significant success, others have failed. The biggest and most popular meme of all however, Pepe the Frog, has only just found its way on the new frontier of financial infrastructure called Ethereum Mainnet, and with all the hype around memes lately both in DeFi and NFT land, we will probably still see some upside in both adoption and market cap.

wen mooooooooooon?

Bare in mind: NFA! KEK

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Meme Coin Mania: what drives the wild 100x pumps of the next generation of meme coins?! was originally published in district0x Updates on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Bitcoin Ordinals: an overhyped technicality or a new asset class about to reset the NFT space?

Spotlighting the most important developments in web3

How Satoshi inscriptions take on the multichain NFT ecosystem by promising god-tier non-fungible assets on the gold standard.

What Are Bitcoin Ordinals? Are they NFTs as we know them from other chains? Or are Ordinals the latest massive discovery in the Bitcoin space ready to ignite the next bull run? Or are they an attack on Bitcoin’s fungibility seeking to devalue the most liquid asset of all?

Bitcoin has revolutionized the financial industry by introducing a decentralized digital currency that is based on cryptography, providing an alternative to traditional banking systems and allowing users to transfer funds directly to each other without the need for intermediaries. One of the key features of bitcoin is that it has a finite supply, with a maximum of 21 million bitcoins that can ever be created.

However, this finite supply also raises questions about the value of bitcoin as an asset, and how it can be compared to other assets such as gold or stocks. This is where the concept of bitcoin ordinals comes in. Bitcoin ordinals are a way of comparing the value of bitcoin to other assets, based on its scarcity and the number of units available, and here is why they are something worth paying attention to:

domo on Twitter: "In the shadow of the Blur vs. Opensea conflict, Ordinals are quietly having their own marketplace wars. 1/x / Twitter"

In the shadow of the Blur vs. Opensea conflict, Ordinals are quietly having their own marketplace wars. 1/x

In this post, we will explore the concept of bitcoin ordinals in more detail, looking into what they are and how they are calculated, what they can tell us about the value of bitcoin, and they are used in practice.

So wtf are these ‘Ordinals’ anyway?

Bitcoin Ordinals arise from an old argument in the Bitcoin community: ‘Is BTC a simple currency for transacting or should we also use it as a secure and decentralized network to store data?’.

In a nutshell, Bitcoin Ordinals are “ sats ” or satoshis (the lowest unit of Bitcoin with a value of 0.00000001 BTC), that have been ordered and inscribed with a piece of information, such as a hash or an image. This piece of information makes the sat unique and turns it into a de-facto NFT. Ordinal numbers are a way of ranking objects based on their value or size. For example, if we have three objects A, B, and C, we can rank them in order of size or value using ordinal numbers, such as for example: A=1, B=2, and C=3. We might say that A is the smallest, B is the second-smallest, and C is the largest.

Here are the official docs for a deeper dive into the theory behind Ordinals.

An easy-to-understand analogy would be two one-dollar bills. Both are fully fungible but have a non-fungible element to them, which allows us to identify each bill as unique: their serial number – which theoretically makes every bill a unique “NFT”. You could still spend it as regular money, but the serials make the bill’s significance unique. Ordinals work in the same manner: they take advantage of the fact that each individual satoshi can be uniquely identified by its “ordinal number”.

Both the numbering scheme and the transfer scheme rely on order, the numbering scheme on the order in which satoshis are mined, and the transfer scheme on the order of transaction inputs and outputs. Thus the name, ordinals.

Check out this Dune Dashboard for an accurate real tie data analysis of Ordinals:

trending up only

If Bitcoin is to become the world reserve currency, that would most presumably leave no room for experimental use cases like inscribing data onto its block space. But since the two significant hard fork updates, Taproot and Segwit raised the block size limit from 80 bytes to 4 MB however, this outcome has become more of a possibility. In simple terms, these updates introduced, among other effects, a different way of measuring block size, which allows data to be arranged in a more effective way — and therefore store more data directly on-chain.

But how do Ordinals Inscriptions actually work?

According to Ordinals inventor Casey Rodarmor, the position of a satoshi in the Bitcoin blockchain can be linked according to its index in a block, its index in the block difficulty adjustment period, its index in the block halving epoch, and, finally, its cycle number index— making it possible to ‘rank’ ordinals accordingly and therefore catalog them.

Using this indexing model, the first ever sat in a block would be rarer since it’s the first sat, and the last one would be the least rare one of all. All sats in between would carry some sort of rarity based on their distance from either end, somewhat analogous to how some tokens used to be valued among collectors for being part of a ‘rare’ mint.

A text-based NFT (“inscription”) containing the words “Hello, world!” (Ordinal Theory Handbook).

Check out this deep technical dive by Porteaux, for even more insight and detail into the legendary OP_RETURN function allowing ‘inscriptions’.

Ordinal inscriptions function as ‘digital artifacts’ that do not require a separate token or a sidechain which is the case with most other NFTs on other chains. They are stored in taproot script-path spend scripts, which are a unique type of Bitcoin transaction. First, a taproot output is created with the inscription content. Then, the output is ‘spent’, revealing the inscription content on the blockchain. The inscription content is wrapped in an “envelope,” which is a type of no-op that does not alter the script. For example, to store the string “Up Only” on the blockchain, it would be wrapped in an envelope and stored in a taproot output. The inscription can then be tracked using the rules of ordinal theory, enabling it to be transferred, bought, sold, or even recovered if lost.

Think of Ordinals as ”envelopes” for data inscribed onto Satoshis. Since the block size limit on Bitcoin is 4 MB however, this is the ceiling for data that can be inscribed — not very practical. So technically, Satoshis are still fungible, but each inscribed sat would be unique because it carries a non-fungible piece of information or data, calculated according to its ‘index on-chain’.

Currently Ordinals market is the #1 marketplace for trading ordinals, although the volume remains limited.

But how does all this compare to NFTs on other chains, let’s say Ethereum or Polygon?

Are Ordinals the same as other NFTs?

Although ordinals are similar to NFTs, they function fundamentally differently. Ordinals are technically still satoshis — thus not their own token standard as we know it from erc-721s or 1155s. The raw file data is inscribed directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain, rather than minted as a new token like other NFTs. And while the actual raw file data is written into the Bitcoin blockchain, NFTs on other chains can contain reference points to files that are not even hosted on the blockchain, but live on hosting services such as Pinata and IPFS for example.

Before you keep reading check out this explorer to look up initial inscriptions.

This is tricky, however, since as mentioned above Bitcoin’s block size is limited to 4MB, and there is a hard cap of 21 million coins. If all block space on the blockchain were to be used for ordinals, it would limit the number of ‘NFTs’ that could be minted. Ordinals would have to become incredibly popular to consume all block space on Bitcoin, but technically it is still possible.

Regardless of that limitation, creators have already started launching collections on Ordinals, with one of the most popular collections being The Bitcoin Punks:

Bitcoin Punk #5412 (Inscription #18067)

Also, another significant difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum NFTs is that Bitcoin does not have smart contracts, making the handling of ordinals unique. Decentralized exchanges, accessible wallets, and user interfaces are not readily available, and trading must occur ‘over-the-counter’. Despite these limitations, however, there has been a recent surge of interest in ordinals (mostly fueled by the hordes of opportunists on Crypto Twitter). Nonetheless, there is more: another interesting feature of ordinals is that sats could carry multiple inscriptions, potentially creating multi-vector NFTs on Bitcoin! While this has not yet happened, it is a possibility.

Finally, while NFTs on EVM chains can be lost if access to the wallet is lost, inscribed sats can be accidentally spent. This means that the miner processing the transaction would become the owner of the ordinal. Consequently, the Bitcoin blockchain could become cluttered with “sats with artifacts,” akin to damaged or tainted currency bills in circulation — ultimately jamming up the entire god-chain. This may indicate that ordinals are not really suited to function in a similar manner to NFTs, we yet have to understand and experiment more to fully grasp the benefit of ordinal numbers on the BTC chain.

In Conclusion, we can see that crypto Twitter is all up in arms about Ordinals, on one side the stale bitcoin maxis trying to discredit it, and on the other the futurist welcoming this as the next big thing in crypto hyping the s*it out of it to get plebs to buy their bags.
Yet, some members of the Bitcoin community view Ordinals and their consequences as proof that the Bitcoin security model may need fixing.
It’s difficult to see how Bitcoin could serve as an “arbiter of truth” with Ordinals igniting this wave of disagreements in a deeply rooted community. Although the idea that data may be stored on the Bitcoin blockchain in a verifiable, decentralized way has been brought up time and time again, at this moment, it does not appear very likely — simply due to the technicalities and technical boundaries Ordinals imply.

NFTs on Bitcoin, however, are nothing new:

Rare Pepes project: OG NFTs on bitcoin using Counterparty (fun fact: also based on OP_RETURN).

Counterparty (XCP — popularized by the legendary Rare Pepe Project) has made NFTs readily available on Bitcoin since 2014, so NFTs on Bitcoin definitely isn’t anything new.
The Bitcoin community has been surely been spooked by Bitcoin Ordinals, however, and so has the NFT community at large. But only time will tell whether Ordinals will have an important influence on Bitcoin outside of the typical community debates.

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For more information about the district0x network:

Bitcoin Ordinals: an overhyped technicality or a new asset class about to reset the NFT space? was originally published in district0x Updates on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.