What Are Meme Coins and How Do They Work?

What Are Meme Coins and How Do They Work?
What Are Meme Coins and How Do They Work?
By OrukeDec 18, 20230 comment

Ever wonder what exactly a meme coin is and why they're becoming so popular? You've probably heard about Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, and Floki Inu recently thanks to headlines and social media. Well, let me break it down for you. Meme coins are cryptocurrencies inspired by internet memes and popular culture.

They often feature cute or funny mascots and names as a way to go viral and gain mainstream attention. While some dismiss them as jokes, meme coins have developed into their own unique crypto market segment. They can be highly speculative, but also potentially lucrative. If you've got an appetite for risk and just want to have some fun, meme coins might be for you. But go in with your eyes open - they're not like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Here's everything you need to know about the world of meme coins.

What Are Meme Coins?

Meme coins, as the name suggests, are cryptocurrencies that start as internet jokes or memes. They’re not meant to be taken seriously but end up gaining popularity and value. The biggest examples are Dogecoin and Shiba Inu coin.

What Gives Them Value?

Meme coins don’t usually serve an actual purpose or have any utility. They’re not solving real-world problems like some other cryptocurrencies. Their value comes almost entirely from hype and popularity. As more people buy in and interest surges, the value can skyrocket. But the reverse is also true - if interest wanes, the value can plummet.

High Risk, Potentially High Reward

Investing in meme coins is very risky since they’re volatile and unpredictable. But with big hype, the rewards can also be huge. Some people have made millions from meme coins that blew up. Of course, many others have lost money chasing those highs. The golden rule with meme coins is: only invest money that you can afford to lose.

Community Driven

What meme coins lack in real-world utility, they make up for in community. They have enthusiastic online followings and supporters. The communities around meme coins are an integral part of their popularity and success. Community members promote the coins on social media, generate buzz, and even create additional versions or offshoots of the coins. The community’s passion and energy are what give most meme coins their momentum.

Love them or hate them, meme coins are an interesting cultural phenomenon in the world of crypto. And as long as there are internet jokes and hype, meme coins are here to stay.

The Origin of Meme Coins

Meme coins, like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, started as jokes but have turned into real cryptocurrencies. Their origin stories show how virality and hype can drive value in crypto.

Back in 2013, software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer launched Dogecoin as a satire of the many altcoins popping up at the time. They chose the Shiba Inu dog meme as their mascot and adopted its silly grammar like “much coin, so crypto, wow.” Unexpectedly, Dogecoin garnered a passionate community and real market value.

In 2020, an anonymous developer launched Shiba Inu coin, naming it after the same dog meme and hoping to replicate Dogecoin’s success. It worked. After being listed on some major exchanges, Shiba Inu coin skyrocketed in value as social media hype spread.

The success of these meme coins demonstrates some important points about cryptocurrency:

Virality and hype matter. Meme coins spread like wildfire on social media, gaining mainstream attention and driving speculative interest. Their cute mascots and feel-good stories resonate with people.

Community support is key. Though started as jokes, meme coins gained real, passionate communities that helped raise awareness and adoption. Community support allows any coin to thrive.

Value is subjective. Meme coins lack the utility of other crypto but still accrued billions in market value, showing how subjective and hype-driven the crypto market can be. Value depends on what people believe, not any inherent worth.

Mainstream interest impacts markets. Meme coins attracted interest from outside crypto circles, bringing new money and momentum into the market. Mainstream hype significantly impacts crypto prices, for better or worse.

While meme coins may seem silly, their origin stories offer insights into how social sentiment, hype, and belief shape value in the world of decentralized digital money. They demonstrate the power communities have to drive mainstream interest and make the improbable happen.

How Meme Coins Gain Value

Meme coins, as the name suggests, gain value primarily through hype and popularity on social media rather than traditional metrics like technology or corporate partnerships. Their value comes from the “hype” around the coin created by communities of investors and traders.

Social media buzz

The more people talk about a meme coin on platforms like Reddit, Twitter, and Telegram, the more interest and FOMO (fear of missing out) it generates. This buzz attracts new investors looking to get in on the action, which then drives the coin’s price up. Meme coins are especially popular with younger, more risk-tolerant investors who see them as a way to get big gains from a small investment.

Influencers and hype

Popular crypto influencers, especially on TikTok and YouTube, promote meme coins to their followers which ignites interest and pumps up the hype. The influencers often own large amounts of the coin, so they benefit financially when they encourage their followers to buy in and the price spikes.

Scarcity and novelty

Meme coins that have a limited supply and seem novel or quirky often gain more hype and popularity. Coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu have become popular in part because of their dog-themed brands and mascots. Their perceived scarcity and novelty make them feel like exciting, exclusive clubs to be a part of.


Once a meme coin starts gaining momentum, fear of missing out kicks in for many investors. No one wants to miss the next Dogecoin-like success story. This FOMO fuels demand for the coins, even from those who don’t fully understand the project or technology behind it. The fear of being left out of the party drives people to buy in at any price.

While risky, the huge gains possible from meme coins will likely ensure their popularity and hype-driven value continues, at least for the foreseeable future. For investors with a high-risk tolerance, meme coins can be an opportunity to turn a little money into a whole lot more.

Risks and Rewards of Investing in Meme Coins Risks and Rewards of Investing in Meme Coins

When it comes to investing in meme coins, the risks are high but the rewards can be huge. As with any investment, you need to go in with your eyes open to the potential downsides.

The major risk is that meme coins are extremely volatile. Prices can swing wildly up and down, often based more on hype and social media buzz than any real changes in the coin’s technology or adoption. What’s hot today can quickly become yesterday’s news, leaving investors holding bags of worthless digital assets.

However, the possibility of massive gains also exists. If you get in early on a meme coin that catches on, the returns can be life-changing. Coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu have turned early investors into millionaires, at least on paper. The trick is finding the next meme coin that will take off before the hype starts. Of course, the odds of picking a winner are very small given how many new meme coins emerge every week.

Another risk to consider is that meme coins have little inherent value. They are not solving any real-world problems like many other cryptocurrencies aim to do. Once the hype and entertainment factor wear off, the coin can quickly collapse without any actual use case or technology to fall back on.

On the other hand, the entertainment value that meme coins provide some investors is a kind of reward in itself. They are fun to trade, especially when prices are mooning, and the community around the coins can be an engaging social experience for those interested in that type of thing.

As with all high-risk, high-reward investments, only put money into meme coins that you can afford to lose. And do your own research to find the coins with the best chances of not just going to the moon but establishing a longer-term presence. The meme coin space is volatile, but for thrill-seeking investors, the ups and downs can be part of the appeal.

Examples of Popular Meme Coins

Meme coins, also known as meme cryptocurrencies, are inspired by internet memes and popular culture. They are highly volatile and speculative, but some have still managed to gain mainstream popularity and success. Here are a few of the most well-known meme coins.

Dogecoin (DOGE)

Dogecoin started as a joke based on the popular Doge meme, but has since become one of the most valuable meme cryptocurrencies. It features the Shiba Inu from the Doge meme as its logo. Dogecoin is inflationary, meaning there is no limit to the number of coins that can be produced.

Shiba Inu (SHIB)

Shiba Inu, also known as SHIB, is an Ethereum-based meme coin themed after the Shiba Inu dog breed. It brands itself as the “Dogecoin Killer” and has seen huge gains in popularity and value. Like Dogecoin, SHIB is inflationary.

Grumpy Cat Coin (GCC)

Grumpy Cat Coin is inspired by the viral internet sensation Grumpy Cat. It features the grumpy feline as its logo and aims to spread “good vibes and positivity”. However, GCC is not very well known and has little value or mainstream adoption.


MoonCoin brands itself as a “magical internet money” themed after a crescent moon. It donates a portion of mined coins to charity and local communities. MoonCoin has been around since 2013 but has failed to gain much mainstream popularity or value.

Meme coins are highly risky and volatile, but some have managed to strike gold and go mainstream. But at the end of the day, most are just in it for the lols and memes. If you want to invest in meme coins, only put in money that you can afford to lose, as their value can drop to nothing at a moment's notice. But who knows, you might just find the next Dogecoin!


So there you have it, a quick rundown on meme coins and how they operate in the cryptocurrency space. While they can be highly speculative and risky, meme coins have captured the attention of casual crypto enthusiasts and new investors alike. For better or worse, it seems meme coins are here to stay as an alternative way for people to get involved in the world of cryptocurrency. If the hype around certain meme coins is any indication, these digital assets are poised to remain an engaging part of crypto culture. If you do decide to invest in meme coins, just go in with your eyes open to the volatility and do your own research. You never know, that meme coin could be the next big thing or it could be yesterday’s news. The choice is yours. Happy memeing!

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