Since 2013, we have seen a vast array of meme coins entering the cryptocurrency space and exploding in popularity. Originally, their existence was just for fun and entertainment – the result of crypto nerds creating silly Bitcoin forks. The first meme coin to come into existence was Dogecoin, a fork of Litecoin created back in December 2013.
After Dogecoin, we saw a string of meme coins such as:
These coins did not last long. All of the coins above with the exception of Dogecoin (DOGE), are now considered dead cryptocurrencies. However, those meme coins were not intended to stand the test of time, as they were never regarded as serious investments or the future of global finance.
During the 2017 bull run, the main focus was on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), something which meme coins did not have. Meme cryptocurrencies were not taken seriously, as intended by their creators. The meme coin movement was relatively subtle – until 2020.
The 2020 Jumper Cable
By 2020, the only meme coin that made it to the top 100 was Dogecoin. Until late 2020, Dogecoin was considered a relic of past times, one of the ancient wonders of cryptocurrencies; not a cryptocurrency to invest 50% of your portfolio into.
DOGE screenshot August 2020
From the highs of 2018, Dogecoin was trading sideways and stagnating, from a price perspective. The coin remained a significant stride away from its all-time high; users simply held the cryptocurrency for fun, placing maybe $100-$250 USD maximum into the cryptocurrency.
DOGE/USD January 2018 to October 2020
However, during this time, Elon Musk was brewing interest around DOGE. His first real crypto-related tweet was in April 2019, after he was voted CEO of Dogecoin in a Twitter poll, stating that Dogecoin might just be his favourite cryptocurrency.
Elon Musk & DOGE
The second tweet which brought Dogecoin to the forefront of cryptocurrency interest also originated by Elon Musk. It is depicted in the figure below. The significant engagement around the tweet served to re-ignite the interest and desire for meme coins in the crypto community.
Elon Musk / DOGE meme
Ease of Creation
Over the past 12 months, we have seen a flurry and explosion of meme coins in the cryptocurrency world. New layer-1 blockchains such as Ethereum, Tron, Binance Smart Chain, and Solana, which have been around since 2013 enabled meme coins to be created in a short period of time. With those platforms, anyone could create a website, social posts, and a meme coin in less than 24 hours.
With the cryptocurrency bull run in full swing, Dogecoin soared thanks to the support of Elon Musk and other high profile characters such as SnoopDog. Many attempted to take advantage of the meme coin trend. This led to the creation of other meme coins such as:
- Shiba Inu
- Dogelon Mars
Currently, there is no shortage of meme coins available. In the figure below, simply typing ‘shiba’ into the CoinGecko search bar generates a handful of random Shiba-related meme coins.
Lots of meme coins available
Shifting Focus in the Meme Coin Space
DOGE = Initial Mover
Dogecoin was one of the top-performing cryptocurrencies from November 2020 to May 2021. Over this time period, DOGE went on a +30,000% bull run. This led to DOGE becoming the fourth-largest cryptocurrency during this phase. Since then, DOGE has had a -70% move, falling from $0.70 USD to $0.22 USD.
During the bullish impulse period, DOGE amassed a market capitalization of over $70,000,000,000 USD! The world went mad for Dogecoin. As we can see in the chart below, the social volume for DOGE soared, particularly in mid-April to early May 2021, as DOGE reached its current ATHs.
DOGE social volume has soared
Shiba Inu = Secondary Mover
One of the only cryptocurrencies which outperformed DOGE in late 2020 is Shiba Inu (SHIB). The cryptocurrency has soared from complete obscurity into the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. SHIB has subsequently increased +49,900,000% since its all-time low in November 2020.
SHIB/USDT performance has been exceptional
In recent weeks, SHIB has witnessed a price explosion, going against the overall direction of altcoins, most notably DOGE. Since the start of June, SHIB is up 200% while DOGE has been down 32%. Needless to say, investor interest is shifting from the old DOGE meme coin towards SHIB.
SHIB / USDT vs DOGE / USDT
SAMO = Tertiary Mover?
It is highly unlikely that DOGE or SHIB will see a continuation of the 10x price gains seen over recent months. The reason for this explosive price increase may be attributed to the high market capitalization of these cryptocurrencies.
DOGE & SHIB current market capitalization
Therefore it seems likely that users will flock towards a new meme coin. One coin meme coin which looks most likely to follow the same growth trajectory as DOGE and SHIB is SAMO.
SAMO is the main meme coin of the Solana ecosystem. It was created in order to be an ambassador for Solana. The coin was inspired by DOGE and is named after the Samoyed dog, as shown below.
Fluffy Samoyed dog
The dog originates from eastern Europe, the same region of the world that Solana founder Anatoly Yakovenko is from. Solana is a rapidly expanding ecosystem with the target of being the first cryptocurrency to reach one billion users.
SAMO is currently generating interest and is currently seeing ATH volume as it attempts to break through its previous all-time high. The interest in SAMO is increasing, despite SAMO not being listed on the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the space, namely Coinbase, Binance, and Huobi.
SAMO / USDT
SAMO is More Than a Meme Coin
SAMO has recently developed the SAMODEX. Additionally, SAMO is now releasing exclusive SAMO NFTs, airdropping NFTs to SAMO HODLers.
NFTs being airdropped
Unlike DOGE, which is inflationary, SAMO is deflationary and plans to burn 64% of the total supply. If this occurs, SAMO could witness a supply shortage, driving up the price of SAMO coins, potentially leading to SAMO becoming the tertiary meme coin mover.
Overall, meme coins are currently in high demand. Users tend to invest in various serious cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana. However, users also like to place value in meme coins, just for fun. It seems likely that users will shift their attention from DOGE and SHIB towards another meme coin. The most likely candidate appears to be SAMO. It additionally seems unlikely that this fun investing will end. Whichever meme coin is the tertiary mover, early adopters’ portfolio valuation will likely increase significantly with the surge in value of meme cryptocurrencies.