Which are the largest by market cap?

Meme coins popped up in 2021, gaining popularity on social media and responding to comments from influencers like Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Dogecoin has created a meme craze, rising more than 15,000% at its peak in May, and is still one of the most popular meme coins.

What are meme coins and can they remain an attractive investment? We take a look at the top five cryptocurrencies by market capitalization as a starting point for your research.

What makes a cryptocurrency a meme?

Meme coins are cryptocurrencies based on viral internet memes. Dogecoin was created in 2013 as a mockery of the emergence of many cryptocurrencies vying to compete as alternatives to bitcoin (commonly known as altcoins). Dogecoin has adopted the image of the Shiba Inu dog used in the popular internet meme as its logo.

The value of the Dogecoin remained below $0.01 until early 2021 when the cryptocurrency surged in popularity. Its rapid rise in the first few months of the year inspired other dog-inspired cryptocurrencies such as shiba inu and floki inu.

These meme tokens have strong social media communities that aim to keep them decentralized, unlike Bitcoin, which has seen mining centralized among a small number of miners with large computing farms.

What meme coins have gained the most value?

Top 5 meme coins by market cap

The most popular meme coins by market cap according to CoinMarketCap as of January 5th are dogecoin, shiba inu, dogelon mars, samoyedcoin and monacoin.

Top 5 meme coins by market cap

Dogecoin (DOGE)

The first meme to gain widespread attention, dogecoin was created as a joke by co-founders Billy Marcus, a software engineer from IBM, and Jackson Palmer, a software engineer from Adobe. They are no longer directly involved in the project. The coin’s surge in popularity in 2021 saw an overhaul of the Developer Foundation, which was dissolved in 2014 to support ecosystem development and work on upgrades.

The dogecoin protocol is based on Luckycoin, which no longer works but was a hard fork, or fork, of the Litecoin blockchain. The maximum supply of Dogecoin is not specified, so there are more than 132.67 billion coins in circulation. The drop in price has made the coin popular for small transactions, such as tips on social media platforms.

Dogecoin’s popularity on social media makes it vulnerable to huge price fluctuations, especially in response to various attempts by users on apps like TikTok and Reddit to raise prices en masse, causing significant spikes.

Dogecoin gained attention after Elon Musk published a series of Tweets which he referred to as “people coding”. The price went up before Musk appeared on Saturday Night Live in the US, and then collapsed when he called it a “hustle”.

Dogecoin was priced at $0.000232 at its launch in 2013, giving it a peak gain of 317.831%. With a market capitalization of $21.4 billion, Dogecoin is the 12th digital currency in the world at the time of writing (January 5).

Dogecoin usage has evolved beyond just a fun meme. It is now accepted by some merchants for payment and investors are incorporating the currency into their cryptocurrency wallets. According to Cryptowerk, more than 1,900 merchants now accept Doge as a payment method.

Dogecoin (DOGE) performance all the time

Shiba Inu (sheep)

The popularity of Dogecoin has inspired the launch of a slew of other dog-themed cryptocurrencies. Shiba Inu was launched in August 2020 by anonymous developers and described as a “dogecoin killer” that would surpass the value of dogecoin. The coin runs on the Ethereum blockchain and is focused on developing its powerful decentralized community known as the Shib Army.

Anonymous founder Ryoshi has secured 50% of the quadrillion coin supply on Uniswap and sends the other half to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. Buterin has burned 90% of the coins he sent and donated the remaining 10% to India’s Covid-19 relief fund, stating in a note accompanying the blockchain deal that he does not want “power of this kind.”

The price of SHIB token rose from $0.000000006 in early April to a high of $0.0000388 on May 10. The price then retreated as the cryptocurrency price fell, and its range remained limited until October when it rose again and reached a new high of $0.00008845 on October 28. The price has since fallen to the $0.00003 level, but with 549 trillion coins in circulation, the Shiba Inu had a market capitalization of $16.8 billion, making it the 13th largest cryptocurrency as of January 5.

Performing Shiba Inu (SHIB) all the time

Dogillon March (Elon)

Launched in April 2021, Dogelon mars coin plays on several cryptocurrency memes at once. It’s referring to dogecoin and Elon Musk, while Mars is a reference to the meme that coins that quickly rally in price will go “to the moon.”

Like other meme coins, Dogelon mars has an anonymous development team. It also has a huge token supply, with 1 quadrillion created and 555.6 billion in circulation. As with the shiba inu coin, the rest of the coins were sent to Vitalik Buterin’s wallet for incineration.

Dogelon mars is a coin based on Ethereum and data from Whalestats shows that an anonymous buyer bought $1.28 million worth of coins at the end of November, driving the price up.

ELON’s price peaked at $0.000003289 on November 16, from a launch price of $0.00000018. The price dropped to $0.00001206 on November 26 and rose to $0.000001726 on November 30 in response to the big buying. At the beginning of the new year, the coin was trading around 0.0000015-0.0000016 dollars.

Dogelon mars (ELON) performance all the time

Samoyedcoin (SAMO)

Another new meme that uses dog tokens, Samoyedcoin is a mascot and community ambassador for the Solana blockchain. The Samoan dog breed originated from Eastern Europe, as does Anatoly Yakovenko, the co-founder of Solana. The coin is also played in the name of FTX Exchange Founder, CEO, and Solana Supporter Sam Bankman-Fried. It aims to bring new users to Solana as an alternative to the Ethereum blockchain.

The coin was launched in April 2021 and 12% of the maximum supply by air to community members was dropped. In July, the 54% burning plan was initiated, with 500 million coins were burned On a random day each month.

Since its launch, SAMO’s price has traded largely between $0.001 and $0.005, then climbed to $0.246 on October 29 for a gain of 1200%. It fell back to $0.08057 on November 3 before rising again to $0.2163 on November 6. The price fell again in December to trade around $0.03 at the beginning of January.

Samoyedcoin (SAMO) performance all the time

Monaquin (MONA)

Monacoin is a Japanese peer-to-peer payment network based on the famous ASCII technical character Mona. It was created in December 2013 by an anonymous developer named Mr. Watanabe published on 2channel online. Mr. Watanabe reportedly introduced Monaquin as a type of game currency, similar to Japanese video games that had their own coins.

Monacoin developed a strong online following in Japan and gained attention when it was used to purchase a plot of land.

MONA price traded at an all-time high of $20.23 on Dec 6, 2017, and later declined in 2018, trading below $1. There were a few price hikes in 2019 and 2020, but the strongest rise occurred in April 2021 when the price reached $4.36. Then the price of MONA fell again and was trading around $1.20 at the beginning of 2022.

Monaquin performance all the time

Looking at meme coins as investments, you should note that they are highly volatile and can quickly lose momentum as speculative interest shifts to other currencies.

They are prone to rapid price hikes that can generate significant returns, but they also drop quickly during sales. Whether you decide to invest in meme coins and which one you choose will depend on your personal risk tolerance. You should do your own research and never invest more than you can afford to lose.

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