“Hey VP, what are your thoughts on meme coins?”
I hate them.
For chronology sake, if you’re reading this in the future, here’s what’s currently going on, in the long and always interesting history of the Crypto market…
Markets are clogged up, slow and expensive again. Just when we thought it was finally over with.
BTC added Lightning Network, making what was a slow process by crypto standards very fast in terms of transaction speed.
Bitcoin is now a developing blockchain, and has its own reasons for being congested, and we will ignore them for the sake of this blog post for now (but will get into them soon into the future).
Ethereum however, with it’s outdated tech, added side chains and Layer 2’s to take the pressure off of its own chain.
Gas fees still fluctuated, but in a much more narrow band than DeFi summer for instance.
Years ago, Meme Coin Mania rekt 99% of the people it touched, and seemed to be a thing of the past as well, with only two main coins remaining in that space.
Then things were peaceful, relatively speaking for a good year, year-and-a-half.
But we just recently took a huge step backwards, once again, and all of these problems have returned.
Because meme coins are back again.
A Meme Coin Hater’s Version of the Story
PEPE coin started it all off.
And make no mistake, these things start for different reasons, but the sequence of events which occur right after the genesis are usually the same.
And what’s that?
People immediately go to social media to pump their bags.
I’m all about freedom, especially when it comes to money, but this should be illegal.
Even penny stocks have a ton of regulation behind them to prevent things like this (even though it does still happen, but to a much lesser degree because there are actual deterrents in that market).
But the PEPE craze clogged up the ETH chain tremendously, bringing gas fees from about 25 gwei, to as high as 300 gwei from what I had seen.
I tried to make a simple transaction, and it cost $400+ to make. More on this later.
Not to let a good grifting period go to waste, other coins joined the fray for those who missed out on PEPE, or who wanted to let their PEPE winnings ride.
Coins like PEPE Blue, DGAF, and others joined the mix.
Chains that don’t have stupidly high gas fees like Cardano took advantage of this need, and jumped in with their own newly minted meme coin, SNEK.
I follow a lot of Cardano people on Twitter, and because of this (and the way Twitter is now), I saw so many accounts I’ve never seen before saying the exact…same…sequence of words.
“Okay, I’ll bite. What’s #SNEK?”
Obvious pumper accounts.
They should all go to jail.
Sounds harsh? Fuck em.
We need deterrents, or these things will just keep happening.
I want to go full-on Singapore with shit like this.
The Worst In Us
“VP, you should lighten up. Meme coins are meant to be fun.”
Sure kiddo, but what they’re meant to be, and what they are — are two different things.
First off, they cater to our instant-gratification brains.
No Nonsense Forex traders know all about this, and take measures daily to quell these inherent desires because we’ve learned and we know better.
But most people aren’t that way. Like, 1 out of every 10,000 people are probably aware of the things we’re aware of.
And most normies steer clear of this because they steer clear of the crypto market in general, because they’re risk averse by nature. Fine.
But most people who do participate get rekt over these things, and that’s actually a very good thing. Probably the only good thing to come out of all this.
You’ll of course see the sad, weepy human interest story about how some total fucking idiot lost his life savings to #INYOURASS coin and now his family can’t eat thanks to evil pump and dumpers, yadda yadda.
Every human interest story is designed to push a narrative by lifting your emotions over your intelligence, therefore coercing you to make a dumb decision. Just know that, if you didn’t already.
But I’ve said it many times before, I think people NEED to get rekt badly, and also need to get scammed at least once in their lives so they’re better able to see the signs when they’re older and their money matters more.
So I guess that part is fine, but everything else about these things is a net-negative. Especially when it comes to mass adoption.
Do they ever.
We’re trying to get crypto to go mainstream. In some ways we’re winning, in other ways we’re failing miserably.
First of all, only 1 out of every 100 people own BTC (we’re still so early), and if we can simply do two things…
- Bring that number up to…let’s say 3 out of every 100
- Get institutions on board
This will create that next real leg up to new highs.
We want this, right? Mass adoption is the goal, yeah? We can all agree on that?
Then answer me this — How are we going to get risk-averse non crypto holders on board? How are we going to get institutions on board?
I can tell you how we’re NOT going to get them on board.
By showing them we’re nothing more than a bunch of reckless children playing around with our money.
This is what the optics are during Meme Coin Mania.
Frame it any other way you want, this is how it looks.
We’re having a hard enough time as it is getting the legitimate stuff adopted. All this childish shit does is give the naysayers more fodder, and make the more serious institutions more hesitant.
A bunch of broke degenerates and man-children (LOTS of man-children in crypto. And it goes up by a factor of 20 once you get into the NFT space. Sorry, it had to be said) playing casino and giggling about it, in a market we’re trying to get actual grown adults to take seriously.
On top of that, many DeFi platforms (our banking system in other words) are represented by cartoon characters.
There isn’t a serious institution alive who wants to allocate their high-net-worth client’s funds to finance’s version of Nickelodeon.
You can’t have it both ways. Optics matter. A lot.
The Source of my Frustration
There’s a selfish side to this rant of course.
All I wanted to do is transfer some USDT to USDC.
Most of my stables are on the ETH chain. I still have some Bep20 USDC from when I sold off my BNB token, but the rest are on Etherem.
And this simple USD to USD transfer was going to cost me more than $400 in fees!!
Not exactly the reason I got into crypto.
All because of Meme Coiners.
“So get your stables off of ETH, VP”
This would be outside of my comfort zone, if I’m being candid.
First of all, it will cost money to bridge them over, and likely a lot right now.
And I treat my stables like a separate bank, independent of the banking system itself. Safety matters. I want a large and stable network that I’m familiar with.
Going to my Trust Wallet, and opting to add USDT, here are all of my choices.
I’m probably in the top .3% of people (as are most of you) when it comes to crypto and blockchain knowledge, but this is overwhelming.
How many of these options are going to be around in two years?
Certainly not all of them.
A lot of these options may make more sense if I understood the tech behind them, but I don’t, and would not be comfortable using them.
“VP, just move them to ______ by doing ______”
No thank you, my kind nerd friend. I’ve lived my whole life taking risk and doing things outside of my comfort zone, but when it comes to where my USD goes, I take as few chances as possible.
BSC is a legit option, I have good familiarity with the chain, but then I would have issues when it came to loading stables onto my Crypto.com debit card, and Binance at one time was looking to phase out USDT and USDC.
Whether or not that’s the case right this moment is not a factor. The fact that they were wanting to go this direction is enough to give me pause.
And yes, I know the TRON chain is where most people transact their USDT these days, but that doesn’t mean the TRON chain is where I want to keep my hard earned money right now.
Again, I would still have to pay to bridge them over as well.
I would rather just keep it on ETH and pay $3 or $4 dollars a transaction like I did before.
I don’t want to get cute with it. Cute gets you destroyed in this market.
But enough of me crying over fees and such.
There was one really good pro-meme coin argument I did hear in a Twitter Spaces I was just in, and it branches off what I said in a recent podcast episode…
Just like “number-go-up” in BTC got a lot of us into crypto for the first time, meme coin “number-go-up” was also responsible for getting a lot of other people into crypto for the first time.
Ok fair enough, if that was you, then fine.
But you’re here now. And it’s time to grow up.
The asymmetry you seek in meme coins is very much alive and well in real projects doing real things.
And the fate of the industry relies on us shifting our focus heavily onto things that actually matter.