No Longer A Joke: Meme Coins Emerge As New Asset Class

March 18, 2024

Since their debut in the cryptocurrency arena, meme coins—altcoins inspired by internet memes, jokes, and satire, often seen as lacking “inherent value”—have surpassed their humorous beginnings. This unique category of crypto asset is now being recognized as a legitimate asset class.

Meme coins, known for their volatility and strong community backing, have experienced a wide range of performance outcomes in the cryptocurrency market, particularly between February and March of this year, where Shiba Inu surged to as high as 203% and Dogecoin 100%, data from crypto market intelligence firm Messari.

According to the report, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu not only made their mark in the crypto landscape in 2020 and 2021; but they established meme coins as a formidable force in the digital asset world. These tokens exemplify how speculation, volatility, and fervently passionate communities can enthrall and captivate investors, drawing attention to the unique dynamics at play within the cryptocurrency market.

DOGE and SHIB have emerged as pioneering “beacons for small-cap memes,” leading the charge in demonstrating the potential for significant market impact.

In a recent post on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Andrew Kang, Mechanism capital co-founder, offered an intriguing perspective on the meme coin phenomenon, challenging the common analogy that likens meme coins to casinos or lotteries. 

Kang suggests that the market for meme coins is vastly larger, potentially 100 times greater than many assume, highlighting that individuals are increasingly viewing meme coins not just as frivolous gambles but as legitimate assets or investments. This shift in perception allows for a significantly greater allocation of personal finances to meme coins, far surpassing what one might typically spend on entertainment or leisure activities at a casino. 

Addressing a common misconception surrounding meme coins, the executive clarified that viewing them as a zero-sum game is a mistake. Contrary to this belief, Kang forecasts a promising future for meme coins, predicting an upward trajectory where they achieve higher highs and lows through various market cycles over the coming decade. 

“This is the emergence of a new asset class,” Kang said, highlighting the potential for growth and stability in the meme coin sector.

Earlier this month, Kang presented a compelling analysis of the meme coin market, drawing parallels between its recent trajectory and Bitcoin’s early price movements. 

According to Kang, the last cycle’s surge in meme coin values was akin to Bitcoin’s initial rally to the $100-$1,000 range, serving as a preliminary “test pump” for these digital assets. This phase was crucial in demonstrating their product-market fit, showcasing their potential to change lives, and fostering a broader acceptance globally. 

“I believe that meme coins are going to outperform everything else in crypto by a wide margin. The masses won’t care about the 4th liquid restaking derivative or whatever fancy new technology that results in some benefit in throughput,” Kang said.

“This cycle, we will see a new generation of new money meme coin elites being minted just like many of the old guard/whales were minted with $BTC, $ETH, $SOL,” the executive further said.

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