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We all know that the crypto world has become a bit of a gamble these days. Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency forerunner, reached an all-time high just last year. In November 2021, Bitcoin was worth more than US$55,000. But today, it's worth just over US$21,000.
But, back when crypto was still blowing up, meme coins also became a thing. A meme coin is a form of altcoin (any crypto that isn't Bitcoin) that's meant to be spread and circulated as another form of a viral meme.
Let's talk about the biggest meme coin there is – Dogecoin.
The "doge" meme itself emerged in 2013, with images of a Shiba Inu dog with an inner monologue full of bad grammar. That same year, software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer created a new cryptocurrency called "Dogecoin." The entire idea behind it was actually a joke that satirized the wild speculation of other cryptocurrencies. They meant for it to be worthless. Valued initially at US$0.00026 per coin, Dogecoin is sitting pretty at US$0.12 today.
But meme coins really didn't take off until 2021, when celebrities like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban promoted Dogecoin. In fact, it looks like Musk's moves are constantly affecting the price of Dogecoin. The coin is currently rallying, with Musk's Twitter takeover triggering gains. Right now, Dogecoin is in the eighth-largest crypto market position.
With meme coins being so cheap, they can be really attractive to younger retail investors. They're community-driven, with the trade mechanics relying on social media and internet culture. There's just no real economic use for them at a surface level apart from trading. They're so volatile that, yeah, you could become rich off of them. Or you could also lose all of your money.
Markus himself has said, "It's one of the most volatile assets you can make a bet on, but people right now have a lot of reasons to make that bet, and that is being reflected in the market."
Back in 2021, Thailand's SEC banned meme coins during a crackdown on digital goods with "no clear objective or substance."