We may be in a bear market—though you wouldn’t think so paying attention to the latest meme coin mania.
Decentralized crypto exchange Uniswap today experienced its highest transaction count, according to the Uniswap researcher Austin Adams, who quoted data from Dune. Trades on the exchange are up more than 66% from the previous peak, Adams tweeted today.
The researcher cited “meme coin frenzy” for the surge in Uniswap action. Uniswap is the biggest decentralized crypto exchange by volume and allows anyone to trade tokens on the Ethereum network by simply connecting a crypto wallet—no sign-up required.
This week’s reason for the buzz is mostly down to meme coins becoming popular again—largely Pepe (PEPE), a new token which launched this week and has since blown up in value.
Since its launch, PEPE has surged by an insane amount, CoinGecko shows, helping some investors win big: one lucky buyer turned $250 into $1.02 million in just four days—a 407,900% increase.
Other meme coins also experienced a rise in value this week, when a lot of the market was in the red (although they’re mostly back down today.)
Meme coins are digital assets which are based on internet memes. They are highly volatile and are rarely used for much, other than to throw a little money in and hope for massive returns. Rarely do such gambles pay off—until they do.
Meme coins exploded in popularity back in 2020 and some Ethereum experts and engineers warned traders about getting involved—with some even describing them as “scams.”
The biggest and most famous meme coin is Dogecoin. Based on the “doge” meme of a Shiba Inu dog, Dogecoin—or DOGE—was invented in 2013 by a group of engineers as a joke.
DOGE skyrocketed in value in 2020 after billionaire Tesla and Twitter boss Elon Musk started pumping the coin. It’s now the ninth-biggest cryptocurrency, with a market cap of $10.8 billion, and has inspired countless spin-off “dog coins.”
PEPE, meanwhile, is based on the Pepe the Frog, a once harmless internet meme later labeled a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League after alt-right groups adopted it. PEPE doesn’t have a billionaire pumping it (that we know of), but it has made a few very lucky early investors into millionaires (for now).