Back in 2013, Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer developed Dogecoin-- the very first meme token.
Even though they considered it a joke, it went on to be a steady performer in the crowded crypto market. It continued that way for years – until billionaire Elon Musk started to tweet about it. That kicked off a boom cycle for Dogecoin.
It also started a flurry of development as other meme-inspired tokens tried to catch lightning in a bottle.
But all along, observers and investors alike wondered how long people would continue to pour millions of dollars into coins started for no other purpose but to draw laughter.
An in the second quarter of 2021, the market began showing signs that time had run out on the meme token bull run. But then a funny thing happened.
A raft of new meme token projects kicked off that offered something new: a purpose. All of a sudden, there were meme tokens that had real utility and a reason for being. So now the question is – can this new breed of meme token extend the good times in the sector?
Here's a look at three of the most interesting new meme tokens. We'll cover what they are, what they aim to accomplish, and why they're significant. By the end, you too may conclude that meme tokens are no longer the joke they once were.
As its name makes clear, the. Jesus is Alive (JIA) token has its roots planted firmly in internet meme culture.
But despite its comedic pedigree, it's a token with a mission to be more than just another pop-culture crypto upstart. Its developers aim to build an ecosystem that includes a full-featured DEX and a variety of features that create real-world uses for its namesake token.
According to its roadmap, JIA will include a staking system that offers token owners a chance to turn their holdings into legitimate investment vehicles. And the platform is also developing a prediction market – utilizing a novel points system that will provide users with more flexibility on the platform.
And they may use that flexibility to participate in the planned NFT marketplace, or even play built-in games once they go live on the platform.
The reason JIA is so intriguing is that it represents an attempt to build a multifaceted community around its meme token. That's an approach that would give token holders a reason to stick around once the novelty and media attention wear off. And that's something that's been missing from the meme token space so far.
Just like Dogecoin, Kawakami Inu is a meme token patterned after a popular Japanese dog breed. But this one isn't the standard cute and cuddly variety.
It's descended from wolves and that shows up in the project's aim to become an alpha-dog in the meme token space.
To that end, the project includes two tokens – KAWA and xKAWA. The former is the platform's primary currency while the latter is its governance token.
Together, the two tokens power a platform that already includes a yield farming and staking system. But it's no garden-variety investment system.
It's purpose-built to provide a home for a multitude of other existing meme tokens, including SHIB, AKITA, ELON, and KISHU. Holders of those tokens can use them to invest with the platform, providing instant utility for tokens that previously had none.
In that way, Kawakami Inu hopes to build a platform that converts a large swath of the existing meme token market into a single, thriving ecosystem.
It's a bold attempt to fix the very core of the market's current dilemma. And by bringing existing coins into the fold, they gain access to a built-in audience with a real incentive to come aboard.
Another entrant into the meme coin market is the aptly named Meme.com.
Its MEM token offers owners what is perhaps the truest use case possible for any meme coin – the ability to discover new memes and own their own unique NFTs for their trouble.
The platform has some serious funding behind it, with over $5 million in funding from over a dozen cryptocurrency-focused VC funds.
The money's going to build something truly unique. The platform's mission statement is, as they put it, to become "like a CoinMarketCap for memetic content."
The idea is to create a meme curation platform, powered by the MEM token, that encourages users to find new memes as they're born and stake their holdings to become the owners of each new meme in NFT format.
The reason that Meme.com is so interesting is that it aims to unite the meme token space with the NFT space in a way that nobody's tried before.
Rather than offering a trading market for NFTs, they're instead building a system that will create new NFTs and make them valuable. That offers the prospect of a meme token that delivers real value without resorting to traditional investment approaches.
At the end of the day, it's too soon to tell if these new attempts at making meme tokens useful will pan out.
But what's certain is that they're breaking new ground in a market that's still red-hot, and that increases their collective chances of success.
Each one is moving to offer a unique value proposition in a space more known for inside jokes than serious efforts toward innovation.
They're all trying to stake out a position in a market that features plenty of capital and little direction.
So if they succeed, they're plenty of money to sustain them all. And if nothing else, that makes these meme-inspired projects worth watching as they try and reinvent the market that Dogecoin once had to itself.