In a remarkable turn of events, the price of Pepe, the renowned “memecoin” launched just a month ago, has surged by a staggering 70 times, cementing its status as the latest digital token to experience an astonishing rise after listing. This extraordinary surge has once again brought attention to the volatile and speculative nature of meme coins within the realm of cryptocurrency assets.
According to data from CoinGecko, a cryptocurrency tracking platform, the price of Pepe Frog has skyrocketed by nearly 7,000% since its launch on April 16, accumulating a market capitalization of approximately NT$55.4 billion ($1.97 billion). This monumental surge has not only propelled Pepe to new heights but has also piqued investors’ interest in meme coins as a whole. Data from DuneAnalytics reveals that meme coin transactions surged from $408,000 in the previous week to a staggering $2.6 billion in the first week of this month.
Todd Groth, the director of index research at CoinDesk Indices, commented on the phenomenon, stating, “Memecoins have occasional hot rallies, usually when the cryptocurrency market is a bit shaky or weak. People find these smaller tokens to trade.”
This surge in memecoin popularity coincides with a period of stagnation for bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, which has witnessed a 6% decline in price since mid-April, amounting to $27,416.
While each Pepe frog coin is valued at less than one-thousandth of a cent, the market value remains remarkably high at nearly $740 million (approximately NT$22.8 billion) as of the 15th of this month, making it the third-largest meme coin, trailing only Dogecoin with a market value of over $10 billion and Shiba Inu coin with a market value of over $5 billion. The latter two coins derive their popularity from internet jokes related to the Shiba Inu breed.
Despite the widespread attention, the founder of Pepewacoin remains anonymous, and their Twitter account has not responded to requests for comment. CoinGecko reports that there are over 100,000 holders of this meme coin.
The rise of memecoins gained prominence with the advent of the “Wall Street Bets” movement in American internet forums in 2021. Memecoin garnered mainstream attention with the support of retail investors. However, unlike more established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, memecoins lack practical functions beyond speculative hype. While some proponents believe in their potential as a payment currency and store of value, market participants caution traders and investors about the potential for substantial losses. Martin Leinweber, a product strategist at MarketVector Indexes, warned, “Humans love to speculate… But I would still be very careful about buying them because it’s gambling in its purest form.”