A meme coin (also spelled memecoin) is a cryptocurrency that originated from an Internet meme or has some other humorous characteristic.[1] It may be used in the broadest sense as a critique of the cryptocurrency market in its entirety—those based on particular memes such as "dog coins", celebrities like Coinye, and pump-and-dump schemes such as BitConnect—or it may be used to make cryptocurrency more accessible. The term is often dismissive, comparing the value or performances of those cryptocurrencies to that of mainstream ones. Supporters, on the other hand, observe that some memecoins have acquired social currency and high market capitalizations.[2]

Dogecoin, created in 2013, is often cited as the original meme coin.

In late 2013, Dogecoin was released after being created as a joke on the Doge meme by software engineers. This sparked the creation of several subsequent meme coins. In October 2021, there were about 124 meme coins circulating in the market. Notable examples include Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.[2]

In late 2021, advertisements promoting the meme coin Floki Inu in London led to subsequent investigations around promoting the meme coin, considered to be an unregulated financial product by the ASA (The Advertising Standards Authority).[3]

Some countries have taken steps to regulate meme coins. In early 2021, Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission banned meme coins as part of a crackdown on digital goods with "no clear objective or substance".[4] However, not all so-called meme coins are devoid of substance and purpose. For example, the microcap Pawthereum uses a small tax on each transaction to help animal charities, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.[5][6]


Meme coins have surged in popularity since Elon Musk endorsed the use of Dogecoin, one of the first meme coins.[7] He continues to post tweets about Dogecoin in 2022, including one in January where he stated he would eat a Happy Meal from McDonald's on live TV if they started accepting Dogecoin as payment.[8]


  1. ^ "meme coin - Slang Dictionary". Dictionary.com.
  2. ^ a b "What are meme coins, floki currencies and Dogecoin-killers?". Times of India. 22 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Watchdog investigates tube adverts for Floki Inu cryptocurrency". the Guardian. 2021-11-17. Retrieved 2022-01-10.
  4. ^ "Thailand bans meme coins and NFTs as part of crypto crackdown". Engadget. Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  5. ^ "Donations". Pawthereum. Retrieved 2022-05-13.
  6. ^ PAWS. "PAWS | Cryptocurrency Giving". PAWS. Retrieved 2022-05-13.
  7. ^ "If Elon Musk wrote this, the headline would be a meme & Dogecoin fortunes would've changed". ThePrint. 2021-06-12. Retrieved 2022-02-07.
  8. ^ Bariso, Justin (2022-01-27). "Elon Musk Offered to Eat a Happy Meal on TV. McDonald's Response Was Perfect". Inc.com. Retrieved 2022-02-07.

Shiba Coin – The virtual currency that creates the current price fever