Are memecoins the new NFTs for celebrities?


From PFP NFTs to Solana memecoins, mainstream celebrities have waded into the web3 ecosystem under community-centric chants and short-lived hype.

Memecoins may have onboarded a new lifeline as celebrity tokens have debuted on Solana (SOL) this past week, adding a new buzz layer to the memetic culture gripping crypto.

Caitlyn Jenner recently shipped a coin dubbed JENNER launched via SOL-based memecoin portal pump.fun. Shortly after trading opened, developers dumped on users and tanked the token’s price, drawing scrutiny on Jenner for allegedly orchestrating a rug pull. 

Reports later revealed that a notorious scammer called Sahil was behind the incident. Sahil supposedly preyed on Jenner’s ignorance about the web3 space and used his role as a middleman to profit from the celebrity’s memecoin. 

Enter Iggy Azalea’s MOTHER memecoin

Less than 48 hours later, Aussie rapper and OnlyFans model Iggy Azalea released a token under the ticker MOTHER. Per DEX Screener, Azalea’s celebrity crypto surged over 30,000% and peaked at a $30 million market cap.

The user Sahil also launched an IGGY coin to siphon Azalea’s hype, making off with millions in yet another pump-and-dump offering. 

Azalea distanced herself from Sahil’s IGGY, joining X Spaces to promote her coin, share her admittedly rudimentary knowledge of web3, and espouse interest in the decentralized meme ecosystem. “This is a gamble, this is a game. That’s why it’s fun. Play the game or don’t play it. That’s your decision”, Azalea said during an online discourse. 


Iggy Azalea memecoin
Iggy Azalea’s MOTHER memecoin | Source: DEX Screener

Good for the industry or highlighting crypto’s gambling underbelly?

Some may say the trend is reminiscent of the NFT boom in 2020/2021 when 10,000-piece digital collectibles ruled the crypto airwaves. Traders spent thousands, sometimes millions, in Ether (ETH) and other cryptocurrencies to own so-called crypto art born of contentious illustrations and blockchain algorithms. 

Despite $64.6 billion in all-time sales, the highs and hype from blue-chip collections like Yuga Labs’ Bored Apes Yacht Club and Crypto Punks have since dwindled. Skeptics argue that the NFT era was a flash in the pan and used the sector’s decline as a lightning rod to throw aspersions on the broader crypto industry. 

Similarly, memecoins have drawn the ire of experts and industry observers. Per crypto.news, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) CTO Eddy Lazzarin scrutinized the memecoin space and compared the meme ecosystem to a risky casino. 

Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko urged developers and users to dedicate resources to more lasting endeavors, as scam and hyper-volatile meme projects raised hundreds of millions in hours. Also, Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin slammed racist meme protocols and called for community growth beyond gambling to support better projects.

Overall, expert consensus suggests doubts around memecoins but these projects continue to launch every. Binance reported that nearly 500,000 memecoins had been released since April 1. Meme tokens varied from political satires like BODEN to animal-inspired projects like CATWIFBAG, turning speculative traders into overnight millionaires and sometimes financially wrecking participants.





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