Meme Coins: Temporary Hype or Lasting Impact? An Insightful Exploration

Ceras Ventures
6 min readJun 25, 2024


Meme coins, such as Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, SafeMoon, and Dogelon Mars, are cryptocurrencies inspired by internet memes and jokes, characterized by their community-driven nature and social media influence. A 2023 CoinGecko survey found that 40% of crypto investors worldwide hold meme coins, highlighting their growing popularity. Initially created as a parody, Dogecoin gained significant popularity through endorsements from prominent figures such as Elon Musk. In contrast, Shiba Inu branded itself as the “Dogecoin Killer” and incorporated decentralized finance (DeFi) features.

SafeMoon introduced a transaction fee model designed to reward long-term holders, while Dogelon Mars uniquely combined space exploration themes with meme culture. Originally a meme coin, Bunk Bot transitioned into a legitimate business by prioritizing community engagement, developing practical applications like BunkSwap and BunkNFT, and expanding into DeFi services, demonstrating the potential for meme coins to evolve into serious ventures. Moreover, according to an exclusive 2024 report by AMBCrypto, 53.7% of investors prefer meme coins over Bitcoin.

Source: CoinGecko

The Appeal of Meme Coins

Community and Culture: Meme coins thrive on community engagement. Their success is largely driven by collective enthusiasm and the viral nature of internet culture. Platforms like Twitter, Reddit, Discord, Instagram reels and TikTok play a crucial role in spreading the word and creating buzz around these coins.

Accessibility: Meme coins often have a low entry barrier, with prices starting at fractions of a cent. This makes them appealing to small investors looking to dip their toes into cryptocurrency without significant financial risk.

Potential for High Returns: Despite their volatility, meme coins have demonstrated the potential for astronomical gains. For instance, Dogecoin’s price surged by over 12,000% in 2021, turning many small-time investors into overnight millionaires.

Investor Sentiment

The “State of Meme Coin” study by Chainplay highlighted a division among investors, with 63.9% having purchased meme coins and 36.1% avoiding them. Among those who bought meme coins, about 69% did so purely for entertainment, yet 79% considered them as long-term investments with profit potential. Despite this optimism, 70% of these investors believed most meme coins were scams, and 73% compared investing in them to gambling. This underscores that for many, meme coins are less about financial gain and more about the enjoyment and community involvement they offer, making the investment experience a blend of fun and financial speculation.

Institutional Interest

Several institutional investors have indeed shown interest in meme coins, recognizing the potential for substantial returns despite the inherent risks. For example, Stratos, a California-based hedge fund, backed by venture capitalists like Mark Andresseen of Andresseen Horowitz launched a fund holding Dogwifhat, a meme coin that saw a significant price increase, leading the fund to achieve a 137% return in the first quarter of 2023. Asset manager Brevan Howard has also made investments in meme coins.

The Avalanche Foundation has added meme coins to its portfolio, highlighting strong institutional interest in these assets. CEO and Co-Founder of Ava Labs Emin Gün Sirer addressed skeptics, emphasizing the strategic value and growing confidence in meme coins within the broader cryptocurrency market​

Pantera Capital an American venture capitalist and hedge fund, has invested in meme coins through their Liquid Token Fund, which increased by 80% in 2023, including tokens like Dogwifhat. This strategy aims to capitalize on the high volatility and potential returns of meme coins. Pantera acknowledges its cultural and speculative appeal, recognizing the opportunities it presents in the cryptocurrency market.

DWF Labs, an investment firm and market maker, has made a $12 million investment in Floki tokens. According to a Floki developer, identified as “B,” this investment will be sourced from both the open market and Floki’s treasury. This follows a previous $10 million investment by DWF Labs in February, which increased the token’s price by 50%. The collaboration between DWF Labs and Floki began in May 2023 with an initial $5 million purchase of Floki tokens. Additionally, DWF Labs has pledged $10 million over the next two years to Floki’s sister project, TokenFi. DWF Labs has played a crucial role in securing important exchange listings and forming industry partnerships, significantly boosting the Floki ecosystem. Consequently, the FLOKI token has surged by over 742% since last year. Furthermore, Milady Meme Coin ($LADYS) has secured a substantial US$5 million investment from DWF Labs. This injection of capital from a prominent market maker is expected to bolster the coin’s position in the rapidly evolving digital asset landscape, highlighting growing institutional interest in meme coins.

Franklin Templeton research publication on meme coins

Institutional investors on crypto exchange Bybit significantly boosted their meme coin allocations, rising to nearly $300 million in April, up from $63 million at the start of the year. Bybit reports a more than 300% increase in institutional allocations to meme coins, peaking at almost $300 million in April.

The involvement of the major players mentioned above further legitimizes meme coins as viable investment opportunities within the broader cryptocurrency landscape. The increase in institutional allocations on platforms like Bybit, which saw a nearly 300% rise in meme coin investments, reflects a growing confidence in the speculative and cultural appeal of these assets. This trend indicates a broader acceptance and strategic interest in meme coins, positioning them as a significant component of the evolving digital asset market.

Increase of Institutional holding in meme coins (Source: Bybit)


The rising interest of institutional investors in meme coins underscores their recognition of potential substantial returns despite the associated risks. High-profile investments by firms such as Stratos, Brevan Howard, Pantera Capital, and DWF Labs highlight the growing acceptance of these assets. However, it’s crucial to note that meme coins generally lack intrinsic financial value in terms of providing real-world services or products. Their initial surge in value is typically driven by strong community backing and viral marketing rather than fundamental utility.

Meme coins, including popular ones like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, often thrive on the strength of their communities and the social media hype they generate. This community-driven nature can create a significant, albeit speculative, price increase. Despite the excitement, many meme coins do not offer substantial financial services or utilities, making them highly volatile and risky investments. For most retail investors, engaging with meme coins is often more about entertainment or speculative trading, similar to gambling, rather than serious financial investment.

Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin highlights the dual nature of meme coins, criticizing their current speculative and often trivial state while acknowledging their potential for positive impact. He is concerned about the lack of innovation and the presence of controversial tokens, especially on platforms like Solana. Despite these issues, Vitalik believes meme coins can contribute meaningfully, particularly through charitable initiatives and gamification. He cites successful examples like Dogelon Mars, which donated to biomedical research, and suggests that integrating meaningful games could offer economic benefits and community support. Vitalik advocates for higher-quality projects that provide real value beyond speculation, promoting a more beneficial role for meme coins in the crypto ecosystem.

Exceptions do exist, such as Bonk, which has transitioned from a mere meme coin to applications like Bonk Bot, BonkSwap and BonkNFT. Such examples highlight that, while meme coins can evolve into more serious ventures, the majority of them gain prominence primarily due to community enthusiasm and speculation.

As institutional investments in meme coins grow, it is essential to balance the excitement with a clear understanding of the risks involved. Investors must approach these assets with caution, acknowledging their speculative nature and the importance of not treating them as traditional financial investments. Understanding the dynamics of meme coin investments is crucial for making informed decisions in this unpredictable market.

Written By: Arpit Jain
Edited By: Sarah Abuagela

Additional Sources: AMBCrypto, CoinGecko, Chainplay, ByBit & Franklin Templeton



Ceras Ventures

Ceras Ventures is a leading global crypto and blockchain investment firm investing capital on behalf of traditional funds, institutions and individuals