Another trip to the moon
Despite tough times, bitcoin always comes back.
Cryptocurrency is known for its ever-evolving landscape, and sure enough, a fresh coin has emerged to capture the attention of enthusiasts and skeptics alike. Pepe, the newest and hottest "meme coin" boasts a market cap of more than 750 million dollars at the time of publishing this post.
Yes, it’s 2023.
Yes, this is still happening.
But what exactly is Pepe, and why do I even care?
Pepe is a meme-based cryptocurrency inspired by the infamous "Pepe the Frog" meme. Developed on the Ethereum blockchain, Pepe's popularity is quite similar to that of DogeCoin and Shiba Inu and received its boost from a vibrant and dedicated online community. Over the past few weeks, the Pepe community’s passion joined forces with Pepe the Frog’s cultural appeal to create a perfect storm for a massive surge in price and trading volume.
As with most meme coins, I wouldn’t get too excited over Pepe as a way to make money long-term. Some have achieved remarkable success, but many are marred with scams and market manipulation. I do hope Pepe works out for everyone involved, despite knowing it probably won’t. It’s already down more than 50% from last week’s all-time highs.
Don’t @ me, though. I’m going somewhere with this.
Zoom out and take a look at what’s going on in the broader crypto ecosystem. It’s not about Pepe. It’s about all the Pepes, which rise and fall in their own little bursts of energy within the crypto galaxy but demonstrate more as a collective testament to the resiliency of digital currency.
Meme coins like Pepe walk so that bitcoin can run.
Bitcoin has also faced its fair share of skepticism and challenges, including regulatory scrutiny, market volatility, and technological hurdles. Most recently, the collapse of exchanges like FTX and the downfall of Signature Bank, which heavily served the crypto community’s banking needs, posed significant challenges for bitcoin and crypto as a whole. As a result, the price of bitcoin crashed more than 70% from its 2021 all-time highs. These events highlighted the risks and vulnerabilities associated with centralized exchanges and custodial services. However, bitcoin continues to recover and maintain its position as the leading cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin’s resilience can be attributed to several factors. First, its decentralized nature makes it less reliant on any single institution or platform. While the collapse of exchanges is disruptive and has negatively impacted crypto as a whole, it does not undermine the fundamental technology and principles behind bitcoin. Since its inception, nothing really has.
Second, the bitcoin community is known for its adaptability and innovation. When faced with challenges, developers and enthusiasts come together to find solutions and improve the network. Collaborations like these resulted in technological advancements such as the Lightning Network, which addresses scalability issues and enhances Bitcoin's utility as a medium of exchange. Bitcoin will only continue to improve when new challenges arise.
Third, bitcoin's growing acceptance and adoption by individuals, institutions, and governments have strengthened its staying power. Major companies such as Tesla, Square and PayPal embracing bitcoin as a legitimate asset, and some countries recognizing it as legal tender have, to some degree, bolstered its reputation and market stability. And while our federal government appears increasingly hostile towards crypto, they can’t just eliminate bitcoin. If anything, investments in it will simply move elsewhere.
Lastly, look at its performance amidst the most recent bank failures. Bitcoin looks to be doing something it was created to do and not just behaving like another risk-on asset correlated to other risky asset classes like technology stocks. With its limited supply and decentralization, bitcoin is often positioned as a hedge against economic uncertainty, making it an attractive store of value during times of financial volatility. Its price will likely remain volatile in the near-term, but look at all it has been through. It’s still here and remains the number one way to store value digitally.
The fact that a meme coin centered around a cartoon frog could today fetch a market cap worth hundreds of millions of dollars says a lot about crypto as a whole.
Each wild price chart carries with it continuous waves of optimism for crypto enthusiasts. Despite all the booms and busts, meme coins don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. But their failures have become microcosms of the much bigger swings, hits and misses that bitcoin has endured over a much longer period of time. In some strange way, they are each doing their part to bring greater awareness to the space, push it forward and help stabilize its largest component.
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This is the Top isn’t just for crypto nerds. It’s for all nerds (and cool people too, but I wouldn’t know anything about that).