During the 2021 bull market, dog-themed meme coins took center stage. A new trend is gaining traction in which entire blockchains are built around meme projects. The most popular memes in the crypto space have returned. This time, in blockchain form i.e. Meme Chains.
What Are Meme Chains?
It’s easier than ever to start your own blockchain, and memes are taking advantage of it.
Several new meme-themed blockchains have emerged in recent weeks, providing users with some lighthearted fun and a brief respite from the enduring crypto winter.
Until recently, the majority of crypto meme projects took the form of a token on a pre-existing Layer 1 chain. Shiba Inu, for example, debuted as an ERC-20 token on Ethereum, and Solana got its own dog token in the form of Samoyedcoin. The main exception to this trend has been Dogecoin, the crypto meme progenitor that was created as a fork of Litecoin and now lives on its own chain.
Despite their viral success, these meme projects have encountered significant challenges. During its peak, Shiba Inu mania drove up Ethereum gas fees, discouraging new buyers and limiting the meme’s potential. Dogecoin, which was largely purchased through controlled exchanges, was significantly cheaper to get but was constrained by its lack of Turing completeness due to its use of the Polygon Edge structure. While Dogechain is Ethereum-compatible, its transaction fees are not paid in ETH. Users can instead pay fees using wrapped Dogecoin (wDOGE) or the chain’s native Dogechain currency (DC).
The crew behind Dogechain is supposedly unknown and has no link to Jackson Palmer, the original developer of Dogecoin, who has since removed himself from the crypto world. The meme chain is offered on the Dogechain website with the phrase “NFTs, Games, and DeFi for Dogecoin users,” alluding to all the possibilities enabled by Dogechain’s smart contract capability.
Currently, the majority of Dogechain activity is in the form of wild token speculation, which has converted the network into a makeshift casino. Because of the low transaction costs and low barrier to entry, it’s simple to generate new tokens with catchy names, and even simpler to acquire them. Due to low liquidity, new coins can soon go parabolic, yielding early buyers massive profits on even a little “investment.” However, for every winner, there is a whole graveyard of tokens that did not make it, many of which are currently trading at 99% of their all-time highs.
Although most Dogechain activity is glorified gaming, acceptance looks to be expanding. The network crossed 15 million transactions on September 5 and reached an all-time high daily transaction count of 2.6 million the following day, according to the official Dogechain Twitter account. There are also suggestions of more serious ventures collaborating with Dogechain. Frax Finance, a stablecoin system, just built a decentralized exchange on the meme chain, and the Dogechain team formally supported it as soon as it became live.
Doge, as a meme, has been around for over a decade and has become a staple of Internet culture. The parabolic rise of Dogecoin in 2021 demonstrates the explosive potential of meme currencies under the right conditions. If interest in crypto returns, Dogecoin and Dogechain might get a lot of attention from younger entrants and crypto veterans alike.
Berachain honors the current crypto bear market and the notion of “bearposting.” Its community is brought together by picture variants of Bobo the Bear, similar to how Dogechain uses the Doge meme. On the surface, Berachain may appear to be just another humorous joke, but the project is pioneering many technologies that might transform the way blockchains and DeFi work.
Berachain distinguishes itself from other meme chains by promising to improve DeFi’s capital efficiency. The project intends to do this through the use of a novel tri-token design and a “Proof of Liquidity” idea. Berachain’s three tokens are a gas token called BERA, a governance token named BGT, and a collateralized stablecoin called HONEY.
Block rewards and protocol fees, according to the Berachain developers. Berachain might establish a new benchmark for capital efficiency and blockchain architecture if the concept works.
Berachain is currently in its early phases of development, but it intends to deploy its first incentive testnet in the near future. Despite the fact that the chain is being constructed with the Cosmos software developer kit and the Tendermint consensus mechanism, its creators promise that it will be Ethereum-compatible and have complete cross-chain interoperability.
Berachain has received a lot of attention in crypto circles apart from its tokenomic breakthroughs. The project’s Discord community has over 60,000 users, many of whom want to be on Berachain’s private “Honeylist.” There is little information regarding what a spot on the Honeylist entails or what applicants may do to be on it, but some assume that it will provide early access to the Berachain testnet or other perks.
The last meme chain is Kekchain, which is dedicated to the satirical religion based on the worship of the ancient Egyptian frog God Kek. The meme originated on 4chan’s imageboards, when users saw similarities between Kek and Matt Furie’s popular meme figure Pepe the Frog.
Kekchain capitalizes on the meme power of Pepe and its offshoots, such as Peepo and Apu Apustaja. Pepe matches Doge in terms of Internet awareness, having achieved viral fame as early as 2008. However, the meme’s recent embrace by some far-right circles has harmed its image.
Kekchain, like Berachain, is in the pre-launch phase, however it has issued its own KEK currency as an ERC-20 on Ethereum. Furthermore, the initiative has launched its own. The kek domain name service is similar to the Ethereum Name Service’s.eth domains. When the Kekchain mainnet goes up later this year, its creators intend to move KEK from Ethereum so that it may be used to pay transaction fees.
Kekchain is now operating a testnet where people may experiment with the chain and begin developing apps.
Despite its limited fanbase, Kekchain has made significant success in terms of promotion. So far, Coingecko has included the KEK coin, and ChainList has added the Kekchain testnet to its list of RPC server addresses.
The KEK token contract, on the other hand, imposes a contentious 10% exit fee when selling KEK on the open market. The developers of Kekchain argue that the levy is important to help build and sell the chain. Taking a share of traders’ tokens, though, may come as a surprise to some and harm the network’s general acceptance.
Although meme coins, and now meme chains, have delivered substantial profits for early investors, the dangers connected with these sorts of initiatives are substantial. Meme projects can occasionally skyrocket in value, but they can also drop in value just as suddenly, leaving those who bought at the top carrying the bag.
Furthermore, because many meme projects are generated by anonymous teams, it is impossible to hold anybody accountable for them. This raises the possibility of projects “pulling the rug out from under token holders” by stealing cash, dumping tokens, or quitting the initiative. Anyone considering researching any meme chains or initiatives discovered in their ecosystems should conduct their own study and be aware of the hazards involved.