Greythorn Research: The ERA of Memecoin

Greythorn Asset Management
11 min readApr 19, 2024


The upcoming Bitcoin halving, along with the approval of Bitcoin ETFs and a positive shift in market sentiment, has not just propelled Bitcoin to new heights but also sparked a revival in meme cryptocurrencies. In the past month alone, coins such as $PEPE and $WIF have surged by more than 600%.

Data from Coingecko indicates that meme coins were the most lucrative crypto trend in the first quarter of 2024, achieving an average return of 1312.6% across their leading tokens. Solana, followed by the more recent addition of Base, has become an essential platform for trading meme coins. This is due to their large daily active user base on DEXs and low transaction fees, establishing them as prime spots for trading smaller-cap currencies.

The chart below highlights the performance of key meme coins compared to Bitcoin since the start of March.

Source: TradingView

Remarkably, meme coins were 4.6 times more profitable than the next leading crypto trend of Real World Assets (RWA), and 33.3 times more profitable than the Layer 2 trend, which saw the lowest returns in Q1 of this year.

Source: Coingecko

If you’re struggling to make sense of those charts, rest assured, you’re not alone. Many people find the world of memecoins and the broader crypto culture a bit tough to grasp. For those not familiar, memecoins are essentially digital tokens that generally serve no real purpose other than inspiring ‘feelings’ and fostering a sense of community. While some may dismiss them as valueless, the truth is that they somehow fit well into today’s experience-focused economy.

What we’ve learned from the market is that an asset’s fundamentals often play a minor role in its potential to skyrocket in value. Memecoins are a form of internet culture where people can band together and create memetic value out of nothing.

Source: Pepe on X

The GameStop phenomenon in 2021 is a perfect example, setting the stage for the wild success of memecoins like $DOGE, $SHIB, and most recently, $PEPE and $WIF.

Those who are good at spotting cultural trends early on are likely to do well with memecoins, as they can predict where people’s attention might go next.

In an era where our attention is constantly competed for, it’s not surprising that memecoins can quickly become worth billions. However, our short attention spans mean that interest can wane just as fast as it came. It is a double-edged sword that often leads to people getting bored when the price doesn’t go up anymore, often resulting in sudden market drops when everyone moves on to the next big thing.


Between 2020 and 2021, memecoins became a major player in the cryptocurrency scene. Leading coins like $DOGE and $SHIB not only established themselves but also paved the way for newer, smaller coins. Their popularity showcases the unique charm of the memecoin market, fueled by speculative investments, volatility, and enthusiastic communities.

Dogecoin, which started as a joke based on a Shiba Inu dog meme named Kabosu, now represents a significant cultural movement within cryptocurrency. It illustrates how an internet meme can evolve into a community-driven movement, with supporters deeply invested in both the meme and the currency. As the first memecoin, $DOGE remains a key indicator of the crypto community’s interest, despite not reaching its “DOGE to $1” target. Elon Musk’s playful support and his decision to accept $DOGE for Tesla purchases significantly raised its profile, underscoring its influence and growth potential.

The memecoin market has grown to include various themes beyond dogs, with cat-themed coins recently outperforming others. This change highlights the dynamic nature and growing diversity of the memecoin ecosystem.

Source: Messari

In the past four years, the development of more sophisticated L1 and L2 ecosystems has been notable, with some carving out unique spaces for memecoins. Specifically, Base has attracted considerable attention, exemplified by memecoins like $DEGEN, which reached a market cap of $800 million within a few weeks.

Since its launch in August 2023, Coinbase’s Layer 2 platform has welcomed 5.03 million new users, particularly experiencing rapid growth in March 2024.

Source: DuneAnalytics

As of today, some of the leading memecoins on Base, including $Brett, $Degen, $Toshi, $Normie, $Mochi, and $Doginme, have achieved a combined market capitalization of $1.6 billion.

Apart from Base, memecoins on well-established L2 platforms like Arbitrum and Optimism have seen a decline in popularity and support. These platforms were primarily designed for DeFi, which remains their core focus. Therefore, they are expected to excel as DeFi regains traction.

Exploring these other L2 alternatives, notable memecoins can be found on ZkSync, with examples like $ZORRO and $MEOW, as well as on Scroll and Linea, featuring coins like $SCROLLY and $LUBE, respectively.

Outside of the Ethereum ecosystem, Solana has emerged as a significant force in the memecoin trading world among L1 networks. It leads in daily active DEX traders and transaction volumes, surpassing other major ecosystems in user liquidity. This positions Solana at the heart of the vibrant memecoin market. The enthusiastic participation of Solana’s community in memecoin and small-cap trades has enabled it to challenge, and occasionally surpass, the daily USD trading volumes of Ethereum-based DEXs.

Solana is home to several leading memecoins such as Dogwifhat, $Bonk, Cat in a Dog’s World, Jeo Boden, Book of Meme, $Slerf, and $PopCat. Together, the top 10 memecoins on Solana boast a total market capitalization of $7.6 billion.

Source: Messari

In the Solana ecosystem, Dogwifhat has emerged as the standout memecoin of the year. This dog-themed memecoin is raising money to buy an ad space on the Las Vegas Sphere, that remarkable spherical building known for its internal and external display capabilities. So far, it seems that we’re set to see a charming dog wearing a knitted hat featured on the sphere. This campaign is poised to take memecoin excitement to new levels.

To conclude this section, it’s notable that the combined market value of all memecoins is currently around $60 billion. Among them, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, Dogwifhat, and Pepe are prominent, ranking within the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market cap. Still, this figure falls short of the nearly $100 billion peak from the previous cycle, primarily driven by Dogecoin’s significant increase in early 2021.

Source: Coingecko

Evaluating Success in Memecoin Investments

At the start of the article, we mentioned that those good at identifying cultural trends early might find success with memecoins, predicting where people’s interest could shift next. However, it’s clear that, in the already volatile and risky crypto market, memecoins represent the most speculative segment. Thousands of memecoin projects exist, but only a few manage to gather any community consensus, and even fewer maintain it over the long term. Most projects and investors are essentially taking a gamble, hoping for a windfall. Nonetheless, we can’t overlook the role they play in the industry and the opportunities that come with keeping a close eye on the narrative.

With that said, here are some tips that might help you navigate these choppy waters:

  • While real-world use and strong fundamentals are crucial for the success of most crypto projects and companies, memecoins operate differently. For memecoins, community engagement and hype are central to their success. The energy and excitement of the community, amplified by social media and other platforms, drive the popularity of a memecoin. A committed community is essential for its development and promotion, guaranteeing the memecoin’s stability and growth.
  • Be ready for price fluctuations. While these can offer chances for profit, they come with significant risks. Also, watch out for pump-and-dump schemes that might artificially boost prices. Keep in mind that negative views can impact a memecoin’s acceptance and longevity more than is typical for other assets.
  • One thing memecoin investments share with other types of investments is the importance of research. With hundreds of memecoins out there, it’s crucial to ensure your money goes into the right one, or at least one with a high chance of success. Look closely at the coin’s history, its team, and where it stands in the market.
  • Invest only what you can afford to lose, recognizing the speculative nature of memecoins. Always have a plan for dealing with both potential gains and losses when investing in memecoins. This is important because our short attention spans can lead to a rapid loss of interest and people quickly moving onto the next big thing.
  • Get in early. This might seem obvious, but considering the profile of people investing in meme coins and how quickly these tokens rise, there’s a higher chance of people selling off their tokens for profit. Just as fast as they rise, they often fall back down, especially when there’s only a superficial sense of community. The earlier you get in, the less likely you are to get caught in a sell-off.

For instance, I’ve recently started closely following the meme coin development on Monad, particularly after the rise of Base. The reason is that it’s a well-established, highly anticipated chain. While we’re still waiting for its launch, there are signs that certain community members are beginning to foster a sense of community around the projects through meme coins.

Look for signs of initial growth like a surge in social media interactions, holder counts and trading volumes, aiming for coins that show sustainable, organic growth.


Over the last year, the crypto scene has also been abuzz with the rise of Ordinals, especially Bitcoin ordinals, Nodemonkes, and Bitcoin Puppets, all of which have seen a significant increase in value.

The introduction of inscriptions has made it possible to create NFTs directly on Bitcoin, leading to the next step in crypto evolution: fungible tokens, known as BRC-20 tokens. Unlike NFTs, these are stored directly on the blockchain and are assigned a serial number based on their mining sequence. This allows for images or data to be attached to a specific satoshi within the Bitcoin network.

Ordinals, seen by some as a strategic investment in Bitcoin’s growth, are now making waves in the Dogechain ecosystem. Doginals, or Doge Ordinals, are becoming a hot narrative for those betting on the rising memetic value of DOGE.

Buying Doginals isn’t straightforward, as it requires users to navigate the slow Dogechain and decide on the right ones to invest in. Despite this, owning Doginals is for many becoming a symbol of dedication to the Dogechain community, and their growing value only adds to this allure.

As meme coins gain momentum, it seems logical for some people that ordinals, particularly Doginals, would follow suit, offering a unique way to showcase digital wealth. Dogechain stands out as the ideal platform for this trend.

Magic Eden is the preferred marketplace for trading ordinals, and rumours suggest a Doginal marketplace might be on the horizon. As DOGE’s value climbs, it not only boosts its own market but also elevates the value of all associated meme coins.


Meme coins, unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum which have well-established technologies and clear purposes, often lack significant real-world value or utility. Their popularity usually stems from social media and online forums.

Investing in meme coins carries a high level of risk and speculation due to their instability and lack of solid backing. While there’s a chance for quick profits, it’s crucial to approach these investments with caution and thorough research.

Despite the potential pitfalls, meme coins continue to attract those in the crypto community looking for high-risk, high-reward opportunities.

A May 2023 Chainplay study titled “State of Meme Coin” revealed that 64% of investors have bought meme coins, while 36% avoid them. Surprisingly, 79% see them as potential long-term investments despite 70% recognizing scam risks. About 73% compare it to gambling. Also, 20% got into crypto through meme coins, and 32% of meme coin buyers are new, with less than a year’s experience.

More people are getting interested in meme coins, which means they could become even more popular and attract new investors and those already in the crypto world.

But keep in mind, there are a lot of scams and “rug pulls” in meme coins, where the people making them take the money and disappear, leaving investors with nothing.

So, if you’re thinking about getting into crypto or meme coins, make sure to be really careful and do your homework!


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