• Memecoins are fine, so long as everyone’s happy, says Vitalik.
  • Celebrities like Donald Trump and Caitlyn Jenner have been linked to joke coins.
  • Memecoins generated over $6.9 billion in trading volume over the past 24 hours.

Vitalik Buterin says he’s far from pleased with the latest round of celebrity joke coins, but that doesn’t mean the $69 billion market is for nought.

It just needs a new direction.

“The north star should be: to have a project where even if eventually all tokens involved go to zero, the average person who participated is happy to have done so,” the Ethereum co-founder wrote on X, previously Twitter.

Memecoins command a combined market value of $68.6 billion, and generated over $6.5 billion in trades over the past 24 hours alone.

Buterin said celebrity memecoins must have “some kind of public-good goal that it’s serving, other than enriching the celebrity and early adopters. Realistically, either an art project or the celebrity’s favourite charity, or both.”

He said Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ NFT-powered Stoner Cats animated series from 2021 was “vastly more honorable” than other memecoins launched by celebs this year.

The non-fungible tokens of the show’s feline stars were sold to raise money to produce the series. In 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the project’s creators with offering unregistered securities.

The second factor determining whether the Ethereum co-founder can respect memecoins is whether they enable users to do something other than trading the token.

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“As much as I dislike token-voting DAOs, at least they give something for people to do and organise around,” Buterin said. “The DAO should not fully decide the agenda, but it can have some influence.”

Decentralised autonomous organisations are communities that lead many crypto projects.

The third factor?

Whether or not it will last.

“Make something that lasts 10-plus years, rather than bubbling around for a few months and then being forgotten,” Vitalik said.

Memes all the way down

Buterin’s comments come as tokens that are either officially or unofficially linked to famous people like Donald Trump and Caitliyn Jenner have been riding high on the current crypto bull run.

Australian rapper Iggy Azalea launched a token on Solana in May. Since its launch, the token rose more than 520% to $0.1073, according to CoinGecko.

Market watchers expect the current memecoin frenzy to drive Solana — the blockchain many of these joke coins are trading — to record highs this year.

Hitting new highs and making celebs wealthier isn’t enough to meet Buterin’s high bar for memecoiner-y however.

Crypto market movers

  1. Bitcoin is up 3% over the past 24 hours to $70,940.
  2. Ethereum is up 1.1% to $3,800.

What we are reading

Eric Johansson is DL News’ News Editor. Got a tip? Email him at eric@dlnews.com.

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