To make a quick buck, cryptocurrency developers are always on the hunt for viral events. When Chris Rock was slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars, a Will Smith digital currency was created. Additionally, the Squid Game coin was minted after the Netflix series “Squid Game” attained international renown.
Queen Elizabeth II is now in the spotlight.
More than 40 different varieties of meme coins were produced in the days after the queen’s death, according to industry statistics and media sources. These digital currencies are frequently established by unidentified individuals who have access to coin-creating websites and a creative name concept. And their value is known to fluctuate in violent swings.
This includes the Queen Elizabeth Inu coin, which was created and is accessible on a number of cryptocurrency platforms, and generally pays tribute to her passing. After a roughly 30,000 percent rise and fall from its initial value, the coin is now valued at approximately $0.000003. Long Live the Queen is another coin that quickly lost popularity once it was minted.
In the emerging decentralized internet known as web3, experts claimed that the majority of these coins are often a joke or a fraud rather than legal means of payment. Some even resemble gambling. According to David Hsiao, CEO of the crypto magazine Block Journal, “it’s no different than folks selling T-shirts outside of Buckingham Palace.” Just the web3 version, please.
Most stories place the creation of meme coins in the year 2013 during the rise in popularity of an image of a talking Shiba Inu puppy by the name of Doge. To mock the cryptocurrency industry, a couple of software developers created dogecoin, a themed digital money. But when cryptocurrency became more widely accepted in 2021, the industry started to thrive. Online, popular figures like Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk have praised joke currencies like dogecoin.
Dogecoin and Shiba Inu are two currencies that have survived and are accepted as payment at Tesla and GameStop. Most are jokes and dangerous investments with no clear benefit, such Space Kim, a token satirizing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Even bitcoin, which has been around for more than a decade and is seen as being more mainstream, is subject to significant price fluctuations. Additionally, the industry is generally unregulated, making it vulnerable to fraud.
Meme currencies sometimes have low value; several can be purchased for as little as a fraction of a penny. According to cryptocurrency skeptic and web3 blogger Molly White, their worth is typically founded on the assumption that “other people will buy it from you for more than you paid for it.”
The best-case scenario, according to her, is for it to go viral because “people perceive that it’s going to significantly increase in price and therefore they want to buy it.” It seems logical that people are essentially just waiting for any topic they believe has the potential to go viral in order to profit from it.
The price fluctuations for coins like Queen Elizabeth Inu can be sudden and abrupt. A few hours before her death was reported, Buckingham Palace revealed she was ill, and the coin immediately began trading. One coin was worth approximately $0. 000185 shortly after she passed away, according to the cryptocurrency statistics provider Dexscreener. The coin’s worth had gotten significantly lower by Friday afternoon.
However, some investors continue to be enthusiastic on the secure messaging platform Telegram, where investors discuss the coin’s performance. “With this coin, $50k is EASY! I really believe that this coin will receive $500k at the burial, one guy commented. Someone else was more blunt: Funeral day is approaching. They said, “Fill those bags.”
The channel, which has close to 900 members, has changed its tenor recently. One user said, “The queen and this token are dead.” “Let them Rest In Peace,” some said. Others advise endurance as the coin’s value declines: “Guys! Trust the process!”
An inquiry for comments was not answered by the Telegram channel’s moderators.
People who own these tokens are attempting to get others to own them because they think they will increase in value for whatever reason, according to White. “That’s best for [their] interests.” Numerous non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with the topic of the queen have also been produced by cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, such as God Save the Queen, a commemorative token that features vibrant cartoon images of the monarch carrying a staff bearing the bitcoin logo. NFTs, which are digital tokens that effectively serve as internet land deeds that allow owners to claim digital artwork, music, and images, have also gone through wildly fluctuating price swings.
The interest in web3 products related to the queen has reportedly attracted less interest than he had anticipated, according to Ethan McMahon, an economist at the cryptocurrency research company Chainalysis. For instance, the NFT known as RIP Data from Chainalysis revealed that 1,817 people bought The Queen on its first day, which was published soon after her passing. It was one as of Thursday morning. This occurs as activity on the major NFT exchanges reaches all-time lows.
According to McMahon, queen-themed coins and NFTs appear to serve only the novelty function. More crucially, compared to a year ago, when coin prices were sky-high and people had more disposable cash thanks to pandemic stimulus funding, there is less confidence in the overall cryptocurrency industry. He claimed that “people maybe just don’t have the most conviction in cryptocurrency right now, and perhaps don’t have the most expendable cash or resources.” Therefore, things like these won’t receive the same level of ongoing hype as they could have a year ago.
Despite this, crypto critics, analysts, and specialists concur that government intervention and regulation are necessary, particularly in light of recent scams. The Squid Game memecoin’s designers let its value to increase to $2,860 over the course of 11 days in November before abandoning the project, causing the coin’s worth to drop to almost zero and taking $3.3 million in investor money with them.
Viral cryptocurrencies, according to White, author of the blog Web3 Is Going Just Great, have serious consumer protection weaknesses. There is no amount of disclosure or transparency regarding who is behind these meme tokens or similar items, what their objectives are, or even who they are, the speaker claimed. There would be no way to identify the [creators] or follow them down to take legal action if they fled with a token.
Hsiao of the Block Journal concurred, but pointed out that frequently, the sums of money that dishonest people con out of them are not enough to get regulators’ notice. It’s unquestionably a prime location for money grabbers, he remarked.
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