Analysis

Solana's Celebrity Memecoin Sideshow

Celebrities are coming for a good time, not a long time.
Jack Inabinet Jack Inabinet Jun 4, 20243 min read
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Solana's Celebrity Memecoin Sideshow

Celebrities have once again returned to crypto, and this time, they're embracing a more fungible path forward, slapping their names on tickers and pumping up the memecoin fever.

Minor and major celebrities are no strangers to the crypto world, but there haven't been quite as many around since FTX's blowup.

So, what's bringing them back?

The promise of memecoin riches on Solana.


⭐️ Solana Celebrities

The latest tokens from public figures like Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, SoundCloud rapper Trippie Redd, and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner have made a big splash across Crypto Twitter over the past week.

And while the industry has been embroiled in a nuanced debate over whether thee new crop of launches offer any positives for the space, it's hard to argue that the individuals launching one-click tokens bearing their names have much more than profits on their mind.

Celebrity coin pump-and-dumps often come at the market's frothiest moments, as the promises of easy money by dumping on fans proves too irresistible and the threat of reputational damage seems too minimal.

Why Solana?

While past celebrity crypto promotional efforts have typically centered around shilling existing projects or launching NFT projects or tokens to the Ethereum network, this most recent crop of memes is unique due to its Solana origins. Unlike the past cycle, there is a compelling argument to be made that Solana is the premier onchain speculation destination – particularly with respect to memecoin trading.

Solana subscribes to a monolithic version for the future of blockchains, meaning that all liquidity is concentrated at a single layer, a beneficial feature that increases the amount of capital available to purchase tokens compared to Ethereum’s more fragmented L2s. Further, Solana’s commitment to scaling through hardware upgrades allows the network to enjoy transaction speeds that simply cannot be replicated on the Ethereum L1.

The rise of nuanced memecoin subcultures from within Solana is not a new development, but celebrity-promoted tokens mark the first time this phenomenon is actually likely to onboard new people and capital into the crypto industry.

Reputational Damage?

Despite the hopes that increasing celebrity crypto adoption indicates a deeper mainstream willingness to adopt the technology, the concern remains that an eventual collapse of this mania will burn bridges with those whose first onchain interactions were purchasing these same celebrity memecoins.

There aren't a lot of reasons to expect this latest crop of celebrities to play a long-term game, making it highly probable that their tokens will eventually become worthless. Unfortunately, the disgruntled investors and inevitable securities violations that this trend is likely to produce will only serve to generate negative coverage on the industry.

Although some previous iterations of celebrity-promoted crypto tokens had focused on providing utility for holders, the memes gaining traction over the past week have been entirely useless, resulting from low-effort launches through one-click token deployers and coming with zero benefits other than a litany of promotional tweets from their associated celebrity.

Insider activity is abundantly clear for many of these tokens, and while Solana degens may be aping tickers with aspirations to sell at a profit to a celebrity’s fans in the near future, they first have to accept that they are being dumped on by the celebrity and other associated insiders and consider if they’re comfortable becoming the “community members” of a worthless project. 

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Jack Inabinet

Written by Jack Inabinet

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Jack Inabinet is a Senior Analyst with a passion for exploring the bleeding edge of crypto and finance. Prior to joining Bankless, Jack worked as an analyst at HAL Real Estate where he conducted market research and financial analysis for commercial apartment development and acquisition activities in the Seattle region. He graduated from the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business and remains based out of the Seattle area.

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