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Bitcoin is the Ultimate Meme Coin

And what this means for Degen, TN100x(Ham), and other emerging coins on Farcaster

When it comes to cryptocurrency, too often Bitcoin and Ether are cast as "serious" cryptocurrencies, and most everything else is categorized as a meme coin. Is this an honest assessment? I'm not so sure.

I would argue Bitcoin is a meme coin with characteristics not too different from any other meme coin in the market. It's just been more successful. Sure, we can look under the hood and observe it's more decentralized and reliable than most other cryptocurrencies, but if we're candid, is that really where Bitcoin derives its value from? No, its value comes from the meme. What do I mean?

When we think of memes, we think of images of cats with captions. But obviously, that's not what I'm referring to. Here's the Oxford definition:

A meme is an element of a culture or system of behavior passed from one individual to another by imitation or other nongenetic means.

Now that we have defined what a meme is, let's look at where Bitcoin gets its value from. It's not from a currency exchange, but rather, the fact that you value it at a certain price and you feel confident the next party you will transact with will also value it at the same price. When it first launched, that valuation was around $0.0008 US. Essentially, most people thought it was worthless, but there was a non-zero chance it could be worth something someday.

And that was further validated when a Florida man was able to pay for 2 pizzas (valued at ~$41 at the time) with 10,000 Bitcoin. This is an element of culture being passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means (and some imitation). As the Bitcoin meme continued to proliferate culture and enter the mainstream, its value continued to increase.

With a finite supply, increasing demand, and pretty damn cool and reliable technology, scarcity kicked in, and fast forward to 2024 where the price hovers above $60,000. Zoom out for a moment: it took 14 years, but a currency went from almost one-thousandth of a penny to $60,000.

So what does that mean for emerging coins on Farcaster, such as $DEGEN and Ham?

A lot.

Amount of time it took Bitcoin to reach $1: 2 years
Amount of time it took Bitcoin to reach $13: 4 years

You can see where I'm going with this: outsized gains are fun to fantasize about, but even for the most mature and widely accepted cryptocurrency, it was a long and volatile road.

As early adopters and the maiden patrons of the currency meme, we're too quick to lose our attention and move on to the next thing that saw a slight pump in price, go all in, find our tribe, do a dance, get discouraged by a dip, and then move on to the next currency. This type of lily padding makes it virtually impossible for any other cryptocurrency to gain traction. Granted, one can argue the issuer should be the torchbearer for driving the meme, but given the decentralized nature of the space, I am not so sure about that.

What it does require is a tight-knit, ironclad community with not only conviction but also amazing meme skills. Part of that is, yes, cat pictures with captions. It's not enough to be "diamond-handed" and refuse to sell. You have to be a brand ambassador and evangelizer. Be opportunistic and find ways to fit the currency into things that are witty, relatable, and ubiquitous, all at the same time.

Take the currency (whatever it is you choose, and perhaps you want to pick multiple), embrace it, run with it, and above all, have fun with it!

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