Meme coin is just an NFT without pictures.

Author: ZENECA

Translation: MetaCat

Layout: MetaCat

To be honest, the majority of NFT projects/communities are reimagined meme coins, shit coins, or any other term you want to call them.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, compare NFTs and meme coins, see where they are similar, where they differ, and what we can learn from them.

Cobie (to some extent) is right

Cobie once said, “NFTs are just meme coins with pictures.” The NFT community had a instinctual negative reaction to that statement at the time, but now more and more people are starting to realize that what he said might be a fact.

When we compare what is happening in the meme coin space now to what happened in the NFT space at the end of 2021 and most of 2022, it is easy to see the accuracy of his viewpoint.

Yes, I know there are exceptions.

I’ll talk about some exceptions later, and we know that not all NFTs are garbage. On the contrary, NFTs have tremendous potential, utility, and advantages that ERC-20 tokens cannot match. It’s just that currently, more than 99% of the NFT projects that have been launched can almost certainly be classified as Ponzi air projects.

Think about those 10k PFP series, they all have a team, a dream, and a “community”. Apart from a few exceptions, how are these tokens different from $PEPE, $DOGE, $SHIBA, $TURBO, $BEN, or any other unsuccessful ERC-20 tokens?

Oh, you don’t believe me?

“Oh, but my project has a plan, a roadmap, a vision, and a team working on it.”

Do you think meme coins don’t have roadmaps? Take a look at SafeMoon’s roadmap, one of the most popular meme coins in early 2021:

Looks familiar, doesn’t it?


The roadmap of most NFT projects is usually just a more polished version of the meme coin roadmap.

The internal structure of most meme coins is essentially the same as that of most NFT projects:

  1. You have an idea
  2. You start promoting this idea everywhere
  3. During the bullish/hype phase, this is usually accompanied by “presale” or “whitelist”, creating the illusion of high demand and generating fomo emotions for those who didn’t buy in
  4. Usually, there is a “roadmap”
  5. After you sell, most buyers/holders immediately try to list at a price higher than the purchase price
  6. 97-99% of holders hope for price appreciation and sell to the next sucker
  7. The reason why 1-3% of holders stay is because they actually believe in the idea/community/vision/project, or something else

The lifecycle looks basically the same:

  1. Start
  2. There is a lot of hype before Mint/release
  3. After release, there are attempts to further drive up the price; during a bull market, this can become crazy
  4. An inevitable major incident
  5. Maybe there will be a second pump, but usually not
  6. Slowly bleed to death, some stubborn fans try to revive the project, but most people have already left
  7. Meanwhile, “holders” keep saying, “Wow, look at how many holders we have”, “Look who just bought in”, “Why are people selling”, “Buy the dip”, “The team is working”, etc.
  8. Sounds familiar, right? If you have spent some time in NFT Discord servers or Meme coin Discord/Telegram, none of this should come as a surprise.
  9. The atmosphere is astonishingly similar. Again, I know there are exceptions. I know this doesn’t apply to all projects.


One strange phenomenon is that when it comes to NFT projects, people seem to hold the team more responsible than Meme coin teams. Perhaps it’s because people already expect the Meme coin team to dissolve and the token to go to zero, whereas there is no such expectation for NFT projects.

It’s not that people don’t want the founders of Meme coins to be held accountable, but in most cases, those expectations ultimately turn into rug pulls.

I think people actually know that Meme coins are gambling games, because that’s essentially what Meme coins are. The same mindset doesn’t apply to NFT projects, maybe because there are more exceptions to the rule.

This often means that the lifecycle of NFT projects is much longer than that of Meme coins, and compared to the quick deaths of most Meme coins, we see more “slow rugs” in NFT projects.

We also see many legitimately viable projects with longer lifespans and a greater likelihood of establishing a sustainable business model + ecosystem that can break the Ponzi scheme and truly create value.

A deeper exploration of the differences reveals that NFTs are inherently unique.

This uniqueness enables potential innovation, products, and solutions that simply cannot be achieved with fungible tokens.

Whenever discussing the possibilities and future of NFTs, I like to refer to the image by @punk6529. We are in the early stages of crypto. Most of NFTs still belong to the domain of art and collectibles, but gaming, metaverse, brands, culture, and intellectual property also have a place and exciting things are happening in these areas.

Of course, people and companies have already created amazing things related to NFTs: reward/loyalty programs, ticketing, POAP, memberships, etc.

Of course, crypto art is one of the best use cases for this technology. Digital artists around the world finally have a way to sell their works, and collectors finally have a way to collect digital art.

Another big difference between meme coins and NFT projects is the role played by the “team.” For NFT projects, the team is often heavily doxxed and takes risks with their reputation. If the project doesn’t go well, the community holds them accountable (I believe every NFT project founder knows this well).

For meme coins, it’s different. Completely anonymous projects still gain trading volume and reach crazy market caps. And more commonly, the project team openly deceives you.

Clearly, the intentions of many NFT project founders are much purer than those of most meme coin founders. Many of them sincerely believe in their ideas and have put in tremendous effort to go from 0 to 1. This is also a big reason why I’m still here and why I remain bullish on NFT technology.

Defending Meme

It seems like I’m completely downplaying meme coins, but in reality, I don’t hate them. On the contrary, I think memes are extremely important.

Memes are the most powerful thing in the world. Memes rule everything, everything is a meme. Memes are not just doge and pepe; religion is a meme, diet is a meme, and all fashion is essentially a meme.

Memes are culture.


Many meme coins have a life of their own. It’s interesting to watch them evolve, mutate, and spread within the community. I think it’s a mistake to immediately discard them; there’s a lot to learn from meme coins.

However, unfortunately, there are side effects. One of the side effects is the cognitive problem they cause. People easily view the entire meme coin space as a huge scam. While I know it’s not the case, and you know it’s not the case, we hope that everyone in the world will eventually know this too.

Most meme coins are scams, but that doesn’t mean ERC-20 standards are useless.

Most NFTs are scams, but that doesn’t mean ERC-721 or ERC-1155 standards are useless.

Most Layer 1s are scams, but that doesn’t mean BTC or ETH are useless.

Are meme coins the canary in the mining event/ bull market? Maybe!

Meme coins are a simple way for retail investors to enter and start consuming in this space, especially once they get listed on exchanges. Perhaps for many who have been watching, meme coins are the first step they decide to take.

So, is it worth investing in meme coins?

You can make huge profits by trading meme coins, just like you did with NFTs. There’s no other market on earth where you can consistently see returns of 100x to 1000x. No risk, no reward. No guts, no glory. The reason the returns are so high is because the risks are so high.

The downside is that in 90-100% of cases, you end up with massive negative returns!

Meme coins are a microcosm of asymmetric bets. Think about situations where you get returns of 100x. To break even on a 100x investment strategy, you might have to bear the expenses of 99 projects.

One thing to remember: the odds are always against you, the house and the whales always have the advantage. That doesn’t mean you can’t win, but you’re playing two different games.

Trading meme coins is gambling.

Gambling can make money; you can even have an edge and become a profitable gambler. Just be clear about the space you’re entering, understand the risks, and only gamble with what you can afford to lose.

Most people shouldn’t be doing these trades.

Everyone overestimates their ability to be a profitable trader. In fact, everyone would be better off dollar-cost averaging into BTC + ETH each month without doing anything else.

How do you know if you should trade meme coins?

When I was a professional poker player, people always asked me, “Should I become a professional poker player?”

My answer was always the same: If you have to ask, the answer is no.

If you have to ask whether you should trade meme coins, if you have to ask if it’s a wise thing for you, if you need others to validate it for you, then you shouldn’t trade meme coins. You need to know your edge, but the obvious fact is that most people don’t have an edge.

Happy Treadmill

Take a step back and think about why you might want to trade Meme coins, NFTs, or anything else. What is the ultimate goal? Is it to make more money? If so, what is the purpose? Why are you here? When is enough enough? What is the goal? What is the real goal?

Finally, here are two fables for you to reflect on:


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