In just two weeks after its creation by anonymous founders, the memecoin PEPE skyrocketed into the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. The impressive run of the token sparked another memecoin frenzy on the Ethereum platform, similar to what happened with Dogecoin in 2021. An overview.
PEPE is a classic ERC20 token based on Ethereum. As a memecoin, the token was created as a joke based on the popular internet meme "Pepe the Frog." Similar to predecessors Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB), the token has no utility according to the founding team. PEPE is supposed to be completely useless and only serves as entertainment. Nevertheless, the token quickly reached a market capitalization of $1 billion, which soon placed PEPE in the top 50 of all cryptocurrencies. Similar to the memecoin frenzy during the 2021 bull market, various imitators emerged, looking to profit from PEPE's success with their own derivatives.
The meme behind the ERC20 token
Pepe the Frog was created in 2005 by artist Matt Furie as part of his comic "Boy's Club." Thanks to his likable and humorous expressions, the character quickly became popular in various internet forums and social media platforms. Pepe's widespread appeal made him a perfect candidate for a meme. The character's popularity grew rapidly in the late 2000s on the predecessors of modern social media: Myspace, Gaia Online, and 4chan.
Over the years, Pepe has been associated with various groups. The meme continues to be used as a joke on social media, served as a symbol of resistance during the protests in Hong Kong, and according to some organisations is reportedly used as an icon for extremists. Regardless of its associations with various groups, Pepe remains a central part of internet culture - another similarity with the origins of Dogecoin.
PEPE: another memecoin is created
The ERC-20 token PEPE has no connection with Matt Furie or his creation. The memecoin is merely a tribute to the veteran figure. PEPE is a token with no intrinsic value or expectation of financial return, according to the memecoin's website. There is neither an official team nor a concrete roadmap. Nevertheless, speculators spurred an impressive run to 3rd place among all memecoins.
The majority of PEPE token activity still takes place on the Ethereum blockchain, despite being listed on some centralized exchanges. On the decentralized exchange Uniswap alone, the memecoin registers daily volumes in the hundreds of millions. These are significant trading volumes that are usually only seen with Ether (ETH) and some stablecoins. As usual in the crypto space, the success of the token inspired wild speculation on further memecoins. This ultimately led to a spike in average Ethereum transaction fees to levels not seen since the launch of the Bored Ape Metaverse NFT "Otherside" in May 2022.