If there is one thing we love here at the Coin Bureau, it is a good crypto meme. And why not? Memes have become such a big part of our everyday culture and society, providing us with community-driven insight and opinions for everything from current events, major news, and of course, just plain old good humour.
I can’t even count the number of times I found out about a breaking news event only after seeing a handful of memes start popping up on one of the too-many meme apps on my phone, thinking I should probably look into this breaking news event and figure out what is happening… Once I’ve finished laughing, of course.
There has been a major shift in how our culture chooses to receive and consume information in the modern age, shifting from paper-based newspapers and articles to online sources, such as where you find yourself now. Interestingly, meme culture is something that is now being academically studied as it is a growing phenomenon that has fundamentally shifted the way in which information is broadcasted around the world.
There have even been academic papers written about how memes are this generations’ comic strips, showcasing similar satirical information that our parents and grandparents would have read on the back page of newspapers back in the day. Believe it or not, you can even study memes and how they affect society at university now, meme studies being offered by the likes of the University of Westminster, Brown University and even the coveted, prestigious Cambridge University to name a few.
With memes infiltrating the topics that touch nearly every aspect of our lives, you can find memes for pretty much any subject, so it is no surprise that meme culture has even worked its way into the beloved crypto space with many imaginative crypto enthusiasts also being meme lovers and creators. In this article, I am going to showcase some of my favourite crypto memes of all time.
Disclaimer: I hold many of the tokens mentioned in this article as part of my personal portfolio.
Explaining Crypto to No-Coiners
The first crypto meme on the list falls under the classic, How I Think I Look, vs How I Actually Look, category. For anyone who has ever tried to explain Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency to people not well-versed on the subject, this meme should feel familiar.
The concept of crypto can be tough to grasp for many out there who still feel that Bitcoin is, “rainbow money,” with no real value. I’ve tried explaining my thoughts on crypto to my father for years, and he still shrugs and says, “I just don’t understand the Bitcoin.” Even if the conversation has nothing to do with Bitcoin, he refers to the entire crypto space as, “the Bitcoin,” bless him, he’s a simple man.
What really cracks me up about this meme is how it accurately pokes fun at how many crypto conversations evolve. When trying to explain crypto to a no-coiner, you can start by explaining why the economic fundamentals of Bitcoin just make sense, or get into the tech behind blockchain, and its potential for future innovation.
Though the majority of crypto conversations I have, end up in me going on a rant about how flawed the traditional financial system is and how this crazy, “rainbow money” has the potential to save us from those evil banks, leaving my Tinder date staring blankly, sipping on Starbucks while eyeing the exit… They never call me back.
This meme is one that has been recycled many times as it can be used for any topic that is complex or crazy to try and explain. The meme shares the same name Pepe Silva, as the episode it originated from, taken from a scene in a comedy series called, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
The episode features a storyline where one of the main characters, Charlie, goes on a crazy conspiratorial rant about how he believes a person named Pepe Silva who works in the company doesn’t actually exist.
Gotta Catch 'Em All!
Here is a great meme that speaks volumes of truth, summing up the journey that many crypto holders take when they first get into the crypto space.
Most Crypto holders follow a similar path when they are first getting involved. For the majority of folks who first venture into the space, they will first dip their toes and test the waters by buying a bit of Bitcoin. Once they see how easy it is and maybe they’ve made some money, with Bitcoin acting as the gateway crypto, now holders might want to venture a bit further down the rabbit hole, with the next logical step being to pick up some Ethereum.
Once you discover the power behind Ethereum and the insanely massive Ethereum ecosystem and use cases, many crypto holders now become full-blown DeFi degenerates, picking up all sorts of ERC20 tokens. They likely buy into some of these coins as they truly believe in the project, or think they can make a quick buck, or both.
But wait a minute, nobody wants to have all their eggs in one basket, what if someday one of the Ethereum competitors over-takes it? Not wanting to miss out and bet on the wrong horse in the race to DeFi supremacy and Web 3.0, now they start picking up Eth competitors as well, buying coins like Cardano, Solana, and Cosmos. Next thing you know, they started off with one wallet to hold Bitcoin, and now have four crypto wallets, use five different exchanges, and own sixty-seven different cryptos spread out all over the place and now I need… I mean they need a spreadsheet just to keep track of them all.
This boy scout with badges meme was first used in the protect your girl, series where the meme community found humour in finding pictures of people featured in situations that are not exactly known as being “cool,” in the traditional sense, implying in a joking manner that you had better protect your date from being stolen by these folks who probably aren’t so hot in the dating department. This meme was reused brilliantly to highlight what it feels like when you dive too deep into the altcoin space and start feeling like a Pokemon trainer trying to catch them all.
Dogecoin Could Never be "Real" Money
Ah Dogecoin, no crypto meme list would be complete without an inclusion of the beloved original meme coin that started it all. While Dogecoin did start out as a token with no real purpose other than to be used as a joke, it has certainly exploded into a planetary wide and cultural phenomenon, now with real-life use cases after it piqued the interest of Billionaire Elon Musk and Millionaire Mark Cuban.
This meme is fantastic as it highlights a major flaw in our existing monetary system. Dogecoin has been ridiculed endlessly in the past as the argument states that something with an infinite supply cannot be used as a currency or store of value. The argument being that what makes something valuable is that there is a finite supply such as we see with Bitcoin, Gold, and Silver. Therefore, something with an infinite supply should not be able to hold value, but as we have seen, especially since the pandemic, is that central banks around the world continually print money out of thin air.
The meme highlighting the issue that if the Fed can just continue to print money, why is an infinite supply of Doge a problem but printing an infinite supply of money isn’t?
The meme itself is called, Monkey Puppet, and first appeared in a Japanese children’s television show called Ōkiku Naru Ko which ran from the 1960s to ’80s. The meme first appeared in 2016 and shows the reaction of a puppet looking towards the camera then awkwardly away, in a shady, shifty sort of side glance which is used to show scenarios where there is one guilty party, looking away in hopes nobody will notice, or simply choosing to ignore an issue.
Dogecoin- The People's Money?
Speaking of Doge, we also need to include a couple features from the Dogecoin father himself, Elon Musk. Elon Musk has been a massive supporter of Dogecoin all throughout 2021, tying the coin to both Tesla and Space X, two companies owned by Elon.
For reasons probably only known to Elon, he is pushing this coin and promoting it for worldwide, mass adoption and even wants to see Doge become the main digital currency of Earth, or Mars, whichever comes first. This hillariously photoshopped meme is taken from the scene in Disney’s The Lion King, where Simba is shown to the world as their future king, paying homage to how Elon wants Doge to be adopted and accepted by the world.
As I wasn't able to decide which Elon+Doge meme I liked best, I also decided to throw in this meme as well, photoshopped from the scene out of James Cameron’s Titanic, in the iconic scene where Jack holds onto Rose, paying homage to how much Elon must really love this meme-inspired asset.
The story of the Shiba meme itself originates before the coin adopted the pet as its mascot. First appearances of the Doge meme date back to 2010 and features a Shiba Inu dog, or “doge” as it is commonly misspelt, looking suspiciously at the camera. The meme started off with captions added above or below the Shiba, often outlining the skeptical or suspicious thoughts of the dog, using misspelt words and poor grammar as dogs aren’t typically known for their grammar and punctuation skills. Throughout the years, the loveable Shiba Inu dog has found itself photoshopped into countless other pictures, movie scenes and imaginative scenarios.
I Thought Bitcoin Only Goes up?
Ah yes, those crypto markets can be one heck of a volatile roller coaster ride. Anyone who has been left holding their crypto stacks through a bear market can attest to that.
I think almost everyone who has been involved in crypto for long enough has experienced the rollercoaster of emotions and regrets of not taking profits during bull runs. This meme refers to those who held Bitcoin in 2017 during a massive bull run where Bitcoin went from $900 dollars to an eye-watering $20,000 dollars, turning many Bitcoin enthusiasts into millionaires within a year, with their new fortunes causing coiners to feel like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby.
For anyone who did not sell and take profits, they also had to live through the massive Bitcoin crash at the end of December where the 20k Bitcoin dropped below the 13k level, leaving anyone who bought in over 13k in the negatives, causing fortunes to disappear and leaving Bitcoin holders now feeling more like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant, where he is attacked by wolves, leaving Bitcoiners feeling similar as they were attacked by bears in the market.
The Great Gatsby Reaction meme is a great meme that has been circulating since the film was released in 2013. The meme shows a scene from the film where Leonardo DiCaprio toasts a martini glass, looking very classy. This is one of those heart-warming memes that is often used to acknowledge fellow comrades and internet friends who share similar interests and passions across the internet.
This is a feeling I remember all too well as I believe it is the closest that I’ve ever been to having a heart attack. With so many stories going around on how people have lost their crypto forever by making simple mistakes, crypto transactions can be nerve-wracking even for veterans in the space. This is especially true for those involved in DeFi, because often if you make a mistake and lose your coins, there is no company or exchange that is able to help you get those coins back.
This meme highlights the feeling that crypto users experience after nervously double and triple-checking the right crypto receiving address and network, and the jumping off a cliff feeling that follows moments after hitting the “send” button for the painstaking seconds or minutes it can take for the transaction to appear on the block explorer, or at the receiving address, leaving you fearing your funds may be lost in “cryptospace,” forever.
The meme Sweating Jordan Peele graced us with its presence in 2013 and showcases comedian Jordan Peele in a scene from his comedy series Key and Peele, as he sweats profusely in a nervous situation where his girlfriend asks him questions about his internet search history… A situation many of us hope to never find ourselves in I am sure.
Isn't it all Moons and Lambos?
Crypto holders have a reputation for not always making the most financially responsible decisions, often overexposing themselves to very risky crypto assets.
This meme highlights just that, as it shows a very poor looking spaceman laying in a simple room with very few comforts or luxuries. The term, “getting wrecked,” or, “much rekt,” if you are a Shiba doge, often get passed around in the crypto community as we have all seen crypto markets dip massively, some altcoins dropping 90% or more in value, leaving coin holders getting wrecked.
There are endless stories of crypto speculators going, “all in,” on some random altcoin that nobody has ever heard of hoping to make millions, and get stuck with huge losses as the coin loses much of, if not all of its value, leaving crypto traders in similar situations as the moon man shown above, but probably without the cool spacesuit.
The meme also shows signs of substance abuse beside the bed highlighting the stressful nature of crypto investing and the effects that experiencing losses can have. What tops this brilliant meme off is the fact that the person is literally in a spacesuit and even has pictures of spacecraft and the moon pinned to the wall as crypto holders commonly use the term, “to the moon,” when they are referring to how high in price that they hope their crypto can go. It doesn’t look like this crypto investor is going to make it to the moon or be buying Lambo's anytime soon.
Can I get my Money Back? This was not as Advertised
Here we get into the myths and legends of the coveted, “Ethereum Killer.” A term that has been thrown around since Ethereum’s release in 2015.
Ethereum was the first to be crowned the mantle of king in the smart contract space and no crypto has ever come close to taking that title away. Though every few months or years we hear of a new, “Ethereum competitor,” emerging that is rumoured to be able to steal that crown, providing superior tech and functionality. As rumours rumble about some new network that is going to leave Ethereum dead in a ditch as everyone leaves ETH for this new revolutionary network, we have not seen it yet.
So-called, “Ethereum Killers,” have come in the form of networks such as EOS, NEO, Tron, and many others, but not a single one has come close to living up to that title, leaving those networks looking more like the pineapple version of Aquaman, as opposed the real thing. I will admit that I am a huge fan of some of these Ethereum alternatives as we see massive adoption from alternatives such as Cardano and Solana, but it is starting to look more like these networks will be able to exist in harmony side by side, as opposed to needing to kill each other off.
Here is another meme that alludes to the stressful nature of crypto investing.
One of the barriers to entry for institutions getting involved in this asset class is the amount of volatility that exists in this market. Just in 2021 alone, we have lived through multiple corrections and dips, each time causing worry, stress and panic in the crypto space, leaving us all feeling a bit like old man Harold up there, looking rough at 25 as we nervously check our portfolio values a hundred times a day and watch our net worth go up and down as quickly as a kid whose eaten too much sugar bouncing on a trampoline.
This meme is one of an entire series simply called, Harold. Harold is a stock photography model who is shown performing various activities, posing while carrying out average daily tasks, each photo as meme-worthy as the last. While unintentional, the hilarious expression on Harold’s face often appears to be one of suppressed pain and discomfort, making Harold the perfect model for memes of many different flavours. The earliest known meme of poor old Harold dates back to 2011 and has been passed around the meme space, providing laughs for a decade now.
That’s all folks!
That’s it for my picks of the top crypto memes of all time. With so many golden ones to choose from, I couldn’t possibly have included them all, but I hope you guys enjoyed my picks, that I provided a laugh or two, and that you enjoyed reading the article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Memes have become a common language shared and appreciated by so many of us, and it is great to see memes come to the cryptospace as these memes continue to find their way into non-crypto meme circles, raising awareness and adoption to those who may be curious and want to learn more about, “the Bitcoin.”
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.