Ever wondered why crypto people prefer to “HODL” and not “HOLD”? Why speaking of a scammy project many think of Ryan Gosling? And why your crypto mates keep greeting each other with “Wasu Wasu Wassup”?
In this article, we will dive into crypto memology and explain the stories behind the most popular memes.
Everybody knows that in crypto you do not hold, you HODL. The term first appeared as an apparently intentional typo in a 2013 Bitcointalk post. Other Bitcoiners liked it and so new meme/slang was born.
HODL is a partially ironic recommendation for traders and investors not to panic and sell all the crypto assets every time the charts go red. It is essentially an investment strategy that boils down to preserving crypto assets despite market volatility. Many cases have proven that HODLing is in fact more profitable than popular trading strategies, such as bots and arbitrage trading.
In crypto, the events usually generate memes. But in the case of DogeCoin, the meme became the cryptocurrency. Dogecoin is based on the Luckycoin coin, which is based on Litecoin, which in itself is a fork of Bitcoin. It was created as a “joke-coin” by the American programmer Bill Markus.
He took the “branding” from a Shiba Inu dog breed meme that has already been popular among the wider internet community. Markus created the coin because he wanted the cryptocurrency to be associated with something nicer than the financing of terrorism or money laundering. At that time it was a popular belief, strengthened by the case of Silk Road and other similar darknet marketplaces.
Dogecoin is the ‘kindest’ crypto on the market. It has a large community that likes to support charity initiatives. For example, in 2014, the community participated in fundraising for Jamaica’s Olympic bobsleigh team They qualified but had no money to participate. In the same year, Dogecoin raised $55,000 to sponsor the racer Josh Wise. As a result, he performed on the car with the Dogecoin logo, which increased the coin’s recognition.
If you do not start a conversation with your crypto mates with “Hey Hey Hey Wasu Wasu Wasuup” then why do you even crypto?
The meme originated from the way over-enthusiastic speaker at the Bitconnect conference by the name of Carlos Matos. His emotional 3-minute speech is now an iconic masterpiece at the gallery of crypto memes. Here is the video in case you somehow haven’t seen it before – it is definitely worth the time.
Despite the obvious suspicions raised by this style of presenting the crypto project and the overall doubts about the Bitconnect lending platform being a scam, the coin managed to get into the Top-20 cryptos list. The price of Bitconnect (BCC) rose from a post-ICO $0.17 to an all-time high of US$463.
It was the era of the ICO boom when literally any project could collect funds and investors were not paying much attention to the details in the rush for huge profits. In reality, Bitconnect just wrapped the good old multilevel marketing into the crypto package and sold it to thousands of people. This couldn’t last for long. Despite Carlos’s claims about the bright future, Bitconnect was declared a Ponzi Scheme by several regulations and the price fell by 92%.
Another iconic meme came from the active Bitconnect promoter and popular crypto YouTuber Trevon James. In the video, he desperately defends the Bitconnect as legitimate for almost 15 minutes, but the phrase “Technically, you kinda lost your money” ruined it all. The expression took its honorable place on the crypto meme shelf and is now used to mock the investors who put their money in scammy or unsuccessful projects.
In 2017, Bitcoin was mooning, with the all-time high set up at almost $20,000. On this hype wave, a well-known eccentric antivirus software tycoon John McAfee, the creator of the McAfee antivirus made a really ambitious claim. On Twitter, he said that he will eat his own, hm, private parts on national television if by 2020 the BTC will not exceed $500,000.
With such a price per one Bitcoin, the capitalization of the network should have been $8,000,000,000,000. For comparison, that’s twice the GDP of Japan. Unfortunately for him, if Bitcoin’s ecosystem did not yet overtake the Japanese economy.
Despite the wishes of anyone who tried to download Adobe Reader at least once in their life, McAfee’s promised fascinating gastronomic adventures are his least concern right now. At this moment, the famous software tycoon is locked in the Spanish prison due to the charges pressed by the US government.
They claim that he committed a tax fraud and used his public image to pump and dump coins, resulting in huge gains for him and losses for investors who followed his advice. If proven guilty, McAfee may face up to 35 years in jail, which will most likely be a life sentence for a 75-year-old millionaire.
Even though McAfee is waiting to be extradited back to the United States for trial, he still manages to pump the price of his cryptocurrency from behind the Spanish bars.
With the Bitcoin price mooning in 2017, the number of ICOs also increased exponentially. Thousands of projects declared the entire financial system being inefficient and promised that their token only can save us all.
However, most of the projects didn’t even bother to build their own blockchain and threw everything on Vitalik’s shoulders. Many of them did not develop any product at all and just vanished after the fundraising with the millions of investor’s money to spend on Lambos and jacuzzis.
Out of thousands of ICO scams, one particular token sale got into history. The project MIROSKII was so careless in their lies that they put up a picture of Ryan Gosling as a team member. This is how the crypto community learned that Gosling not only charms women around the world with his kind eyes and muscular body but also has a secret life of an experienced graphic designer with “a clear focus on logos and illustrations”.
Of course, other scammy projects also did not hesitate to use the Google images of famous people to form their “teams”. Fortunately, many got caught. However, only the team behind MIROSKII was smart enough to use the photo of twice Oscar nominee and the “Golden Globe” awarded actor.
This story has become a legendary illustration of both the audacity and laziness of the scammers and the notorious trustfulness of investors who put their savings in a fake project without any research. Despite the obvious lies, MIROSKII managed to collect $830,000 in total.
Crypto-wojak is a popular meme that depicts the emotional experience of a crypto investor depending on the market situation. When the price grows, Wojak is happy and turns green, when the price declines the guy turns red and angry.
The meme itself appeared long before crypto – it is also known as “Feel Guy”, widely used in “I know dat feel, bro” memes. “Wojak” translates as “soldier” from Polish.
For the very first time meme appeared back in 2009 on the German imageboard Krautchan. In a discussion, the British user Falco drew this face in MS Paint to troll the Polish user who badly spoke English. This user went by the nickname of Wojak. Soon, the image spread far beyond Krautchan and was no longer used in its original meaning, while retaining its name.
What is the formula for a legendary Bitcoin meme? Apparently, you only need a pen, paper, and an opportunity. It was another boring day at the Congress of the United States. The Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen was explaining the transparency of the US central bank and bla bla bla. That doesn’t really matter. What matters is that a few rows behind her sat a man who would later become famous as a “Bitcoin Sign Guy”.
He simply put up a legal pad with two words – “Buy Bitcoin”. It was on the air live for just a couple of seconds, but that was enough to become the most influential crypto event of 2017. Shortly after that, the security escorted him out of the hall. But his actions already had consequences – the price of Bitcoin on that day went up by 3.5%.
By early 2014, the Japanese exchange Mt.Gox was the largest in the world, processing more than 60% of all bitcoin transactions. Then someone hacked it and stole 740,000 Bitcoins (at that time it was 6% of all existing bitcoins). In February 2014, this amount was $500 million, at the current rate it will come to an astronomical $12,580,000,000.
In addition, hackers stole another $27 million from the exchange’s bank accounts. Mt. Gox later recovered 200,000 of those stolen Bitcoins, but it didn’t change the overall picture. As a result, Mt.Gox declared bankruptcy, leaving its clients without money.
One of the Mt.Gox traders once met the former head of the company, Mark Karpeles. He peacefully walked down the street with a cup of frappuccino. The very fact that a man, who was directly accused by many people of what had happened, was walking around peacefully with a glass of hipster coffee without thinking or doing anything to improve the situation, outraged the community. As a result, the jokes appeared that Karpeles will make refunds in frappuccinos, and the drink itself has become a symbol of impunity when it comes to exchange hacks.
The Mt.Gox case sobered the crypto community. The fact that 60% of Bitcoin investors used the same exchange indicates that in those innocent times, everyone believed in a bright future, and did not think about asset diversification.
After Mt.Gox, the trust in exchanges rapidly declined. Given that similar hacks keep happening all the time, it has not really grown. There is also an opinion that no one really hacks exchanges. Instead, their owners just steal cash to buy a new Lamborghini. However, no one has ever provided any direct evidence of this claim.
Was Mark Karpeles ever charged? Well, yes, he is under prosecution for failing obligations to investors, and manipulation of data. Right now he works as the technical director of the London VPN-provider Trust Media. Quite possibly, he is drinking the frappuccino in a cozy office somewhere in the City right now.
“I’m in for the tech” is a famous insincere response from the investors whose altcoins are losing in value. They claim that they are not interested in the price and joined the project to support the technology. Sure.
The meme is usually using a picture of a “golden man”, an Indian who bought a 3 Kg golden shirt for $250,000. Unfortunately, the man was reportedly robbed and beaten to death in 2016. The location of his famous shirt is still unknown.
It’s hard to say why out of all luxury cars the Lamborghini got in the hearts of the crypto community. Probably, it originated from one of the ‘rags to riches’ Bitcoin stories caught up by the broader media.
The fact is that crypto dudes love Lambos. It is not only a meme and not just a car. First of all, it is a powerful statement about Bitcoin as an investment asset and a fancy indicator of success in the crypto community.
Many see it as just a meme. However, the Lambo dealers reported the correlation between the BTC price increase and the number of sports cars sold. There is even a website to calculate how much BTC you need to get the desired model of Lamborghini.
Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum is one of the most beloved personalities in the crypto community. He also generated a lot of iconic crypto memes.
If Mark Zukerberg is an alien who is here to destroy the world, Vitalik is an alien who is changing it for the better. He is “in it for the tech”, and nobody has doubts about that after one of his legendary tweets. In it, he promised to quit if the community will get too focused on Lambos and speculation.
In 2016 a hacker attack disrupted The DAO ecosystem resulting in the loss of 3.6M ETH. Vitalik attempted to lower the damage in a chat with leading crypto exchanges. He typed the now-famous phrase “ok can you guys stop trading.” Like most of the memes, Vitalik’s comment was taken out of context and is now used in any situation where users suspect market manipulation.
Another remarkable meme from Vitalik was born when Bitcoin Cash overtook Ethereum in terms of market cap. As a true gentleman, Vitalik gave his congrats to BTH and at the same time generated another crypto catchphrase.