Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has outlined a "positive-sum" vision for meme coins, arguing that the current crop of meme-inspired cryptocurrencies do little more than "go up and down in price and contribute nothing of value in their wake."

In a recent blog post, Buterin argued that "many people feel uneasy" about the current crop of meme coins, and outlined how the "financialized games" that underpin them can be made to support public goods and charities.

He took aim at a recent wave of "openly super-racist" meme coins on blockchains such as Solana, adding that, "I have zero enthusiasm for coins named after totalitarian political movements, scams, rugpulls or anything that feels exciting in month N but leaves everyone upset in month N+1."


Buterin seemed to be referring to a rash of blatantly racist tokens that appeared on exchanges last week, many that used the n-word, a token called "Jews did 9/11," and "NAZI," which appears on exchanges with a swastika as its trading symbol.

"One answer to this conundrum is to shake our heads and virtue-signal about how much we are utterly abhorred by and stand against this stupidity," Buterin said. A more productive step, he argued, is to create a "more positive-sum version" of the whole concept of meme coins.

Buterin envisions meme coins being more like GiveWell Inu (which is no longer active), which promised to donate a portion of its proceeds to the Give Well organization.

Back in 2021, after Buterin had been gifted half the Shiba Inu (SHIB) supply he swapped them for Ethereum. After he'd done that, he sent $53 million worth of the ETH to Give Well. But the project seems to no longer be maintained.

Anticipating that his ideas might steal the fun of degens who enjoy taking a gamble on new meme coins, he suggested that developers build better Web3 games. He specifically put the spotlight on the 0xPARC organization, which has been responsible for games Dark Forest and FrogCrypto.


"I value people's desire to have fun," Buterin said, adding that, "I would rather the crypto space somehow swim with this current rather than against it."

Edited by Stephen Graves.

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