Bitcoin did well last month in a period dubbed "Uptober" by crypto enthusiasts.
But its modest gains of 40% were nothing compared to the weird world of meme coins, where cryptocurrencies unheard of just months ago experienced gains of upwards of 3,900%.
Meme coins—cryptos based on internet memes, current events, online communities and influencers—have become a hot craze. And they are making lucky investors who made well-timed bets very rich.
So which ones performed best in October?
The best performing meme coins were largely unheard of. There are so many popping up each day it can be hard to keep track of them all (Ever heard of the WOOF token, one of the many Solana-based "dog coins" that have sprung up recently? Well, if you had last month, you'd be a whole lot richer now—it’s up 20,000%.)
Trading volume for most of these meme coins that are generating 1000x returns is still relatively small, so we'll stick to the ones that traders are actually moving in large numbers.
Shiba Inu: 804% increase
First up, we have Shiba Inu, which despite getting a lot of attention, did modestly compared to other meme coins. Shiba Inu—or SHIB—is a meme coin that runs on the Ethereum network. It was created to poke fun at Dogecoin, previously the biggest meme coin by market cap and Elon Musk's favorite cryptocurrency.
And last month its value ballooned by 804%: up from $0.00000723 on October 1 to $0.00006536 by the end of the month, according to CoinGecko stats. SHIB, which as of September is now trading on leading U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase, has a 24-hour trading volume that stands at over $8 billion.
Samoyedcoin, which trades under SAMO, is a meme coin inspired by Dogecoin, crypto exchange FTX's CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, and Anatoly Yakovenko, the founder of Solana.
SAMO runs on Solana, a popular blockchain alternative to Ethereum which itself has experienced monster gains. And just like SHIB, SAMO claims to be fun and community-owned—calling itself the "most adorable dog on any blockchain."
From the start of "Uptober" it was priced at $0.00557457 and closed the month at $0.138738—a 2,388% increase. Its 24-hour trading volume is $35.9 million.
Dogelon Mars: 3,984%
But the "Uptober" winner was Dogelon Mars, or ELON, which soared by nearly 4,000% last month. The Dogecoin spin-off, which also runs on Ethereum's network, has made headlines because it is named after Tesla CEO Elon Musk—who famously pumps meme coins' prices on Twitter (although he hasn't spoken about this crypto at all.)
Soon. https://t.co/3FpHb9DY1n pic.twitter.com/Juyhh6dDJO
— Dogelon Mars (@DogelonMars) October 28, 2021
Within the last 24 hours, more than $251 million-worth of ELON has been traded.
Like the other meme coins on this list, it doesn't have much utility other than a bit of fun. Its creators donated 50% of the entire token supply to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who later cashed them out and gave them to charity.
Meme coins and tokens may look tempting with such seemingly easy returns, but such cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile, and investments don't always have a happy ending. In fact, some "get rich quick" meme coins are outright scams. Case in point: Squid Game token investors just today lost a collective $2 million when the developer of the cryptocurrency closed up shop and ran off with the cash.
The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.