Ethereum: The Meme Economy

3 min readNov 12, 2021

Meme. an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from one person to another in a culture. — Merriam-Webster Dictionary

On June 5, 1933, when the US Dollar was decoupled from the Gold Standard, the nation first truly entered the ‘Meme Economy’. One could argue that even gold itself has value only because of its meme, but certainly we all can agree that Fiat derives 100% of its values from its meme. Belief. Blind faith. Culture.

Most of us are ignorant to the fact that the Dollar is purely a cultural meme. That is why many people are so hesitant with regards to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin whose supporters blatantly accept and broadcast the fact that its value comes purely from its Meme. However that type of derivation of value is no different from that of the un-backed floating Dollar.

What we have seen since 2016, as more people have learned about memetic value, is an explosion of new assets who also derive their value purely from cultural impact. From history. From blind belief.

Beeple’s collage, Everydays: The First 5000 Days, sold at Christie’s.

For example, digitally signed ‘crypto-coins’ [signed by the artist] that link to images, called ‘NFTs’, have witnessed an explosion in memetic value. In cultural acceptance. As more people believe that they have value, their value increases. In the meme economy that we entered in 1933, the value of an asset is directly correlated with the number of people who believe that it has value.

Today, alongside NFTs, people are even launching meme coins. There are popular phrases in the NFT Twitter community such as ‘GM’ (Good Morning), WGMI (We [Are] Gonna Make It), and ‘GN’. Since those phrases gave those terms memetic value, there have been entrepreneurial coders who launched meme coins with tickers of the same name (GM, WGMI, GN) and the prices for these coins have exploded 1000% or more overnight. These could be short lived but one thing is true. Over 95% of all of this memetic value economy is happening within the Ethereum Network. When these memes are traded and acquired, ETH is being used, reducing the total supply of ETH and circulating it through the economy.

You can see here that now, Ethereum, as the commander of the Meme Economy, is capturing over 90% of all blockchain related revenues.

What will the future hold? Likely more of this. Art is a meme. The Mona Lisa is a meme. The dollar is a meme. Memes are culture. Society is held together by memes. It is the fabric. The economy is held together by memes. That is how we store our wealth. Assuming all of this is true, this is only the very beginning for Ethereum Network.