The altcoin markets might be in freefall, ICOs dead in the water, and bitcoin nursing a fixed scowl, but you wouldn’t know it on crypto Twitter. Over the past 48 hours, its leading lights have been more preoccupied with having their profile pics “bogged” than posting charts. The Bogdanoff twins are one of the many memes to have taken over the crypto community, providing welcome relief amidst the growing gloom.
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When the Market Dies, the Memes Flourish
It would be easy to write memes off as the frivolous, ephemera that they are. And it’s true that most crypto memes are so esoteric and asinine as to defy explanation. How to account for the phenomenon that is “bog posting” for example, a bizarre tribute to France’s plastic surgery twins who reputedly have the power to crash the crypto markets with one phone call? Or pink wojak, the permanently distressed trader whose every move goes against him – often thanks to a well-timed call from the bogs themselves?
For anyone new to crypto, the meaning behind the memes and shitposting must be an utter mystery. Even those raised in the crypto trenches would struggle to explain why or how such characters came to be synonymous with the constant pain of being at the mercy of bitcoin whales who manipulate the market. All they could tell you, if pressed, is that in times of turmoil, memes make everything better. The world may be burning and the markets dumping, but so long as there are exploitable memes to share, the pain is bearable.
Rare Pepes, Pink Wojaks and Telegram Stickers Galore
In crypto, as on the web at large, many of the memes originate from the home of dank memetics – 4chan – before permeating mainstream culture. The forum’s /biz/ message board has been pivotal in spawning much of the content that’s come to be synonymous with crypto trading. /Biz/, whose unofficial motto is “Buy high, sell low”, has been particularly prolific when it comes to churning out pink wojaks, with one Twitter account dedicated to sharing the best of the bunch.
And then there’s Pepe the frog, who’s never far away when the subject of 4chan memes is broached. One of the most popular dapps over the past week has been the Peppedapp, a place to “Share, buy and sell the dankest memes on Ethereum”. In the last seven days it has been responsible for thousands of transactions involving hundreds of ether. Many traders have been steering clear of the markets amidst lingering uncertainty, but the Peppedapp Telegram group, home to 1,400 collectors of rare Pepes, has been a hub of activity as traders exchange limited edition cards and speculate how much the McAfee card might be worth by June.
Crypto was geeky from the outset, and over the years its arcane rituals, celebrations and jargon have become embedded in its culture and as immutable as the genesis block itself. It doesn’t really matter why “Fit Vitalik”, “Carol trying to use the Lightning Network”, or “The Bogs” came to be. All that matters is when your portfolio doesn’t bear looking at and there are no ICOs worth FOMOing into, crypto will remain as relevant and irresistible as ever. It’s not just the best music that’s made in tough times: so are the best memes. Sure, they’re stupid as hell. But they’re also part of the fabric that makes cryptocurrency so compelling.