Last year, meme tokens dominated the crypto industry in what was dubbed meme season. But now that the hype surrounding meme tokens has died down, what does the future look like for this category of crypto?
HOKK Finance, one of the original meme tokens that reached an $800million market capitalisation at the height of ‘meme season’ in May 2021, believes that the most successful meme tokens will be those that offer tangible use cases to customers.
In an interview with The Fintech Times, HOKK Finance director Mark Basa discusses the future of meme tokens and provides advice on how meme tokens can succeed in a fast-changing crypto market.
TFT: What is a meme token?
MB: A meme token is a cryptocurrency that is formed around a popular meme and are community-based projects that are usually driven by a faithful and loyal community. Memes are things that go viral on the internet, such as a picture, image, or icon, and are just plain hilarious. So you make tokens based on certain memes – for example, Dogecoin is based on the Japanese Inu dog.
TFT: What caused the meme crypto hype to die down?
MB: Most people say that the die down in meme crypto is due to a lack of utility, which is very true. But I think a lack of strategy and direction is also a big factor. Basically, go to the top meme tokens and see who runs them daily. The majority are not run by strategic thinking business people. Thus, if you don’t have a chief strategy officer, a brand director, or a CFO, how are you going to scale to the market and respond when the market tanks? If you’re a dev, that’s difficult water to navigate.
Maybe meme token leaders missed out on building brands in the long term and don’t know how to strategise or go through certain market cycles. They keep delivering what they think is accurate and what they think the market wants, but meme tokens actually need to be based on partnerships and the suitable types of funding and licensing to make them more legitimate. I believe they are lacking strategy and business more than anything.
TFT: Will they ever reach the same levels of popularity that they had before?
MB: I think the ones that survive will reach high levels, maybe not the same popularity they once had but something different. For example, we are transforming HOKK Finance and moving away from all the hype marketing to focus on building things with real utility.
You need to stay away from your whole token and price action. Instead, you need to focus on building things like decentralised applications for blockchain companies or building video games that people love playing.
TFT: Are meme tokens a more risky investment than a standard cryptocurrency?
MB: Many meme tokens don’t have public teams. At HOKK finance, we have an entire team of people on the books, licensing and registration. We have done the proper diligence to make this an official company.
The others are probably more risky as you don’t know who’s behind them. That can be risky because you can get scammed. If you can’t see the team, it could be a bunch of kids running a meme token. You end up giving them your money, and they don’t know how to execute on strategy. As a result, some of these tokens end up having treasuries of up to billions of dollars. Do these young kids know how to spend or manage this money? Probably not.
TFT: What is the future of meme tokens?
MB: In the future, the most successful meme tokens will be ones that adapt and change to the market. So if I were one of the most prominent players, I would be trying to align myself with some significant investors and players to help build a public team who can go out there and help build a brand.
I’m specifically talking about tokens with some major players backing them – seasoned advisors who have experience building major companies and people who know business strategy.
They know how to enforce a real business strategy to grow the company. They have so much money, meaning they can do anything. They could have their own exchange and basically have anything they wanted, and that’s what other meme tokens need to do.
TFT: How does the crypto market’s attitude impact meme tokens? Is there a more accelerated bear/bull market for meme tokens?
MB: Meme tokens will always be pumped by news and speculation. At HOKK, we have tried to distance ourselves from the idea of focusing on token price. What is important is that we are building in bear markets and bull markets, and we don’t listen to anyone’s fear, uncertainty or doubt.
We just keep going, regardless of calm or rough waters. We believe something will come out the other side If we keep building. So the crypto market’s attitude will always be that meme tokens are a scam until something unique happens. We want to transform HOKK from a meme token into a serious company building things that people love and enjoy.