The Ethereum Network and the Decentralized Applications (or dapps) that it houses are still very new; the Genesis Block (or Block #0) only happened six years ago (July 30, 2015). This growing and popular ecosystem is supported by millions of users not only sending transactions or interacting with smart contracts, but also creating and sharing memes through platforms such as Twitter, Reddit, and 4chan. They can often be low-quality, but they’re still an integral part of the growth of Ethereum, Cryptocurrency, and even Meme Stocks.
Around the time of Ethereum’s successful launch, we saw the beginnings of /biz/ on imageboard site 4chan. /biz/ is the business and financial side of 4chan which today is not really business but is primarily cryptocurrency and meme stocks. I examined the daily posts for /biz/ from July 30th, 2017 to July 14th, 2021 (ICO Boom to NFT Summer) and, interestingly enough, the number of daily posts nearly aligns with the price of Ethereum.
4chan will be referenced many times in this article, as it has been a breeding ground for a lot of Ethereum memes in the past six years. Buckle up for this roller coaster of a journey - see you on the other side.
A Star is Born
Our Lord and Savior Vitalik Buterin was born in Russia in 1994. His family immigrated to Canada, which continues to be his main residence. On his about.me page, Vitalik shares a unique insight into why he wanted to help the push toward a more decentralized world.
“I happily played World of Warcraft during 2007-2010, but one day Blizzard removed the damage component from my beloved warlock's Siphon Life spell. I cried myself to sleep, and on that day I realized what horrors centralized services can bring. I soon decided to quit.”
Hmmmm... Blizzard nerfed a spell in WoW and out came Ethereum. That is a serious butterfly effect. If that hadn’t been the case, maybe Vitalik would still be in his room raiding with his friends. Didn’t other prominent crypto celebrity Ashton Kutcher star in Butterfly Effect? Butterfly Effect Inception.
Vitalik went on to dream up Ethereum in 2013 and eventually launch it in 2015 with a team of developers. Let’s dive into some of the memes that have surrounded Vitalik and helped push Ethereum to where it is today.
Vitalik Clapping, Vitalik Impress
Vitalik was quite impressed by Jae Kwon’s rhymes during 2018’s Blockchain Week Boat Panel.
Keeping on the theme of music, who can forget Vitalik’s ETH 2.0 song with the Ethereum Organization team at EDCON in Sydney in 2018? I still can’t tell if this is the best thing that has happened to Ethereum or the cringiest. Can it be both? See for yourself.
ETH 2.0 is right around the corner, but how is the network going to switch to the new upgrade?
Simple, Vitalik only needs to run an update on the Master Node.
And to everyone’s dismay, the Ethereum Masternode is not made out of a Tungsten Cube.
June 25, 2017 - The [Fake] Death of Vitalik
An anonymous post on 4chan claimed to have information that Vitalik had died in a car crash, causing the market to panic sell.
Ethereum dropped about 20% on the hoax of Vitalik’s Death. Vitalik’s tweet proving he was alive moved us to another meme, Proof of Life.
Keep Vitalik Fit
fitvitalik.io - not much can be said on this one. They raised 33.5 ETH in their mission to somehow get Vitalik more sleep and to go to the gym during the ICO craze and, as with many ICOs, nothing really came of it. The contribution address currently has 0 ETH.
Are you HODLING or do you HODL? HODL is one of the biggest memes in the crypto space that started from a drunken thread on the BitcoinTalk Forum (see original post here). User GameKyuubi went down in history that night.
Magic Internet Money
This magical wizard was actually an idea on a reddit thread for an ad for the Bitcoin subreddit to gain more followers. User Mavensbot created the ad in MS Paint and the rest is history. Shortly after the ad went live, Bitcoin climbed above $1,000. Did this wizard help push Bitcoin up? Most certainly.
Bitcoin Maxi - or just Maxi
A term that came from Bitcoin Maximalists, being a maxi in today’s day and age means that you believe in one coin primarily. If you are a maxi for ETH, you believe that ETH is the one coin to rule them all. Maxi has since crossed over to the NFT space.
“I am a FvckRender Maxi”.
The Bitcoin Citadels
From another reddit thread back in 2013 comes a post from a self-proclaimed time traveler. The traveler went viral with the Bitcoin Maxis. The traveler claimed that the world was in a state of ruin because of Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in price. Only people who could afford to purchase a ticket to the Bitcoin Citadels were able to survive. Hence now if you ever hear of a Citadel in Crypto, it pays homage to the meme.
Remember the photo above with Vitalik holding a Lambo while dressed as Jesus? “When Lambo?” is a two-part meme. First off, the ‘when.’ If someone says When before a word they are using a very simplified version of asking when something is coming. You can say “when Lambo,” “when moon,” “when token,” “when airdrop,” etc.
The original “When Lambo?” was a post on 4chan from an OG Bitcoin user claiming that they bought a Lamborghini for 216.8433 BTC, which equaled $209,995 at the time. “When Lambo?” was spawned from the thread and has been engraved in our minds ever since. Elias Ahonen of CoinTelegraph actually tracked down and interviewed the guy who purchased the Lambo, and it makes for a very good read.
However, we should probably keep the Lambo memes to a minimum around Vitalik.
“When Moon?” refers to when a particular coin is headed to the moon. “Mooning” or “going to the moon” means that the price is skyrocketing and has entered outer space. Rocket ships and the moon are now synonymous with cryptocurrency.
1 BTC = 1 BTC / 1 ETH = 1 ETH
Bitcoin maxis’ point of view that 1 BTC = 1 BTC. The true enlightening moment is when you stop seeing crypto priced in fiat and see crypto as crypto, 1 ETH = 1 ETH.
The identity of Satoshi has always and hopefully always will be anonymous. However, in 2014 Newsweek published an article claiming that Dorian Nakamoto, a Japanese-American man that shared the same name as he was born Satoshi Nakamoto. Dorian Nakamoto quickly denieds that he was Satoshi.N
May 22, 2010, was the day that the first real-world good was bought and sold using Bitcoin. 10,000 BTC was enough for two Papa John’s pizzas. On a BitcoinTalk Forum, Laszlo Hanyecz offered to pay anyone who ordered a pizza for him and the offer was accepted. The pizzas cost Laszlo $41, and today those two pizzas are worth closer to $620 million.
A resident meme of r/ethtrader on Reddit. Science Guy correctly predicted price breakouts nearly to the exact day. He gained cult status for predicting the correct price movements on the correct days, but apparently deleted any posts in which he was wrong.
On September 15, 2020, a group of people worked to rescue 9.6 million USD from a vulnerable smart contract. The meme "u up" comes from samczsun who sent that out to maurelian to try to get a start on rescuing funds from the vulnerable Lien Finance Contract.
Read more about it here: Escaping the Dark Forest
Getting rugged means you had the rug pulled out from underneath you. A rug pull is an exit scam in which the creators of a project or contract have malicious motives to end the project by removing liquidity.
One of the first cases of a rug pull in the space came from a company called Prodeum, which wanted to revolutionize the PLU (price look-up) system for fruits and vegetables. The team behind Prodeum suddenly pulled the plug after receiving a fair amount of funding during their ICO. They left with all of their users' money and only left the word “penis” on their website screen.
1 ETH for 2 ETH
If you ever see a site or Twitter account claiming to be Elon Musk and he promises to send you 2 ETH for every 1 ETH you send, don’t do it. 1 ETH for 2 ETH is a sad scam, but still makes our list of Ethereum Memes. An article in May 2021 estimated that over a six month period, Elon Musk impersonator scams claimed more than $2 million.
Rekt is short for wrecked. It describes a person that got wrecked with a financial loss. It can be used for someone that was scammed but also someone that sold at a low or made a bad trade.
The rise of smart contracts and how easy it has become to create them, especially on the Binance Smart Chain, has led to the “Shitcoin Casino.” Once in a while, a shitcoin will come around that pops, but this is a needle in a haystack. DYOR (do your own research), but I stay out of the Shitcoin Casino.
Further Reading: See Dink Doink and Logan Paul.
Rule of thumb: Be cautious about any project that celebrities are shilling.
An Actual Meme Coin Appears
Dogecoin was created as a joke by Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus in 2013. Using the image of the internet-famous Shiba Inu, Kabuso as its logo. The Shiba Inu has since taken off as a staple meme of the crypto space.
Elon Musk is one of the most recognizable faces in crypto. Not only has he pumped his own agenda for a nice $DOGE payday, but he loves shilling the crypto space when he can.
Elon Musk is literally sending a SpaceX ship to the moon that was paid for entirely in Dogecoin. This man is actually putting Dogecoin on the moon. This is the ultimate meme to the meme coin.
The Rise of the Planet of the Apes & Meme Stocks
The yacht is almost as big of a symbol as the Lambo is. With the rise of the sub-reddit WallStreetBets, making it in the stock market or crypto means to be able to buy a yacht after all your profit.
Aping or Ape into a project means to jump in on a new token or NFT.
Hold the Line
This goes with the next entry below. Hold the Line is the battle cry of WallStreetBets when a price starts to fall, not to panic sell.
Apes Together Strong
This stems from the movie Planet of the Apes, but was made popular by $GME and $AMC fanatics. Apes Together Strong meant that holding the line kept the price creeping up. One ape alone is not strong, but a big number of HODLers and you can drive a price.
Money Printer go Brrrr
This meme came out during the start of the COVID downturn in the market. @femalelandlords on Twitter created the first Money Printer Go Brrr meme in response to the Federal Government just printing more money to solve issues.
We Like The Stock
“We Like the Stock” came from Mad Money’s Jim Cramer on January 25th, 2021, in reference to Gamestop ($GME) stock. We Like the Stock has since been passed down to NFT users to describe projects. We Like the Apes, We Like the Waves, etc.
Wallstreetbets gave the financial sector a lot of memes and slang over the past year and this includes tendies. Tendies are financial gain or currency, but also chicken tenders.
Even Popeyes got in on this one
What exactly are diamond hands? Diamond Hands are usually traders or HODLers that are in it for the long run, no matter if the price drops. Holding the bag all the way to the bank.
This is the exact opposite of Diamond Handing. Paper Hands will sell at the first sight of a drop in price or, alternatively, the slightest of gains. Paper Hands can also be called Noodle or Weak Hands.
After Wallstreetbets had their come up - large groups including them and 4chan realized they could get in on the pump with memecoins. Where in the US regulators and the SEC were able to halt trading on stocks, there was almost nothing to be done with crypto tokens.
After DOGE had its huge run, it stands to reason that another meme dog coin would take its place. SHIBA INU has made an incredible run and has become the 9th largest market cap coin at the time of writing.
All joking aside, at least Vitalik was able to send $1 billion worth of SHIB that was ‘burned’ to him to an Indian COVID Relief fund.
Ultrasound Money 🦇🔊
Has anyone ever seen these emojis strung together after an account on Crypto Twitter? Has anyone ever got one of these messages below? This is Ultrasound Money, a branded meme that has been able to change the perception of ETH over Twitter.
Ultrasound money has been a meme in the space for a while which mocks Bitcoin users for calling Bitcoin “sound money.”
https://ultrasound.money/ is a pretty cool look at how Ethereum is becoming ultrasound money
#LaserEyes was an attempt to push Bitcoin’s price to $100,000. Celebrities and high-profile accounts were adding laser eyes to their profile picture on Twitter, even El Salvador’s President got involved.
Similar to laser eyes, ETH 10k is another crypto Twitter meme to help push the price of ETH to the promised land of 10k.
Someone with no crypto experience and a traditional mindset with standard paper currencies. We should all be welcoming normies into the space.
Degenerate or Degen are terms that came from the DeFi explosion made popular by Twitter user @DegenSpartan. Being a degen is a DeFi or NFT trader that YOLOs or apes right into a project without research. This description from CoinGecko sums it up perfectly.
“Shorthand for Degenerate. Degen trading or Degen mode is when a trader does trading without due diligence and research, aping into signals and FOMO into pumps. A Degen Trader does not know about metrics like FDV or TVL nor do they care. They will buy because the asset logo looks cute, or because the slogan is memeable, or because some twit-famous anime girl on the internet says she's looking into crypto and the first two shill comments gets more likes than others. Essentially, a degen trader buys into an asset not because they see value, rather they do so with the belief that others will join in after them and speculate on the price swings.” from https://www.coingecko.com/en/glossary/degen
Right Click Save As
Now that we know what degens are I believe we can jump into degeneracy in NFTs.
Basically, any normies first look into NFTs has them asking “Why can’t you just screenshot it”
The Floor or !floor refers to the price of the lowest priced for-sale NFT in a collection.
Fren & Ser
Fren and Ser are the crypto community’s spelling of friend and sir. A contingent of us believe we are all friends and should be polite to one another. However there will always be bad apples.
Memes galore on Twitter include the Tungsten Cube. Why are crypto traders suddenly obsessed with the cubes? Cheers of “We Like the Cubes” or identifying as “cubers” are ringing through my timeline. Maybe it’s just a really cool item, or is it just a major flex to own a Tungsten Cube.
TungstenDAO have been announced as the winners of the bid, the reason, they like the density.
Profile Picture = PFP.
PFP really stands for someone using an NFT they own as their PFP, whether it be an Ape, Cat, Doggo, Rat, Meka, CryptoPunk or one of the ♾️other profile picture NFT projects.
GM is Good Morning and is used by a very big percentage of the space in the morning.
Good Night, I don’t think I need to explain it more. We will let Punk 6529 take it away again.
Not Gonna Make It.
Panic Selling, see Paper Hands above.
Gonna Make It/We All Gonna Make It. As far as the origination of this, rumors date this back to the famous late bodybuilder Zyzz who used to say We Are All Gonna Make It (Brah).
I ended with WAGMI to let everyone know that the crypto community is one happy and growing family. Be strong together, be kind to one another, and share alpha to your frens. WAGMI.