The crypto market has been slow, and even a casual observer knows it. Bitcoin has had some good moments in the past few months, but it is nothing compared to the insane numbers witnessed in 2021 and early 2022.
From articles that talk about the estranged relationship between Africans and crypto to others that describe crypto's broken promises to Africa, it will not be out of place to suggest that Africans, and especially Nigerians, don't have a soft spot for crypto like they used to.
However, research by CoinGecko suggests that it is not as bad as we think.
According to the crypto tracking platform, Nigeria ranked fifth in a list of ten countries with the most interest in meme coins.
It used the number of page views of the top 15 meme coins by market capitalization to determine which countries are checking out meme coins the most.
Nigeria is one of the two African countries on the list, accounting for 4.92% of total interest in meme coins. Floki and ArbDoge AI were the most popular meme coins in the country, according to the research. The second African country was Morocco, which ranked tenth on the list and accounted for 1.2% of the total interest in meme coins.
What are meme coins?
Meme coins are simply crypto tokens inspired by social media memes or depicted in comical or animated memes.
For example, there's Dogecoin, a meme coin depicted with a comical picture of a Shiba Inu dog breed. The meme coin inspired the creation of other memes within and outside crypto communities.
The coin, which was launched in December 2013, became popular in 2021 after Tesla CEO, Elon Musk started talking about it; the value even skyrocketed by 800% after his first tweet about the coin.
Another notable meme coin is Shiba Inu. Like Dogecoin, it used the Shiba Inu dog breed as not only its logo but also its name.
Which other countries are leading the meme coin craze?
First on the list is the US, accounting for 23% of the total interest in meme coins. Shiba Inu was the most popular meme coin in the US, with 60% of the total interest in meme coins.
The most popular meme coin in the country is Shiba Inu. India was second on the list, with 20% interest, the UK was third, and the Philippines came fourth.
After Nigeria were Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Malaysia.
What drives the interest in meme coins?
Meme coins are very high-yield coins. They tend to increase in value over a short time and early investors stand a chance to make a lot from them.
According to CNN, two brothers identified as Tommy and James made a killing from Shiba Inu. They convinced the rest of the family to invest $7,900, which they turned into $9 million in a matter of months.
While meme coins can make you a lot of money within a short period of time, they can also lose you money quickly. There's a real risk of investing in meme coins, as they're notoriously volatile.
Although the crypto market has been slow, it has not stopped new meme coins from popping up. Pepe, a coin inspired by an anthropomorphized frog, or "Comrade," as referred to by Nigerians, has been making waves, rising by almost 7,000% since its launch in April.
While some believe Africans are losing interest in crypto, CoinGecko's research could be a subtle reminder that they're on the sidelines waiting to catch the next bull run.