The memecoin phenomenon didn’t prove as effective in the last month’s crypto market rally, as the gains of the top cryptocurrencies in this category barely outperformed Bitcoin. The monthly gain of Bitcoin (BTC) stood at 44.5%, while the top two meme-based coins, Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB), gained 27% and 40.7%, respectively.
Doge needs a market moving catalyst
Dogecoin is losing its popularity, as its most prominent supporter Elon Musk is reportedly developing an independent Twitter Coin instead of integrating his favorite cryptocurrency with the social media platform.
For the greater part of 2022, DOGE/USD performed poorly except for when Elon Musk acquired Twitter. The acquisition raised hopes in the Dogecoin community about increased cryptocurrency usage.
However, without any tangible announcements or reports from Twitter hinting at Dogecoin usage, the 100% price surge from October reversed in the following two months. The Google search volume for the token has also subsided since Q1 2022.
Another factor influencing the price of DOGE last year was the launch of Dogechain. An EVM-compatible blockchain that uses DOGE as the gas-paying token. However, Dogechain failed to gain user traction, becoming a place mainly for “shitcoin” trading. Currently, less than 1% of DOGE is bridged on Dogechain.
Lastly, the on-chain data for Dogecoin suggests that the price may be overpriced. The Network Value to Transaction Value (NVT) ratio metric is a price-to-earning ratio equivalent for the cryptocurrency markets. The metric measures the ratio of the market capitalization of the token against its transaction volume. Higher transaction volume compared to the market value corresponds to low NVT readings.
Coinmetrics’ historic NVT chart of Dogecoin suggests that the token could be overpriced. For the last eight years, the NFT ratio has oscillated between 10 and 100, with a few outliers during bull markets. Dogecoin’s NVT metric hasn’t tapped the bottom of its long-term range since mid-2021, which exposes it to more downside risk.
The internet’s first and most favorite meme coin would require a catalyst like a tweet from Elon Musk, or drastic change in the token’s tokenomics or fundamentals to revive a positive run in the short-term.
Dogecoin has been trading in a range between $0.05 and $0.14 since last June. A breakout from the range could see continued momentum in the direction of the breakout.
Related: Rumor has it that Dogecoin could shift to proof-of-stake
Shiba Inu’s brand building strategy may not be enough
Like Dogecoin, the weakening memecoin narrative affected the buying strength of Shiba Inu. The second-largest memecoin has been working on enhancing the brand value of Shiba Inu by forming partnerships with clothing brands like Bugatti Group and English designer John Richmond.
The Google Trend score of Shiba Inu shows a similar depressing pattern since early 2022 as Dogecoin, with no spikes in search volume since the crypto bull mania of 2021 subsided in Q1 2022.
Like Dogecoin, the Shiba community also has an independent blockchain, Shibarium, which is owned by the Shiba community. However, the blockchain’s gas-paying token is BONE instead of SHIB, which brings no real value to the token holders of SHIB.
The total balance of SHIB on crypto exchanges jumped earlier in January, which is a negative sign, exposing the token to more sell-offs. On the contrary, the smart money wallets identified by Nansen increased their holdings slightly on Jan. 25, which may add some strength to the recent rally.
On a weekly time-frame, the token is trading between $0.00000825 and $0.00001794. A breakout from this range will likely see a strong move in the direction of the breakout. The midpoint of the range at $0.00001200 is also acting as a resistance level for buyers.
While the top meme tokens have seen fading momentum, Floki Inu and Solana’s BONK token had impressive runs in January thanks to an SOL price rise and tokenomics improvement with Floki Inu. The Floki community voted to burn $100 million worth of FLOKI tokens, which nearly doubled its price on Jan. 29.
Generally, it appears that the memecoin phenomenon from 2021 has lost its steam considerably. While the memecoins are moving with the rest of the market, their performance has been average. Improvements in the projects by the team or community have become essential to push these tokens back up.
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