Web3 Watch: Crypto leaders insist memecoins have a purpose

Plus, Ethereum’s blobs get the inscriptions treatment and Kevin Hart sells his Bored Ape

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As memecoin mania deepens, crypto’s more-established players have begun addressing the proliferation of fly-by-night tokens head on. 

The popular anonymous crypto blogger Polynya published a blog post decrying crypto’s “broken moral compass.” 

“At this point, this evil in crypto is banal and normalized. This has become the identity of crypto — sure, some useful stuff, but mostly just infested with scams and absolute degeneracy,” they wrote, expressing particular disdain for racist and sexist memecoins that cropped up over the past couple weeks. 

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin weighed in on the matter, acknowledging the unsavory side of memecoin culture, but he values “people’s desire to have fun” and thinks memecoins can be an avenue for good. 

He points out charity-focused coins and “Robin Hood games” like Axie Infinity that financially benefit lower-income players as examples.  

Read more: Cheatsheet: Vitalik Buterin says there’s nothing ‘new and interesting’ about memecoins 

Variant Fund general partner Li Jin made the business case for memecoins, saying viral tokens represent an effective go to market strategy for founders. 

“While traditional GTM consisted of first building a product, then building a community around it through marketing and memes, this new playbook involves identifying a vibrant community of users around a memecoin, then building a product that incorporates that token,” Jin wrote, citing the BONK-incubated Telegram trading tool BONKbot as one example. 

Read more: BONKbot volumes rise as the memecoin’s DeFi uses grow

At the BUIDL conference in Seoul this week, a panel of crypto community leaders debated whether Solana, the blockchain where many memecoins are traded, should try filtering out racist memecoins, CoinDesk reported.

‘BlobScriptions’ stress test Ethereum’s new blobs

The base fee on blobs, which are packets of data introduced by Ethereum’s recent Dencun upgrade, surged this week as the platform Ethscriptions released a platform for creating inscriptions on Ethereum blobs. 

So-called BlobScriptions are like Bitcoin ordinals in that they create a low-cost way for users to inscribe arbitrary data onto the blockchain. Users created a torrent of would-be memecoins and blob-style NFTs, leading the base fee for blobs to jump by trillions of percent

Read more: Blob base fee surges, Ethereum misses slots as ‘BlobScriptions’ go viral

BlobScriptions are scrubbed from Ethereum after roughly 18 days, but users were undeterred. 

As of Friday afternoon, the cost of including a blob in the next Ethereum block still hadn’t come down. The average blob fee was 13.4 gwei at press time, according to ultrasound.money, equal to roughly $0.45. The gas fee on Ethereum layer-1 was 31 gwei at around the same time, according to Etherscan. 

Until BlobScriptions caught on, blob space, which is used by layer-2s to send transaction records to Ethereum, was effectively free. 

One interesting stat:

  • Dogwifhat passed Pepe to become the third-largest memecoin with a market capitalization of over $4.1 billion, per CoinGecko. 

Also of note:

  • A Bored Ape believed to have been owned by comedian Kevin Hart sold for around 13.8 ether, far below the 79.5 ether it was allegedly purchased for in 2022. According to a lawsuit that same year, Yuga Labs was believed to have gifted Hart and other celebrities Bored Apes as part of an undisclosed promotional effort.
  • Degen, a memecoin community popular on Farcaster, built a layer-3 chain using Arbitrum and Base. 
  • A Web3 game built on Blast called Munchables suffered a $62.5 million exploit, but the developer apparently behind the hack shared the private key to recover the assets.

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