Slerf investor or not, no one deserves to lose money in crypto

Sending money to an anon wallet, animal-themed memecoin is risky, sure, but that doesn’t mean that you “deserve” to get rugged


Inked Pixels/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Another day, another memecoin losing people a ton of money. Or gaining people a ton of money, depending on how you see it.

This isn’t a reference to the dogwifhat NFT selling for $4 million (which also happened today) — what I’m referring to is the disastrous presale of sloth-themed token SLERF by anon team member Slerf.

In the flurry of Solana memecoin listings, SLERF was just another presale that raised a silly amount of money in a few days (~$10 million). What set SLERF apart, however, from other memecoins that either lost momentum or rugged maliciously is that a SLERF team member accidentally (and we believe him) burned the entire $10 million presale with a bad click.

Read more from our opinion section: A memecoin might get the Vegas treatment, but crypto ads rarely age well

While some have claimed that SLERF teammate Slerf engineered the presale burning for his own nefarious purposes, anyone listening to him actually cry during an hours-long Twitter Space earlier today makes it hard to swallow that the whole thing was a marketing stunt.

And why would losing $10 million of investors’ money be a marketing stunt? Because, in the backwards ways of crypto land, the massive amount of attention on SLERF has sent the price of the token to over a dollar at one point, with some traders making millions on the bad news pump. One speaker in today’s first Twitter Space said that while he lost three SOL in the burn, he’s up 10 times by buying into the news.

For the twenty-five thousand other presale investors who lost their money, however, the market hasn’t seen much sympathy. Another speaker in Slerf’s first Twitter Space today placed the blame squarely on victims themselves: “The people who got screwed sent an arbitrary amount of money to a random wallet on the internet.” 

Others have sympathy for Slorp and his $10 million mistake, but very little for those affected by said mistake: “Reality is people should ‘expect’ to lose their money with memecoins.”

Crypto is fickle that way. If you send a bunch of money to a coin featuring a dog wearing a knitted hat and make a bunch of money, you’re a genius. But if you send a bunch of money to a coin featuring a sloth in front of a computer and lose a bunch of money, you’re a fool. 

But no one, no matter how silly their investment might seem on the outside, ever “deserves” to lose their money. 

As another person said in today’s Twitter Space, we’re “a bunch of f****** gambling addicts.” But trying to write off memecoin investing as “gambling” doesn’t make it okay to believe that people should lose their money for taking a chance.

The hype of the crypto market, especially with memecoins, is often built around that feeling of FOMO, of always being a little bit too late to the next big thing to have made your millions. Crypto Twitter perpetuates the myth that if you had just aped in a little sooner, you’d be riding your Lambo into the sunset. 

If you’re going to blame anyone for losing funds in memecoin investing, then you should blame the culture that promotes unrealistic gains to prey on those who are willing to risk their funds for these out-of-reach, sky-high returns. 

Blaming and shaming those who are trying to match the lifestyles they see on the crypto side of the internet is pointless, and will change nothing. 

None of the blaming matters anyway if the trading volume for SLERF today after the accidental $10 million burn is any indication.

Disclaimer: This article was updated at 3:55pm EST to note that it was SLERF anonymous team member Slerf associated with the SLERF presale, not Slorg. Slorg is unaffiliated with SLERF.

I don’t care much about tech, I don’t care a whole lot about finance, either. I care about writing stories and watching weird things unfold. And that’s why I’ve ended up in crypto.

But because I’m missing that passion for what crypto and blockchain are all about — finance, tech, privacy, yadda yadda — I’m going to write instead about what I am actually interested in. Everything about crypto that has very little to do with crypto.

That’s what this column will be about. All the tangential stories that come out of the blockchain and crypto space, what I think about them, and how I navigate it all as a skeptical former Russian literature major.

It’s precisely my perch as an outsider that lets me do what I do: Opine on all sides of any crypto issue, no strings attached, no skin in the game.

If you want to talk crypto with me, let’s go off topic.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.


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