$GROK Meme Token Surges Amid Elon Musk Chatbot Hype and Controversy

BY Lorepunk

November 13, 2023

With an all-time high of nearly two and a half cents, and—at its peak—a market capitalization of around $160 million, an ERC-20 meme token named $GROK is inspired by Twitter owner Elon Musk’s recently announced AI chatbot of the same name, but has absolutely nothing to do with it: it’s just a meme coin.

Like its innumerable forebears, such as $PEPE, $SHIB, and $DOGE, $GROK was spun up in a moment by a crew of devs. In this case, an anonymous one—who hopes to take advantage of the ever-shifting ebb and flow of the attention of the degens of Crypto Twitter. Its one-page website has a little bit of information about the upcoming unrelated chatbot that Elon promises is in the pipeline, a contract address for the token, and links to a telegram channel (it scrolls at hundreds of posts a minute) and an X account—and nothing else.

As of this writing, you can buy $GROK for a little over .014—far from its all-time high. Today, the token’s developers announced in a post on X that they have burned all the remaining tokens in their deployer account—they say that this is a total of over 180 million tokens from their account, with a claimed total value of $2 million.

This comes in light of Web3 security researcher ZachXBT’s post today, saying that the X account that now links to $GROK was once used for a previous coin that he called a scam.

In response, the $GROK team said on a Space hosted today that this previous token simply did not attract attention and “died,” and—arguably in response to ZachXBT’s claims—instigated today’s deployer wallet token burn.

$GROK’s intense volume—and scrutiny—may be because of recent signs of liquidity returning to the crypto space, and because of strong interest in the Grok AI chatbot.

Musk’s xAI, creators of Grok, a large language model (LLM) designed in competition with tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, say it takes inspiration from science fiction legend Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and warn that it has “a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak, so please don’t use it if you hate humor!”

According to its builders, Grok, which is still in early closed beta, will benefit from real-time knowledge of ongoing events and human reaction to them, taking in content from all over X—including community notes—so it has the benefit of multiple points of view. “It’s also based and loves sarcasm,” says Musk.

In an indirect reference to X, OpenAI chief Sam Altman called Grok “cringey boomer humor.” According to security researcher Joseph Thacker, there may also be problems with the reliability of answers because so much of Grok’s data is based on X. “I can see Grok struggling due to the data source it uses for training – X. It has an immense amount of data, but there’s a lot of toxicity, incorrect information, bias, and racism in there. So while it’s likely to sound very human, there are risks of that surfacing,” said Thacker in a Nov. 6 article.

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