Memecoin Presales Are Taking Over Web3 — And Raising Millions in Minutes

BY nft now Staff

March 18, 2024

Memecoin mania hit a fever pitch this weekend as a familiar meta swept the space.

After artist Darkfarms‘ Book of Meme ($BOME) token reached a $1.46 billion market cap in just two days following its March 14 presale, a number of artists and projects aimed to follow in its footsteps by launching their own Solana memecoin presales and quickly raising millions.

The announcements largely followed the same formula, prompting followers to send SOL to a Solana wallet address, including percentages to be used for the presale and liquidity pool, a contribution minimum, and, in some cases, a time or funding cap.

Pseudonymous artist Kero captured the attention of the crypto space by raising more than $10 million for his SNAP ($NAP) memecoin in less than 24 hours. $NAP launched late Saturday night and currently sits at a $43 million market cap with more than $274 million in 24-hour volume.

Kero’s success, in spite of having a significantly smaller following than Darkfarms, galvanized the community (“Literally nobody knows him,” tweeted trader Wizard of Soho) and threw fuel on the memecoin presale fire.

Another artist named Satoshi’s Mom quickly followed suit with his Nostalgia ($NOS) presale, which raised $3 million and launched on Sunday, currently sitting at a $6.7 million market cap.

Since then, the floodgates have opened. In terms of sheer numbers, perhaps the biggest presale haul belongs to artist Dekadente, who raised an eye-popping $30 million for his $SMOLE memecoin launch, which is slated for Monday night, with the exact time yet to be announced.

Trippy Labs also announced its $SHROOM token and raised $3.8 million in a capped presale, with the launch scheduled for Monday. While Trippy’s announcement drew some criticism due to the account’s inactivity on X (formerly known as Twitter) since November, others like Cozomo de’ Medici and Gmoney jumped to the defense.

Given the rush to market, several memecoin launches have unsurprisingly encountered serious technical issues. The developer of a memecoin called $SLERF became the laughingstock of crypto Twitter after allegedly burning the token’s liquidity pool and airdrop allocation by accident, essentially destroying all of the tokens that presale participants had paid for. Because the mint authority had already been revoked, the developer was powerless to create new tokens, and buyers were out of luck. Given the attention that the mishap received, the token pumped and reached a $400 million market cap at its peak.

Another pseudonymous developer named Pokeee was forced to give refunds to participants in their $LIKE presale, which raised $10 million, after experiencing issues with the airdrop and botters that saw the coin’s price tank upon release.

Other notable presale launches include Redlion’s $RED presale ($1 million raised), Shakkablood’s $SMLE presale ($696K), void’s $BOG presale, and numerous others.

In a sign of the times, Beeple immortalized the presale meta in his latest Everyday, entitled “PRESALE SEASON,” after documenting the Book of Meme saga in a trilogy of artworks.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen accounts raise considerable sums of money by posting a wallet address for a token presale. In May 2023, controversial crypto trader Ben.eth raised more than $20 million in total for a series of tokens such as $BEN and $PSYOP, ultimately leading to his suspension from Twitter and the filing of a class action lawsuit.

Editor’s note: As always, coverage of memecoins is never an endorsement or financial advice. Investing in memecoins is incredibly risky due to a lack of fundamentals, unvetted contracts, and the likelihood of rug pulls.

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