Celebrity Memecoins: The Rising 2024 Crypto Trend and Its Significant Risks

By Jody McDonald June 27, 2024 In Memecoins, NFTs
  • The recent frenzy of celebrity memecoins mirrors the celebrity NFT craze of the 2021 cycle, bringing with it big risks, and possibly signalling tough times ahead for the crypto market.
  • Most celeb memecoins launched during the current craze are way down on their all-time highs.

We’ve once again reached that ominous phase of the market cycle where low-tier celebs start piling into crypto, launching dubious projects in an attempt to pocket a quick, easy payday. 

In 2017 we had a wave of celeb-backed initial coin offerings (ICOs), in 2021 we saw a slew of celeb-backed NFT collections—and this time around we’re getting ultra-low effort celeb-backed memecoins. 

Of course, memecoins of any flavour are extremely volatile and risky investments, but the celeb-backed variety are often even worse. 

This latest surge of celeb memecoins really only started about a month ago, with the launch of Caitlyn Jenner’s memecoin JENNER in late May, but already many of these recently launched celeb coins have lost over 90% of their value.


Related: Iggy Azalea’s MOTHER Token Reaches All-time High Amid Crypto Twitter Buzz 

What Is The Deal With All The Celebrity Memecoins?

So far in the latest celeb crypto frenzy we’ve seen memecoins launched associated with such reputable and beloved figures as Andrew Tate, Iggy Azalea and rapper Lil Pump (and dump?). 

There have also been memecoins associated with presidential candidates Donald Trump (TREMP) and Joe Biden (BODEN) —as well as Trumpcoin (DJT), which was reportedly launched by Trump’s son Barron in collaboration with convicted fraudster and ‘pharma-bro’, Martin Shkerli.

Most of these tokens experienced some price growth around their launch, but have since plummeted in value. Data from CoinGecko shows:

  • JENNER is down about 60%
  • Azalea’s MOTHER is down about 65% 
  • Tate’s DADDY is down about 55%
  • TREMP is down about 50%, and 
  • BODEN is down about 63%.

Other recently launched coins linked to celebs like Floyd Mayweather (FLOYD) and US rapper Trippie Red (BANDO) have also fallen over 90% since launch.

This poor performance will come as no surprise to seasoned crypto investors as these kinds of projects have a rich history of functioning as suspected pump and dump schemes. Insiders pump the price to generate hype, then when naive retail investors pour in, these insiders withdraw their money and leave the fans holding the bag. 

The entrance of celebs into crypto usually also portends dark times ahead for the entire crypto market, and this time around has been no different. Since this celeb memecoin craze really started to kick-off in May the market dominance of memecoins in the alt-coin market has plummeted and the overall crypto market cap has fallen around 15% according to CoinGecko.

Isn’t this Illegal?

Some of what goes on in the celebrity crypto space does veer into illegality, particularly if: the celebrities make false or misleading claims about their associated cryptocurrencies; fail to disclose they’ve been paid to endorse a project; or if they’re involved in a proven pump and dump scheme.

In the wake of previous crypto bull markets a bunch of celebrities have faced legal action over their role in promoting cryptocurrencies. Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Ne-Yo and several other celebs faced charges for breaching anti-touting laws for promoting cryptocurrencies without disclosing they were paid for their endorsements.

Related: Record $5 Billion in SEC Fines Following Intense Year of Crypto Crackdowns 

Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian agreed to pay a US$1.26 million settlement in 2022 for her role in promoting the pump and dump scheme, Ethereum Max, to her 326 million Instagram followers. Despite its name, Ethereum Max had nothing to do with Ethereum and the project is now defunct and its token worth nothing.

Jody McDonald

Jody McDonald

Jody is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who specialises in writing about business, technology, and the future of work.

You may also like