If crypto ever makes it to the mainstream, these are the memes that will be coming with it.
Crypto has yet to transform the world’s money – that’s still a work in progress – but it’s already changed its culture. The normies don’t know it, but many of the global changes now accelerating, including remote work, digital cash, decentralized communities, P2P file-sharing and self-custody of wealth owe a debt to crypto, where they’ve already been proven. It’s also impossible to assess the defining meme of the current crisis – “Money printer go brrr” – without seeing crypto’s imprint.
The following crypto memes have not transcended the industry that spawned them, but they’ve become deeply ingrained in it, serving as shorthand for scenarios that are all too familiar to crypto investors. Should cryptocurrency realize its goals of delivering financial inclusion and sound money for all, it won’t just be Bitcoin’s fixed supply that’s exported – the memes will be coming with it.
20 years from now, we’ll be boasting to our kids about witnessing the birth of Gym Friend. If crypto ever makes it, these are the memes that will be coming with it.
The meme: Virtually every line to Carlos Matos’ Wrestlemania-esque invocation to Bitconnect delegates has been memed, starting with “Hey hey hey” and moving onto “Whatamagonnado?,” “That’s a scam!” and of course “BIIIT-CONNN-EEEEECT!” In years to come, we will look back on this as the motivational speech of our generation.
Applications: If you don’t greet your homies with “Hey hey hey,” do you even crypto?
Backstory: Bitconnect was one of the biggest crypto ponzi schemes of all time. It hit its peak in October 2017 at the company’s First Annual Ceremony in Thailand. MLM promoter Carlos Matos’ rousing speech to Bitconnect investors encapsulated the height of crypto bubble insanity. Three months later, Bitconnect collapsed and its token plummeted from $400 to zero.
See also: Trevon James “Technically you kinda lost your money.”
The meme: Goxxed was crypto’s own “Justed” long before shoops of Brendan Fraser wearing an unfortunate hairstyle began appearing all over the internet. To be goxxed is to be utterly justed, as Mt. Gox exchange was in 2013 when it collapsed following the loss of $450 million in user funds. Absolutely goxxed.
Applications: “My car won’t start bro. It’s fucking goxxed.”
Backstory: Following the fall of Mt. Gox, its name became a verb emblazoned across t-shirts as a synonym for abject failure. With Mt. Gox creditors still awaiting their share of the bitcoin they’re owed from bankruptcy proceedings, “goxxed” is as relevant today as ever.
See also: Rekt.
OK Can You Guys Stop Trading
The meme: An invocation by Vitalik Buterin for crypto exchanges to pause Ethereum markets, “ok can you guys stop trading” has, like all the best memes, been taken out of context and ruthlessly exploited.
Applications: When a centralized crypto project has to pause its network due to a fatal bug, an exchange goes offline to prevent cascading liquidations, or a suspension of the stock market is mooted, there is only one correct response.
Backstory: As Bitcoin.com explains, “It was 2016 and a hacker had just exploited a vulnerability to drain The DAO smart contract of 3.6M ETH. In a conversation with leading crypto exchanges, Vitalik Buterin attempted to limit the damage, typing the now famous words “ok can you guys stop trading.”
See also: Goxxed.
Everyone Is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not
The meme: Like most successful memes, this one’s longevity lies in the ability to swap out a word – “Rich” – for an adjective of your choice (rekt/goxxed/liquidated).
Applications: “Go procreate, incel. Everyone’s getting hilariously butt-fucked and you’re not.”
Backstory: The NYT’s profile of bitcoin millionaires, titled “Everyone Is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not” was a meme waiting to happen. It happened.
See also: In It for the Tech.
We Are All Satoshi
The meme: This generation’s “I am Spartacus,” “We are all Satoshi” is more than just a statement about the difficulty of identifying Bitcoin’s creator: it’s the rallying cry of a revolution that’s seeing decentralized systems return control to the people, nations retreat into feudal systems, governments splinter, crowd journalism replace traditional media and peer-to-peer commerce supplant B2C. Also “We are all Satoshi” sounds kinda badass.
Applications: Bitcoin’s CEO could not be reached for comment because we are all Satoshi.
Backstory: Countless candidates have been doxxed as Satoshi Nakamoto over the years, but none have stuck. Satoshi is everyone and no one and we are all Satoshi and the world is one.
See also: We Are All Hodlonaut.
The meme: Crypto didn’t teach the world to bastardize words: it just aided and abetted it through memeing mild typos into misspellings that came to replace the original. It’s part of a fine internet tradition that can be traced back through doge and lolcats.
Applications: Funds are safu. Hodl your bitcoin. Read Bidl.
Backstory: Hodl is a famous misspelling of hold, safu is 4chan memeing Binance’s CZ reassuring users that funds are safe and buidl/bidl is to ‘build’ cos that’s what happens when you force a meme.
See also: Rekt. Number Go Up.
The meme: A gym friend is a FWB who you swear to your partner is honestly just a friend.
Application: “Isn’t Monica meant to be seeing Chad? Cos she sure hangs out with a lot of gym friends.”
Backstory: To quote Bitcoin.com again, “When crypto Twitter troll @karbonbased mocked Samson Mow over his new girlfriend and her buff older training partner, the Blockstream CSO cried sexism and someone invoked DMCA takedown notices in a bid to kill the meme. The Streisand Effect kicked in, and Gym Friend was immortalized.”
See also: Congratulations on This. Seriously.
Bitcoin Fixes This
The meme: Once uttered unironically by bitcoiners as a solution to the world’s monetary problems, the phrase is now commonly applied to things that Bitcoin doesn’t remotely fix.
Application: “Erectile dysfunction? Bitcoin fixes this.”
Backstory: The origins of this meme are lost to the mists of time, but in 2019, media outlets began prefixing it to their headlines. Some were being ironic, others earnest, and before long it became impossible to tell which was which, thereby proving Poe’s Law.
See also: Buy Bitcoin. Time for Plan B. Stack Sats.
The meme: Any digital asset with a ridiculously high supply, centralized issuance, high founders’ reward, and lack of utility can be decreed a shitcoin. And if you’re a bitcoin maximalist, so can ethereum.
Application: “I’m telling you dude, the US dollar is a total shitcoin.”
Backstory: ShitCoin was conjured as a joke in a Bitcointalk thread in 2013. Having since been uttered by Nouriel Roubini in testimony to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, it’s come a long way baby.
See also: Shitcoin Karaoke.
The meme: Every crypto investor has been rekt at some stage. Indeed, to be rekt is to be in crypto. In 2020, the crypto community decided to export the meme to the global economy with devastating effects.
Application: My cruise liner stocks are rekt.
Baskstory: The term ‘rekt’ wasn’t invented by crypto, but crypto embraced it like a prodigal son and has been clinging on tightly to the concept ever since.
See also: Justed. Goxxed.