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The strange creatures of the altcoin abyss

The strange creatures of the altcoin abyss. Image by Koksharov Dmitry, Shutterstock.com
Written by Phil Siarri

There are many alternative cryptocurrencies out there, and some of them are truly bizarre. Phil Siarri explores some of the smallest (and oddest) altcoin creatures!

Many observers tend to forget the vast number of alternative cryptocurrencies, commonly referred to as ‘altcoins’ (approximately 700 active coins at the time of writing). Some altcoins, such as Ripple, Litecoin, Dash and NEM, have achieved a market capitalisation between $300,000,000 and $1,250,000,000. However, those are success stories, the rest being small caps and sometimes leaning towards the truly bizarre. Let’s explore some of these odd creatures … you have been warned.

Pepe Cash (PEPECASH)

Pepe the Frog is a popular meme created by Matt Furie in 2005. It has been the subject of memes and is often shared throughout mainstream social media platforms. Now, thanks to the bitcoin and Counterparty communities, people can trade and own the first truly rare Pepes.

Rare Pepes are cards depicting the infamous frog, traded as XCP assets over the bitcoin blockchain. Since the inception of the Rare Pepe series last year, the community has grown.

There is a Rare Pepe Wallet, where people can collect the series. The cards are voted on by the Rare Pepe foundation and artwork has to follow certain aesthetics. The wallet is a browser client that can hold the entire series of Pepes.

Coinye (COYE)

Coinye, originally named Coinye West (because why not?), is an abandoned cryptocurrency that became the subject of a trademark infringement lawsuit for using the likeness of American hip hop artist Kanye West. West, as you might guess, had no affiliation with the project.

The original developers, David P McEnery Jr and his team, wanted to use Coinye as a way to make cryptocurrencies more accessible to the general public. Coinye was originally slated for release on 11 January 2014, but legal pressure prompted McEnery and his associates to stop working towards that venture. A few community members have tried to revive the coin, but not much has been heard from them since 2015.

Sexcoin (SXC)

Plain and simple: Sexcoin’s marketing is aimed at providing a specific cryptocurrency for the adult industry. It’s very much like bitcoin for the end user, except confirmation times are advertised as faster.

Dogecoin (DOGE)

Similar to Coinye, Dogecoin was created to reach a broader demographic than bitcoin. Dogecoin is a derivative of Litecoin and features a likeness of the Shiba Inu dog from the ‘Doge’ internet meme on its logo. On the logo, one can read nonsensical things such as, “currency wow much coin how money so crypto plz mine v rich very”.

What started as a joke (I don’t have to explain this one) led to a market capitalisation of $61,073,336 at the time of writing, and a very active and loyal community. On 25 March 2014, the Dogecoin community raised 67.8 million Dogecoins in an effort to sponsor Nascar driver Josh Wise (you read that right).

MazaCoin (MZC)

Launched in 2014, MazaCoin is the official national currency of the Traditional Lakota Nation, a Native American tribe. It’s an offshoot of Zetacoin and was developed by the BTC Oyate Initiative under the direction of Payu Harris, a Native American activist. The word MazaCoin comes from the Lakota Sioux words ‘maza’ and ‘ska’ (iron and white).

Harris hopes that the currency will cause the world to “realise we’re serious about our sovereignty“, as well as help alleviate poverty within the nation. At the time of writing, the coin has generated a modest $282,494 market cap.

Honourable mention: Nyancoin (coin using the likeness of the 8-bit space cat), Norris Coin (Chuck Norris … you do not mess with him), RonPaulCoin (a tribute to former politician Ron Paul).

READ NEXT: The case for bitcoin (or something like it)

Image by Koksharov Dmitry, Shutterstock.com

About the author

Phil Siarri

Phil Siarri is a senior adviser specialising in innovation research.

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