Vitalik Buterin and Arthur Hayes Weigh In On Memecoin Frenzy

Memecoins are driving blockchain adoption and could serve to facilitate public goods funding.

By: Samuel Haig Loading...

Vitalik Buterin and Arthur Hayes Weigh In On Memecoin Frenzy

Influential figures within the web3 space are coming out to defend the potential of the bubbling memecoin sector, with Ethereum's chief scientist, Vitalik Buterin, and Arthur Hayes, the co-founder of BitMEX, offering their takes on why meme tokens shouldn’t be so easily dismissed.

In a March 30 interview with Raoul Pal, Hayes warned skeptics against disregarding the meme token segment as “stupid and valueless.”

“You can poo-poo these things as stupid and valueless, but if it brings attention and more engineers to the space, it’s positive value for the chain itself,” Hayes said. “It's fun, it's just humans experimenting and playing games with each other that have a monetary payout.”

Hayes said that the memecoin sector is driving significant value for the networks hosting them. “The chains that can support this culture are going to be the chains that have value,” he continued.

Hayes added that Ethereum and Solana have been best positioned to benefit from the surge in memecoin trading.

Indeed, Hayes’ comments come as the surging popularity of memecoins is driving a spike in activity on Base, a leading Ethereum Layer 2.

Transaction throughput on Base is up 475% in 30 days at 26.7 transactions per second (TPS) after tagging a record high of 27.1 TPS on March 30, according to L2beat. Uniswap also tweeted that daily volume for its Base deployment exceeded $1 billion for the first time on March 31, while Bases’s total value locked is up 34% in the past seven days at $3.46 billion.

Solana also enjoyed a massive surge in activity amid a rocketing memecoin trading, with DogwifhatBonk, and Book of Meme adding billions to the market cap of Solana's ecosystem.

On March 29, Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, also offered his two cents on the memecoin sector in a blog post.

Buterin acknowledged pushback against the sector from several circles within web3, noting that prominent commentators are “uneasy” with meme tokens’ tendency to “go up and down in price and contribute nothing of value in their wake.”

However, Buterin also argues that critics should be thinking about how to harness memecoins for good, rather than merely expressing opposition to the speculative frenzy taking place.

“One answer to this conundrum is to shake our heads and virtue-signal about how much we are utterly abhorred by and stand against this stupidity,” Buterin said. “We can also ask another question: if people value having fun, and financialized games... then could there be a more positive-sum version of this whole concept?”

Buterin said memecoins could serve as a vessel for funding charity or public goods, noting examples of past projects that donated proceeds to a variety of different causes with mixed results, including GiveWell Inu, Fable of the Dragon Tyrant, and Dogelon Mars.

“It feels like there is an unclaimed opportunity here to try to create something more positive-sum and long-lasting,” Buterin said. “I want to see higher quality fun projects that contribute positively to the ecosystem and the world around them get more mindshare.”