PEPE Tops Memecoin Trading Volumes

PepeCoin has seen unexpectedly high trading volumes, indicating something may be up in the memecoin market.

PEPE Tops Memecoin Trading Volumes

While memecoin season may have cooled, newcomer PepeCoin (PEPE) is not done yet.

Trading volumes over the past 24 hours have soared past the top two largest memecoins, DOGE and SHIB, with a quarter of a billion dollars worth of PEPE changing hands.

CoinMarketCap memecoin volumes
Pepecoin is punching above its weight.

Despite PEPE's market cap being just 7% of DOGE's ($9 billion), and 13% of SHIB's ($4.5 billion), it saw a surge of interest over the weekend.

PepeCoin was one of the earliest and most popular memecoins of the latest craze. Based on the "Pepe the Frog" meme created by artist Matt Furie in 2005, PEPE was launched on April 17, 2023. It quickly gained traction within the crypto community; despite, or perhaps helped by, Pepe's controversial history as an alt-right symbol, the crypto community have embraced the meme—though its current usage in the crypto space does not have racist overtones.

Pepe crypto meme

Nonetheless, PepeCoin has seen controversy of its own as Coinbase refused to list it due to its perceived baggage, sparking a furious backlash from PEPE's large grassroots community.

PEPE In Context

Along the way, PEPE soared to a market cap of well over $1 billion. The peak price, on May 5, was $0.0000037, with trading volumes of $2 billion. It has since cooled to $0.0000016.

While memecoin mania has abated, PEPE is one of the few coins that has not crashed to zero. Instead, the last few days have seen renewed interest, with trading volumes rising back towards the average of its brief May heyday. In fact, on a technical level, PEPE is looking strong—though the distribution of memecoins and their relatively small market caps and trading volumes can make them vulnerable to manipulation.

Memecoin season saw gas fees on Ethereum L1 rising to a point where a DEX swap (the only way to trade most memecoins) could cost $40-80. Gas has since fallen from its high of 150 gwei back below 20 gwei, following the drop-off of interest in memecoin trading.

Gas fees, 1-year chart
Gas costs peaked over 100 gwei in May.

PepeCoin is very much an outlier at the present time, then, and its recovering trading volumes at a stage in the crypto cycle when all eyes are on BTC and memecoins are otherwise dead suggests there may be more in this rally than first meets the eye.

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