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Meme coins are new go-to-market strategies in crypto, says Variant Fund co-founder

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Meme coins are new go-to-market strategies in crypto, says Variant Fund co-founder

Crypto projects are increasingly using popular meme coins and their vibrant communities to jumpstart adoption and growth for new products and protocols, according to a Mar. 25 article by Variant Fund’s co-founder and general partner Li Jin. While often dismissed as speculative assets, meme coins and their loyal communities are increasingly becoming part of crypto projects’ go-to-market strategies.

By launching an app or infrastructure that natively integrates with a trending memecoin, the project can activate the memecoin’s large holder base to drive usage and overcome the “cold start” problem many new products face, she explains.

“One emerging go-to-market strategy is to draft off a meme coin that is gaining adoption and momentum,” said Li Jin in the article. “While traditional GTM consisted of first building a product, then building a community around it through marketing and memes, this new playbook involves identifying a vibrant community of users around a meme coin, then building a product that incorporates that token.”

For example, BONKbot, a Telegram trading bot on Solana, originated from the $BONK token, a Solana meme coin that was airdropped in late 2022. An independent team then launched the trading bot, which uses part of fees to buy and burn BONK tokens, aligning itself with token holders.

This strategy also works for infrastructure projects. Shibarium, an Ethereum Layer 2 led by memecoin Shiba Inu, will use transaction fees to burn SHIB tokens. By incorporating the token into the layer 2, Shibarium can leverage SHIB’s vast holder base to drive usage of the new scaling solution.

Another example is Berachain, an EVM-compatible blockchain with a bear theme that launched its testnet in January 2023. Berachain originated from Bong Bears, an NFT project, and has converted that community into an engaged developer and user base for its blockchain.

For crypto teams exploring this strategy, considerations include assessing memecoin distribution, complementarity of users, and saturation of existing integrations. Memecoins also benefit from increased utility and can incentivize partnerships.