While Bitcoin may be the granddaddy of digital coins, it has spawned hundreds of alternatives. Some of them are getting close to contesting Bitcoin, such as Ethereum, and some have real world application and tweaks, like Ripple, Litecoin, and Dash.
However, the ICO boom has spread to the ridiculous and the absurd, birthing a host of coins that are either a parody, a joke, or just downright pointless. However, the nature of ICOs and the hype for anything Blockchain-related has seen some of these ridiculous coins rack up a fair amount of value.
One of the more famous ‘pointless’ coins, Dogecoin is a meme coin based on doge, the Shiba Inu dog.
It was originally conceived as a joke: combining digital memes and digital coins. However, enough people enjoyed the concept that it soared in value shortly after release, hitting a market cap of $130 mln. Dogecoin was created by Jackson Palmer, a group product manager at Adobe, and Billy Markus, a software engineer at IBM, “without much real thought.”
WhopperCoin is a fairly recent release, and it was touted as proof that digital currencies were spreading into the mainstream as Burger King Russia decided to use the Blockchain for its loyalty program. Each time a customer spent one ruble, they would receive a WhopperCoin. Once 1,700 coins were accrued, they could be traded for a burger. Head of external communications at Burger King Russia, Ivan Shestov, opined:
“Now Whopper is not only [a] burger that people in 90 different countries love — it’s an investment tool as well.”
Potcoin had legitimate reasons for coming into existence, helping move the marijuana industry, which operates between being legal and illegal in different space, to a more global space.
The idea was that PotCoin could be used to facilitate transactions within the cannabis industry. PotCoin was the original, but since then more digital currencies have moved into the space.
Fans of the film Avatar might be familiar with the premise that Unobtanium is based on, since it was inspired on the rare mineral in the Hollywood Blockbuster. Unobtanium was intended to be the rarest cryptocurrency in the world. Only 250,000 coins (UNO) will be mined over the next 300 years.
It current market cap sits at $11 mln.
A true parody coin, Coinye was known as Coinye West, styled after the famous rapper, Kanye West. The cryptocurrency was quickly shut down in 2014 after West filed a cease-and-desist order, suing a large group of defendants for unspecified damages.
The lawsuit caused the coin’s developers to change the appearance of the coin’s logo to an even less flattering likeness of the rapper - styling it on South Park’s interpretation of West.
The famous and enigmatic Russian President has spawned a following that extends to digital coin creators. Putin Coin has only been in existence since 2016, but it has managed to hit a market cap of $2.5 mln.