Fake Grimacecoin Jumps 285,000% After McDonald’s’ Tesla Joke

Opportunistic actors made quick money creating a token named after a burger-loving purple taste bud.

Jan 26, 2022 at 7:45 a.m. UTC
Updated Jan 26, 2022 at 8:08 p.m. UTC

Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

A token created after a McDonald’s joke tweet surged as much as much 285,641% in a few hours as opportunistic actors jumped at the chance to make cash in a tepid crypto market.

“Only if Tesla accepts grimacecoin,” McDonald’s said on Wednesday morning, referencing its purple mascot fashioned after a taste bud. That tweet was in response to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s tweet on Tuesday, “I will eat a happy meal on TV if Mcdonald’s accepts Dogecoin.”

While McDonald’s hasn’t pivoted to a crypto token company yet, Wednesday’s tweet spurred the creation of nearly 10 grimacecoins on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) network alone.

Anyone can call a smart contract and issue tokens on the BSC (or other blockchains) for a few cents, and the presence of decentralized exchanges means tokens can instantly be issued, supplied with liquidity and traded soon after. The premise doesn’t matter: if there’s money to be made peddling trendy topics; expect a market for it somewhere in niche "shitcoin" circles.

One such grimacecoin token started trading at $0.0007 and reached $2 at its peak in Asia morning hours before tumbling down to the $0.60 level.

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Several grimacecoins were created after a McDonald's tweet on Wednesday. (PooCoin)

That token reached a market capitalization of nearly $2 million at peak prices. It was worth $800,000 at press time and has over $65,000 in a liquidity pool created and supplied by users. Blockchain data, however, shows 93% of these tokens are owned by a single entity.

Another grimacecoin – with a supply of 1 trillion tokens – reached a $1 million market cap during morning hours in Asia as prices jumped to $0.00000193 from a tiny fraction of a penny just hours earlier. This grimacecoin locked up $104,000 in liquidity at the time of writing, with 75% of that held by one address.

Grimacecoins weren’t limited to the BSC network. An Ethereum-based grimacecoin surged 56,000% in the hours after its issuance. It reached 1,000 holders, and a $6 million market capitalization, with developers positioning it as the “first” one on the Ethereum network.

Not all grimacecoins saw similar successes, however. One exhibit on the BSC, presumably late to the fray, failed to attract both capital and speculators, holding just over $830 in liquidity with five holders and a market capitalization of $1,400.

The crypto market is equal parts legitimacy and memes. Serious investors and developers build financial services based on smart contracts to allow global users to trade, lend assets and take out loans in a permissionless setting, in line with the ethos of relying on technology instead of third parties to access financial services.

There are then the meme artists. Dog coins, cat coins, food coins and meme coins command billions of dollars in market capitalization, data shows, each iteration savvier than the rest.

Grimacecoin isn’t the only instance of crypto hopefuls creating a shitcoin market. In December, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) joked about a “mongoose coin” in a hearing about cryptocurrencies, spurring the issuance of hundreds of mongoosecoins in the hours afterward.

The most successful mongoosecoin from that cohort saw trading volumes of over $15 million in the week after its issuance, reaching a market capitalization of tens of millions of dollars in the process. Prices have since fallen 95%.

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Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

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Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

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