The bankruptcy of FTX and rapid drop in the FTX Token has caused a lot of investors to rethink the value in these cryptocurrencies. In particular, project, exchange, and meme tokens should be questioned more than ever.
ApeCoin's questionable use cases
The launch of ApeCoin was one of the strangest in 2022. Yuga Labs, which launched the Bored Ape Yacht Club and related non-fungible tokens (NFTs), was not technically involved in the token's launch, but it was given 16% of the tokens at launch and the four Yuga Labs founders were given 8% of the tokens. Launch contributors were given another 14%.
The remaining 62% of ApeCoin supply was, or will be, claimable by some NFT owners. These are the tokens being traded today. The intention long term is that the ApeCoin will be used in the Bored Ape Yacht Club's metaverse game, but there's currently no game and no launch date.
What we don't know is what value the token has or why it deserves to have a $3.1 billion fully diluted market capitalization. Proponents might claim value in a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) or staking, but these have never proven to deliver long-term value to investors.
Someday, Yuga Labs could provide a use case for the token that provides real value, but until it does, investors should be skeptical. The reality is that no one knows if Bored Apes or their game will have any value a year from now, and I think the token will be far less valuable than it is today.
BNB is another exchange token
The Binance Coin has a total value of $51.3 billion and has limited uses. According to the token's site, you can "use BNB to pay for goods and services, settle transaction fees on Binance Smart Chain, participate in exclusive token sales and more."
There's also a BNB Chain ecosystem, which gives the token more utility. But this is ultimately a token tied to Binance's exchange business, and we saw how that ended with FTX. Binance doesn't have publicly available financials and operates outside of U.S. securities laws, so investors should be skeptical.
The reality of the BNB token is that it's reliant on a single company -- Binance -- to generate value. This is a single point of failure that hasn't worked out well for the FTX, Celsius, and Voyager tokens that have all collapsed in value in large part because their creators went into bankruptcy. I'm not calling for Binance's bankruptcy, but taking a risk on a token tied to one company isn't wise after how we've seen similar tokens collapse in value.
Dogecoin's meme status might end
The Dogecoin community leans into the fact that this was a joke token to begin with. But investing your money is no joke.
It's true that Dogecoin has been accepted as payment in some forums, but it's not taken as seriously by businesses as a stablecoin or even Ethereum or Polygon would be.
I think the problem today is that meme coins are going to be taken even less seriously in the future. Real businesses will move in and use the blockchain, but they'll want to be taken seriously with tokens like Ethereum or stablecoins, not a meme with a dog image.
The rise of Dogecoin was a by-product of the bull market in crypto. That bull market has come to a crashing end, and I think meme coins like Dogecoin will go with it.
Stick to the best of the best
The future of cryptocurrency is uncertain, but I think investors would be wise to stick with the highest quality and most widely used tokens available. Ethereum and Solana have two of the biggest development communities, and they would be better picks. Right now, being cautious is a wise approach, and one should stay out of tokens that have little to no use cases today.