Pepe Coin Surges 500% in Two Weeks, Shorters Lose Millions as Valuation Hits $900M while Ethereum Gas Fees Reach 1-Year High Due to Meme Coin Frenzy
In recent weeks, the PEPE token has taken the crypto world by storm, with its market capitalization skyrocketing to nearly $900 million. However, the massive surge in demand for this popular meme coin has not been without its consequences. Shorters have lost millions of dollars due to the token's continued bullish trend, and Ethereum's gas fees have surged to a one-year high.
Despite warnings of an impending collapse, PEPE coin has continued to gain momentum in the past two weeks, with its value increasing by over 500%. However, this surge has also led to an increase in short interest among futures traders, who are betting against the token's price.
According to CoinGlass data, shorts against PEPE lost at least $11 million on several exchanges in the past 24 hours, with traders losing $5.5 million on crypto exchange OKX alone, the highest figure among counterparts. Traders also lost $2.2 million on Huobi, $3.6 million on Bybit, and a few hundred thousand dollars on BitMEX. These losses were third only to bitcoin and ether futures liquidations, which typically rack up the highest futures losses.
The success of PEPE coin has also put Ethereum under pressure, driving gas fees to a one-year high. Ethereum's mean transaction fees have reached much higher levels in 2021, but things have been relatively quiet since the market crash in May 2022. However, excitement around meme coins, specifically the newly-launched PEPE, is responsible for the revival in gas fees.
In the last 24 hours, the trading volume for PEPE surpassed $150 million on Uniswap, higher than Wrapped Bitcoin and USDT stablecoin volumes. The PEPE token has also entered the top 100 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, with a valuation of over $500 million.
As a result of the surge in demand for meme coins, numerous copycats have also emerged, representing different internet memes. The most active smart contracts on Ethereum are currently Uniswap trading pools for meme coins such as SPONGE, TURBO, BOB, and TRBNR.
While Ethereum's layer-2 scaling solutions have also experienced a surge in gas fees, zero-knowledge proof (ZK)-based rollups were hit relatively worse than optimistic rollups. The fees for swapping tokens on ZK-based scaling solutions like Polygon zkEVM, Starknet, and zkSync Era mainnet surged between $2 to $11.
In conclusion, while the PEPE token's success has brought excitement and profits for many traders, it has also led to losses for others, and Ethereum's gas fees have surged to a one-year high. The surge in demand for meme coins has also led to numerous copycats emerging, and the fees for swapping tokens on Ethereum's layer-2 scaling solutions have also surged. As always, it's essential to exercise caution and do your own research before investing in any cryptocurrency.