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Ethereum (ETH) Network Becomes Unusable as Meme Coins Decimate Fees

Ethereum coin on a background of blue circuit board pattern

As the cryptocurrency sector continues its slow slide into a level of stupidity reminiscent of the 2017 ICO boom, Ethereum has become practically unusable due to the network being over-run by idiotic meme-coins. These seemingly endless attempts to try copy the Musk-fuelled mania surrounding Dogecoin has forced Ethereum gas fees to new record highs well above 400 gwei.

New Dogecoin rip-offs like Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Kishu Inu (KISHU) have risen into the top 15 gas guzzlers, taking up 2% and 0.5% of gas respectively. This may not seem high until you consider that these are brand new tokens only recently created with no practical use cases, as opposed to popular stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) which uses only 1.9% of overall gas. Popular DeFi platform Uniswap V2 remains the highest gas guzzler at 31.6% at the time of print.

The Shiba-Inu token became so popular after being listed on Binance this week that the exchange ran out of ETH deposit addresses, according to CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ). “We ran out of ETH deposit addresses due to SHIB today. Never happened before for any other ERC20 coin,” he tweeted.

“Not endorsing it. Super high risk. NFA,” he concluded.

Other new Dogecoin-inspired ripoffs like LEASH, AKITA, and ELON are also pushing up gas fees via their increasing use on Uniswap.

Economic Dissonance

The situation highlights a serious problem that continues to affect the cryptocurrency space as it becomes inundated with users that lack basic financial or technological education. Just like in 2017, all of these coins will collapse and die and thousands of people will lose all their money, potentially putting them off crypto for life. It does nothing to promote adoption or legitimacy in a highly promising industry that the world desperately needs to succeed.

Eccentric billionaire and Telsa CEO Elon Musk has done little to help the situation, repeatedly belittling the industry by his ongoing promotion of Dogecoin – a project he knows all too well has no chance of becoming a widely-used or functional cryptocurrency. Created intentionally as a joke with an unlimited supply, the coin has none of the fundamentals of sound money and could never operate at the secure and functional level of Bitcoin.

As recently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Dogecoin developers set out to “create a coin so ridiculous it could never be taken seriously.” Except people are taking it seriously, with thousands of American’s investing their much-needed stimulus checks into Dogecoin and setting the stage for a financial disaster that could very well dwarf the 2008 crash.

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