- Dogecoin and memecoins channel the same kind of anti-Wall Street sentiment as GameStop, a Kraken exec said.
- Curtis Ting said dogecoin “provides a channel for the throughput of the spirit of the movement.”
- Yet critics say dogecoin and memecoins are pointless, highly speculative and dangerous investments.
- Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.
Dogecoin and other so-called memecoins are special because they’re a critique of Wall Street and channel the rebellious spirit of the cryptocurrency world, a top executive at the Kraken crypto exchange has said.
Curtis Ting, Kraken’s managing director for Europe, told Insider: “In our minds, memecoins are kind of special because memecoins represent a very tangible, investible criticism into the traditional financial structure.”
He added: “That’s why we support this, because it provides a channel for the throughput of the spirit of the movement.” Kraken started allowing its users to trade dogecoin in 2014.
Ting added that he saw many similarities between memecoins and January’s GameStop saga, when retail traders organizing themselves on Reddit united to hit hedge funds who had been betting against the stock.
He said people feel the game is rigged by Wall Street and want to find ways to make their voices felt in financial markets. “We’re seeing interest in new ways of mobilizing retail investors that are able to help move needles in certain markets,” he said.
Yet critics argue that cryptocurrencies such as dogecoin, which was started as a joke in 2013, are pointless and purely speculative assets that pose big risks to investors. Dogecoin has fallen more than 60% since its May record high of above $0.73.
Ting said Kraken – one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world – was well aware of the dangers memecoins pose and tried to educate its users on financial risks.
He said the exchange was trying “to properly educate new people who are interested in this space, so that they recognize that, yes, you absolutely could lose all your savings.”
Thomas Shohfi, a management professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, told Insider in May that comparisons with GameStop are overblown.
“Dogecoin is backed by nothing. It was started as a joke… GameStop is a real company with physical and digital assets. It has been profitable in the past, despite its current brick-and-mortar troubles.”