Crypto enthusiasts have been captivated lately by the allure of meme coins – quirky, community-driven digital assets that capture new forms of humor and promise astronomical returns. It’s not at all surprising that the community is interested in the silly coins that are making millionaires overnight, but the sheer scale of the craze is astonishing.

Although most of these coins have been minted on the Solana blockchain, the frenzy has found a new home on Coinbase’s Layer 2 blockchain, Base. The smaller ecosystem offers greater potential for growth, especially among the top echelon of meme coins on the network. Meme coin enthusiasts are trying to get into the space early to capture the ludicrous returns that coins like SHIB and WIF have seen after their meme coin communities took off.

What is Base?

Base is Coinbase’s Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solution, launched in mid-2023. Designed to offer faster and cheaper transactions than the Ethereum mainnet, Base has quickly emerged as a hub of activity – particularly for meme coin projects.

base native TVL surges past $4 billion

Unlike some other Layer 2 networks, Base does not have its own native token. Instead, it leverages Optimism’s OP stack, allowing developers to easily deploy decentralized applications (dApps) on the network. Users simply use Ethereum to pay gas fees. Ethereum can be bridged to Base through Coinbase’s own secure bridge.

This lack of a Base-specific token has opened the door for meme coin projects to thrive, as they can launch their own tokens without competing with the network’s own asset.

The Rise of Base Meme Coins

In the months since its launch, Base has seen a remarkable influx of meme coin activity. Projects like Degen (DEGEN), Brett (BRETT), All Your Base (AYB), Based Shiba Inu (BSHIB), and Broge (BROGE) have all found a home on the nascent Layer 2 network, posting double-digit weekly gains as investors flock to the ecosystem.

This meme coin mania on Base has prompted a surge in the network’s activity. On a single day in April 2024, Base recorded over 2.38 million daily transactions – a new all-time high for the platform. Meanwhile, its bridged total value locked (TVL) has also soared past the $6 billion mark, outpacing the growth of more established Layer 2 networks like Arbitrum and Optimism.

“Base is our best option … because of Coinbase product integration that makes it very easy for users to get on-chain, and Base’s established and trusted position in the industry”, the team behind Iskra, a Web3 gaming platform that recently migrated to the Base network, said to BeInCrypto.

The 3 Top Base Meme Coins to Watch

With the meme coin craze in full swing on Base, several projects have emerged as potential standouts in the ecosystem. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most promising Base meme coins:

#1 – Toshi (TOSHI)

The “Face of Base” Toshi, a meme coin based on a blue cat avatar, is widely regarded as the overall best Base meme coin to buy. Launched in August 2023, Toshi has already established itself as a leading project in the ecosystem, with a market capitalization of over $180 million.

Toshi’s team says that it is building long-term value for its token holders through features like a launchpad for new Base projects, a decentralized exchange, and a token launcher with a liquidity-locking mechanism.

These use cases are designed to attract new meme projects to the Toshi ecosystem, ensuring organic demand for the TOSHI token. The project also maintains an active social media presence with regular updates from the development team. TOSHI seems to have it all, at least relative to a vast majority of meme coins that have little or zero functionality whatsoever.

Since its launch at $0.00003567, Toshi has surged over 1,200%, reaching an all-time high of $0.0007173. With its strong fundamentals and position as a frontrunner in the Base meme coin space, Toshi is a compelling long-term investment opportunity.

#2 – Brett (BRETT)

At a market capitalization of nearly $700 million, Brett is the largest meme coin in the Base ecosystem. Launched in February 2024, BRETT has since gained more than 36,000%, trading at $0.0803 as of writing.

brett price chart

Brett has made many of its investors millionaires with its absurd returns in the span of just a few months. Those returns, in addition to its sheer size and position as a leading project in the network, make it a major player in the Base meme coin arena. The team behind Brett aims to establish it as the “de facto” Base meme coin, which could drive further adoption and price appreciation.

Part of what drove Brett’s success was the team’s brilliant and amusing art that it spreads on Twitter and Telegram. It regularly releases fun and relatable drawings of the Brett character drawn in a similar style as the classic Pepe memes.

Brett’s recent listing on the Gate.io exchange is also a positive development, as it expands the token’s accessibility and liquidity. As the Base ecosystem continues to grow, Brett is well-positioned to maintain its status as a top meme coin in the network.

#3 – Byte (BYTE)

Leveraging the enduring popularity of dog-themed memes, Byte has managed to attract attention to the Base ecosystem. The Byte team uses AI tools to generate fun dog memes and even created an entire song using a generative AI voice tool.

Byte boasts a fully diluted market capitalization of just $25 million, which could translate to significant upside potential if the project gains traction. Launched in December 2023 at $0.000002499, Byte has already surged over 800%, currently trading at $0.00002509.

While Byte’s price performance has been impressive, it’s important to note that the token is currently trading at a 60% discount from its all-time high. This aligns with the broader meme coin market correction but could also present a buying opportunity for risk-tolerant investors.

The Risks of Meme Coin Investing

While the meme coin craze on Base has undoubtedly generated significant returns for early investors, it’s crucial to approach this trend with caution. Meme coins are inherently speculative assets, driven more by hype and community sentiment than fundamental value.

The rapid rise and fall of meme coin projects on other networks, such as Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, serve as a cautionary tale. Many investors have been lured in by the promise of outsized gains, only to be left holding the bag when the bubble inevitably bursts. Looking for small coins with the greatest potential might seem promising but a vast majority of these projects will collapse in days if not hours.

The rise of the Base ecosystem has also been challenged by a significant volume of fraud and scamming, with the latest figures pointing to over 500 shadowy tokens emerging on the blockchain recently that generated trading volumes of nearly $4 million.

This underscores the importance of thorough due diligence and risk management when investing in Base meme coins.

Investors should also be aware of the regulatory uncertainty surrounding meme coins and other speculative crypto assets. Governments and financial regulators around the world are grappling with how to approach this emerging market and any future crackdowns or policy changes could have a significant impact on the performance of meme coins.

The Future of Meme Coins on Base

Despite the risks, the meme coin frenzy on Base shows no signs of slowing down. The network’s integration with Coinbase, one of the largest and most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, has given it a significant advantage in attracting both retail and institutional investors.

Moreover, the lack of a native Base token has created a unique opportunity for meme coin projects to thrive. This has led to a flourishing ecosystem of quirky, community-driven digital assets that have captured the imagination of crypto enthusiasts.

As the Base network continues to evolve and expand its capabilities, it will be fascinating to see how the meme coin landscape on the platform develops.

While some projects may ultimately fizzle out, the potential for outsized returns could continue to draw in speculative investors, fueling further growth and innovation in this rapidly evolving corner of the cryptocurrency market.

Ultimately, investors interested in the Base meme coin space should approach it with a healthy dose of skepticism and a keen understanding of the risks involved. By conducting thorough research, diversifying their portfolios, and maintaining a long-term perspective, they may be able to capitalize on the meme coin mania while mitigating the inherent volatility of this highly speculative market.