Degen Chain: The Risky Rise of a Memecoin-Focused Layer 3

Controversial Blockchain Attracts Degens with Promise of Massive Gains and Losses

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  • Degen Chain has bridged around $50 million in assets since its launch last week.
  • The memecoin-focused Layer 3 already hosts over 8,500 different tokens.
  • Many Degen Chain tokens are potential rug-pulls and pump-and-dump schemes.
  • The chain appeals to “degens” seeking volatile markets for short-term profits.
  • While risky, the diverse L3 ecosystem supports various use cases beyond memecoins.

Since launching on Thursday, March 28, the value of assets bridged to Degen Chain has climbed to nearly $50 million, emerging as one of the most successful Ethereum Layer 3 blockchains to date.

However, the memecoin-focused nature of this new chain raises concerns about its potential for enabling pump-and-dump schemes, rug pulls, and scams.

A Dedicated Chain For Degens

The name “Degen Chain” should serve as a warning to investors.

The term “degen” is derived from the derogatory term “degenerate,” often used to describe gambling addicts.

Self-proclaimed degens rarely hold the countless obscure memecoins they trade for an extended period, preferring to ride volatile markets for short-term profits.

In a world where tokens can pump thousands of percent overnight, only to crash back down just as quickly, the degen motto “get rich or get rekt” isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Before Degen Chain, there was Degen Token – a community coin popularized as a tipping mechanism on Farcaster.

While Degen Token itself has a highly volatile price history, it remains to be seen if its price will stabilize as the native token of a popular Layer 3.

Embracing the Degen Mentality

In less than a week, over 8,500 token contracts have been deployed on Degen Chain, representing a diverse array of NFTs and memecoins.

Given the sheer volume of tokens, it is safe to assume that most are likely to be worthless, but degens inevitably hope some of them will “moon.”

At the time of writing, the Degen Chain token with the highest market capitalization is Exit Ape, a memecoin that promises “no roadmap, no world-changing talk,” just a “thrilling crypto adventure.

The project’s website sums up the degen mentality: “we ape in and ape out, no monkey business.”

While outsiders may view such projects as scams, degens see them as part of the fun.

However, there is always the risk that Degen Chain itself could lose liquidity, as no stablecoin is currently in circulation on the Layer 3.

Traders will likely rush to bridge any profits back to the underlying Layer 2, Base, where they can trade for a more secure store of value.

Despite the risks, the diverse Layer 3 ecosystem supports various use cases beyond memecoins.

For example, the Public StarkNet Layer 2 supports custom Layer 3 platforms for projects like dYdX, SoRare, and Immutable.

Each instance comes with its own risks for users, and it’s important to remember that a Layer 3 is only as secure as the Layer 2 upon which it is built, which in turn, is often only as secure as the underlying blockchain.

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