The Great Crypto Meme War

4 min readJul 29, 2021

There will be a great crypto meme war that may seem divisive, but the community will meme together eventually

By Mao, co-founder of MaoDao

When I was working in the blockchain media Chainnews, I had the chance to participate in the translation of many selected English articles and reports like Bankless, Messari, etc. The information was overloaded during the DeFi summer, but some cutting-edge opinions have affected and inspired a group of crypto people in China.

This experience made me have my understanding of the current crypto world:

  • Information is valuable and it usually leads to very profitable investment opportunities, especially first-hand news and deep research.
  • Valuable information will naturally be known by all the people but there is still a sequence between the east and west due to the language barrier and cultural differences.

Although many people in the crypto community started to make some attempts to link the east with the west, most of the time, these efforts have fallen into after events summary reports with little to no effect in filling the gap. I started to think that is there was any quicker and easier way to build understanding and spread ideas?

Linda Xie mentioned in her article Crypto memes and adoption about the importance of visual memes and how they are often able to transcend cultures and languages to reach broader communities. Probably crypto memes are the answer.

Memes in Chinese Crypto Community

Since the crypto market has become more volatile and the concept of NFT and Metaverse is getting hot this year, visual memes appear more frequently in the Chinese community.

Crypto memes about McDonald’s are some of the most famous memes on Twitter. You can also find memes about McDonald’s showing up in almost every WeChat group and crypto people’s social media.

The interesting thing is that even though young people in China don’t have a tradition of working at McDonald’s, without a doubt they can easily catch on and resonate with the crypto community who are also creating and using these memes all around the world.

Chinese crypto influencer on Twitter

What are the best crypto memes?

Not all crypto memes appeal to the Chinese crypto community. As the community develops, some local memes in China have emerged, with some succeeding among the crypto community. Shuyao Kong’s article China’s Meme Culture: 996, Maotai, Leek, Family, Pig, and more… introduces many popular memes.

The Meituan Driver meme is one that has been circulating widely among millions of people from the crypto community in China everyday, but is seldom known by the Western crypto community.

According to Dovey’s tweet in May, “Chinese crypto meme equivalent to CT’s McDonald’s is now floating all over crypto Wechat groups. Pleb wearing Meituan signature uniform, working hard (Meituan is the largest food delivery/local life service platform in China)”.

The Crypto community in China appreciates the McDonald’s meme, while also creating content based on the local Meituan Rider meme. (Western memes have inspired memes that are more localized within China.)

Although there are some differences between the two memes, both express a common cultural language that is mutually intelligible across the crypto community.

For an experiment, We as Mao Dao, which is a play-to-earn gaming Dao, held a flash mob activity in Wechat to test the popularity of the Meituan Driver meme among the Chinese crypto community.

Mao Dao created different types of Meituan driver-style cat characters. During the event, our community of 161 members changed their WeChat profile photos together and played the role of Meituan driver to spread memes about it. (See picture below)

flash mob activity for changing PFP into Meituan meme

What’s next?

Linda Xie’s article Crypto memes and adoption demonstrate that “memes are extremely important to the success of cryptocurrencies and we need to be creating new ones that stick.”

What will memes bring to the different communities in the crypto world? We believe that memes are the key to create a stronger bond between communities, and among its members.

  • For assets, quoting David Hoffman’s article Bonding Together, “The real intrinsic value of gold is a result of a meme layer on top of the asset.” From this point of view, memes are suitable to be combined with NFT which can be seen as a new type of alternative asset.
  • For the community, visual memes seem to be the best way to convey values ​​and integrate Eastern and Western crypto communities. And the Meituan driver memes are a good example for understanding the different communities.

As an NFT gaming Dao, let us meme the Chinese community! We plan to create a list of meme-themed NFTs and try to add some play-to-earn profits-sharing utility to them. You can see more details on our website if interested.

Mao Dao meme-themed NFTs: Ready Player Cat




NFT & Gaming DAO a.k.a Metaverse ape organization from the East