DoNotApe and the rise of the shitcoin

8 Mins read

Cryptocurrency is money made from the language of computers – while some such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are all very known, and have undoubtedly changed the lives of many people,  crypto is much deeper than these giants.

The blockchain world of the Binance smart chain (BSC) opens a path to smart contracts known as “shitcoins”, and because BSC allows anyone the possibility to make a coin, that’s how the term ‘shitcoins’ came about.

“Shitcoins” are simply cryptocurrencies “with little to no value or a digital currency that has no immediate, discernible purpose”, which means these coins are exceedingly low cost but can help you gain a multiplier much bigger than what Bitcoin and Ethereum can offer. So you can invest £20 and an hour later make £200, but that relies on how well the coin performs, and for a coin to do well a lot of factors come into play.

These include the development of a coin, what the plans are for its future and how they might be promoted. Even with all this going well it is mostly reliant on investors. A lot of well planned coins fall victim to ‘paper hands’, a terminology used for those investors who sell early, which leads to other investors being scared away and selling early too.

Shitcoins are also sometimes referred to as ‘meme coins’. For example, one of the most well known of these is Dogecoin, which is supported by Elon Musk. Doge started off worth close to nothing but now is worth 8.8p a coin due to the power of the Shitcoin community.

“People just think it’s a huge scam, but it feels like a cheat code to life.”

Some people use the shitcoin market to introduce real projects with strong utility, which asked whether the coin has a function to it besides being a coin, or does it have a goal towards it.

Players Only, founded by Tuan Ma is a perfect example to a strong utility as it is “a social media platform made to give athletes and sports people a platform to socialise.” Tuan is a crypto-fanatic, and has made this app alongside its own crypto token with other incentives.

“I wanted to make a platform for athletes to share their sports experiences within the metaverse, not only that but to provide a mechanism to access goods and services. This is one of its own and has never been done before. Making a crypto coin was the start to help making this project I have been working on for months a success.”

The stigma that forms around shitcoins linking them to certain types of scam are mostly true. With a lot of coins not even surviving an hour, so people fall victim to losing out on a lot of money, but this is a result from “fear of missing out” (FOMO). Without this fear, a lot of people wouldn’t be able to make profit.

The harsh truth is that for every person making money, another loses money. And for pump and dump scams, fear of missing out is crucial for survival. As a result, from a lot of coins we see it becomes hard to figure out what is a ‘gem’ and what is a ‘dump’.

Aside from real projects and unintentional pump and dumps, you have the dark side to crypto – the immoral ‘rug’. There are multiple ways to ‘rug’, or a scam. Nobody wants to be scammed, but these scams are very common within the Shitcoin community which adds to the perception that shitcoins are just used for ‘pump and dumps’.

These rugs become very frustrating and difficult for people to find trustworthy coins. To help with this frustration and to try and make some coins a success, a lot of people create group chats to help one another search for the right coins. One group that I am a part of has proven to become very successful – not only for me, but for many others within.

DoNotApe logo and NFT
DoNotApe (DNA) logo and founders NFT [Aman Hafiz]

“DoNotApe” (DNA), a membership group running in the encrypted messaging app Telegram, was started by an anonymous man known by the online name ‘System Shock’ – most people involved in shitcoins are anonymous until they are ‘doxxed’ (meaning identified).

DNA was a group started in late 2020, a public chat with up to a thousand members. This gave birth to “VIP DNA”, which required an entry fee to join. The chat soon grew to become popular – with 270 anonymous members. The only aim was to simply make people rich; and this was done by integrating a bot to ‘snipe’ coins, or, in other words, call coins before or just after they release, so the community could invest early. The success brought by this group has created a lot of happy investors. Cryptocurrencies have  created a new form of income, or a ‘cheat code’.

A member known as ‘Damarge’, who is an active participant of the group told me how he went from nothing to making his first $5,000 (£3,800) from just one coin: “I wish I could tell everyone about this, I see a homeless man and I wish I could just put him on. People just think it’s a huge scam, but it feels like a cheat code to life.”

He isn’t the only person to make money, ‘IamAFKjose’, a 16 year-old, has made a fortune through shitcoins. He is one of the more successful ones to come out the group and one of the most recent members to leave with a small fortune.

He started with a $4,000 (£3,040) investment: “I was able to turn that into $400,000 (£304,000) in the space of two weeks.” His advice, as with many others in the chat is to ‘HODL’, meaning hold your coins.  Another phrase the community likes to say “to one million or dust” which has proven to be successful.

Then you’ve got others such as ‘Alex’, who is possibly the most successful participant has made a reported $50 million (£38m) through a coin called “UFO”. This type of money is what the Shitcoins community called “wife changing money”. He hasn’t made a comment on such allegations as no-one has heard a word from him since the rumours of his success began – he has simply disappeared.

The shitcoin market can be very aggressive to newcomers. I for one, had no understanding of how anything went, this resulted in heavy losses initially. Others like ‘Testerossa’, a new addition to DNA, were frustrated and angry by such losses: “I don’t know what coins to buy it’s hard to find a good coin, most of them just keep getting rugged.”

Finding good coins to buy, or losing money isn’t the hardest thing to endure. It’s selling for much lower than what you could have received, as Damarge tells me: “I get rugged a lot but then make my money back on some good coins, the worst bit is selling early for no profit or just a 2x when I could’ve got much more.”

Damarage, just like everyone else, fell victim to ‘fud’, which is a way to discourage investors so that those who hold onto the coins eventually make more. Damarge sold for a loss on SpookyShiba, which started the Halloween-coin season, but didn’t know that had he stayed with the coin for another week, he would have made $100,000 (£76,000).

Testarrossa agrees: “Whenever you guys call good coins I’m always asleep or at work or even if I do buy I just sell too early, and lately its whenever I buy it dies, whenever I don’t buy it moons.”

This frustration is difficult to handle especially when you later see what you could have made if you didn’t sell – like seeing the number you were going to bet on a roulette table, but you decided not to.

Lately due to the events happening across the world, crypto has been on a downslide. If bitcoin takes a down trend then everything else follows. At the time of writing, the Shitcoins market isn’t doing very well and is seeing many more scams. The only coins that do well, are ones made by Elon Musk, and how this happens is rather interesting.

Because of his wealth and fame, Musk theoretically has the power to manipulate the market. Some people go as far to call him the “crypto father”. Whenever Elon tweets something random for example his tweets on Dogecoin, the coin brings in multiple investors moving it to a higher price.

Dogecoin is just a small example, but coins are born merely from Elon tweeting something random, which 99% of the time does super well.

Elon’s latest tweet (an image of mobile phone brands circling the words) “Satoshi Nakamoto” became one of the most successful coins from his tweets, allowing investors to pull out thousands of dollars. With the help of DNA it becomes easy to find the right coin made from his tweets as everyone works together to find the right one.

Another way DNA helps to make money is by making its own coins. DNA was responsible for making multiple coins, one of the more recent ones was “Pokebonk”. This followed the trend of “bonk” coins within the shitcoin community, which started from a coin called “Catbonk”.

poke bonk logo
PokeBonk logo created by a member of DNA [hyan]

With new coins and new names, those that create huge success create new trends for coins. For example Catbonk created the trend of “bonks” so people would create coins and add bonk to the end, purely for the sake of the meme.

Pokebonk wasn’t the biggest coin to come out of DNA. They were also responsible for giants such as “Babybusd”, and the latest one “NewYearsFloki” which both, started the trend of ‘baby’ coins and ‘New Years’ coins. These coins helped create a lot of money for people within the group. With some, such as ‘Pushin’ coming out with $10,000 (£7,600). These coins also create trust with the crypto community, ensuring DNA have future investors already at hand.

Pushin, who is also a member of DNA explains: “I use crypto as my day job it helps me pay my rent and put food on my plate while not having to work a 9-5, being able to make money in the comfort of my home is nice and with DNA’s help it just makes my life easier, especially when we make our own coins because 100% of the time they do well.”

Pushin is not the only member to make riches from a DNA coin. Testarrossa has also done well: “I also use crypto to help pay for rent, those times you guys send in good coins and I make thousands is always a good day, but it hasn’t been like that in a couple of months, the money I’ve been making are mostly from the coins we make as a group”

Running a coin is a lot of hard work from the pressure of holders to being able to provide a good marketing strategy, which is key to the survival of a coin. One approach to “shill”, which means to share. This is the promotion done by investors into different groups to gain some visibility. This is achieved with a shill message, to help gain hype for the coin.

A promotional (shill) message
A promotional (shill) message from one of DNA’s coins – provided via pokebonk

The best thing about DNA is they work as a group. The main reasons their coins are so successful is because they are the first buyers, the people holding the floor allowing a strong foundation and stopping the coin from dying. The trust DNA have for one another is the reason why DNA create good coins and why the group is so successful.

However the shitcoin market is very volatile, it’s not for people who are afraid of losing money. Learning about crypto takes a lot of trial and error where one day you can lose a lot of money, and another make tons of money. They call this a game. One with a high risk but in return a much greater reward.

DoNotApe is only just one group out of the thousands in the community, the group is just a bunch of random folk from across the globe looking to make money.

This was just a brief explanation to the small community of crypto shitcoins. The rest is learnt from experience and error, stuff that nobody or no group can help you with, and like gambling you should never go beyond your budget, and know when to stop.

Featured image by DoNotApe Website.
Edited by Charlotte Griffin & Annika Loebig

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