Dogecoin More Than Just a Meme as Coinbase Plans DOGE Futures Launch

Not only does Coinbase plan on launching DOGE futures, but BlackRock has also been pulled into the meme craze as it now owns about $40K worth of memecoins.

Coinbase is set to intensify the memecoin frenzy by launching futures trading for Dogecoin (DOGE), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Coinbase firmly believes that Dogecoin has shifted from a meme to a mainstream crypto asset. Meanwhile, BlackRock has also been pulled into the memecoin and NFT space, with the asset manager now owning memecoins worth thousands of dollars. However, the broader memecoin market has presented a mixed bag of fortunes. While some investors have seen great returns, others have suffered huge losses.

Coinbase Unveils DOGE Futures

There seems to be no end to the current memecoin craze, and Coinbase wants to make sure of that. The exchange is making waves in the crypto industry after announcing its plans to launch futures trading products for Dogecoin (DOGE), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), starting as early as Apr. 1.

This bold move was outlined in three separate letters to the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Mar. 7, where Coinbase Derivatives shared its plan to offer cash-settled futures contracts for these cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, it seems like Coinbase could potentially list these futures contracts on its platform without awaiting formal approval from the CFTC, leveraging the "self-certification" method. This approach allows them to proceed as long as they stick to the regulatory guidelines specified by the agency.

The decision to include Dogecoin is turning quite a few heads, with Coinbase pointing towards the memecoin's "enduring popularity" and the strong support from its community as evidence that it has evolved beyond its meme origins to become an essential part of the crypto landscape. This can be seen in the recent 18+% surge in DOGE's price.

Naturally, the move has sparked a mix of confusion and speculation among market observers and social media commentators. Some analysts see Coinbase's strategy as a clever tactic to influence the regulatory classification of cryptocurrencies, especially in relation to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

James Seyffart, a Bloomberg ETF analyst, suggested on X that Coinbase's filings might be aimed at preventing the SEC from classifying cryptocurrencies based on the proof-of-work consensus mechanism, like Bitcoin, as securities. This comes after Coinbase bought the CFTC-regulated FairX derivatives exchange in 2022, which many believe signaled its intention to make crypto derivatives trading much more accessible to its vast retail customer base.

BlackRock Also Pulled Into Memecoin Craze

Coinbase is not the only “big name” dabbling in memecoins. BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm, is now the proud owner of at least $40,000 in memecoins and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), after a series of transactions traced to a wallet associated with its new tokenization fund. This move comes right on the heels of a $100 million USD Coin (USDC) deposit on Ethereum, made a day after BlackRock announced a partnership with the San Francisco-based asset tokenization firm Securitize to offer its BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund.

The firm's entry into the cryptocurrency market has attracted quite a lot of attention and support from the crypto community, with unnamed people sending a variety of assets to the BlackRock-labeled address since Mar. 19. These assets range from Bitcoin-based Ordinals Pepe (PEPE) coins to a CryptoDickbutts S3 NFT. Additionally, BlackRock was also sent huge amounts of unshETHing_Token (USH) and Realio Network (RIO) tokens. The latter, a coin tied to real-world asset tokenization, saw a 47% increase in its price after its transfer to BlackRock.

In addition to these transactions, BlackRock's wallet received many other cryptocurrencies and NFTs, including Chungos and KaijuKingz. Interestingly, the firm's increasing entanglement with digital assets is a very stark contrast to CEO Larry Fink's earlier views on Bitcoin and the blockchain industry, which he even once described as an "index of money laundering" in 2017. However, Fink's stance has evidently evolved quite a bit.

BlackRock has recently shifted its focus on tokenizing financial assets on Ethereum. Fink has shared his vision for the future where every stock and bond is tokenized, existing on a universal ledger. This vision is embodied in the launch of the BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund, also known as "BUIDL," which plans to provide eligible investors with the opportunity to earn U.S. dollar yields through subscriptions via Securitize Markets, LLC.

Highs and Lows

Unfortunately, memecoins have not been good to everyone. The recent surge in memecoin trading, particularly on the Solana blockchain, has created a whirlwind of financial outcomes for traders. This March, the crypto market witnessed a very impressive rally, with new Solana-based meme coins drawing almost $150 million in presale investments. Among these, Book of Meme (BOME) saw an eye watering 18,000% surge since its launch about a week ago, turning early investors into millionaires. Similarly, another token, Slerf, saw a 100% increase in price in just two days.

Despite these success stories, the volatile market has also seen its share of casualties. Many traders, driven by a fear of missing out (FOMO), have entered the market at peak valuations, leading to large losses. One instance involved a trader losing $775,000 in just an hour by trading SLERF at the wrong times, ultimately leading to the liquidation of their holdings.

Another trader saw a quarter of their $1 million investment in SLERF evaporate in just a day. Lookonchain also reported a trader who, over three days, lost money on 11 different meme coins, accumulating a total loss of $147,000.