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Memecoins are 'undermining' the long-term vision of crypto, a16z CTO says

Lazzarin claims that memecoins have altered the public perception of crypto and have undermined the "long-term vision" that the industry aspires to.

A developer thinking about memecoins as he sits on a stairway at sundown.

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The proliferation of memecoins and token projects on various blockchains have captivated investors. Whether its for their whimsical nature, or for their potential to catch quick leverages and make life-changing profit, memecoins have been controversial in the crypto industry and continue to be so.

Eddy Lazzarin, the Chief Technical Officer at Andreesen Horowitz (a16z) Crypto, has publicly criticized memecoins for “undermining” the long-term vision of crypto. In effect, according to Lazzarin, this has altered the perception of crypto to the public eye.

In a recent X post, Lazzarin expressed his concerns about the impact of memecoins on the crypto industry.

Lazzarin’s criticism of memecoins appears to have been prompted by another post from Michael Dempsey, managing partner at Compound, an investment firm Compound (not to be confused with the DeFi protocol of the same name) backing projects like Arbitrum. Dempsey suggests that memecoins have led to disillusionment and churn among crypto builders, even more so than the recent bear market.

“[…] building something of durable value is a long emotional journey and it can be tough after at 2 year bear market where a few overlevered morons nuked the entire market to then have a reversion of curiosity from crypto and the main vacuum of energy is gambling,” Dempsey claimed in the initial post which started the thread.

Despite the frustration expressed by some in the crypto community, memecoins continue to maintain a significant presence in the market.

“Memecoins alter how the public, regulators, and entrepreneurs see crypto. At best, it looks like a risky casino. Or a series of false promises masking a casino. This deeply affects adoption, regulation/laws, and builder behavior. I see the damage every day. You should too,” said Lazzarin in response to the thread.

According to CoinGecko, the top memecoins collectively account for tens of billions of dollars in market capitalization. Dogecoin (DOGE), often championed by Elon Musk, owner of X and CEO of Tesla, is the most popular memecoin by market cap, with a valuation of more than $20 billion.

Memecoins on networks like Solana have also gained traction, although not without the requisite criticism in terms of the methods for acquiring their initial funding. Notably, a16zcrypto itself recently published a guide on how to launch tokens, although it is not clear whether Lazzarin’s statements are connected to the recently published guidelines.

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