Henry Kissinger is dead. Long live the Kissinger meme coins!
Within minutes of the announcement yesterday of the passing of the controversial, 100-year-old former U.S. Secretary of State and history-altering Cold Warrior, a slew of meme coins whipped up in Kissinger’s… well, “honor” is probably not the right word. But they cropped up across multiple blockchain networks.
Over the last 24 hours, degens have pumped those various Kissinger meme coins with over $307,000 worth of trading volume, according to data from GeckoTerminal.
The largest of such coins, a wrapped Ethereum token traded on Uniswap that’s seen $254,000 worth of trading volume, spiked over 5,700% in the hour after launching last night. It has since fallen substantially to an overall 177% gain in the last 24 hours. The token’s value, however, is microscopic: just $0.000000001649 at writing.
Freshly-minted Kissinger coins are also trading on Solana via Raydium, and on BNB Chain via PancakeSwap. Some have taken more creative liberties with their names, such as the “Henry Kissinger Dr. Evil” coin ($21,000 in trading volume, with a pack-leading $24,000 liquidity), and the well-rounded Solana token “Kissinger69ObamaBidenInu420” ($4,800 in trading volume, and a meager $698 market capitalization).
The coins are only the latest instance of a growing trend in crypto: degens capitalizing on the deaths of prominent public figures by creating incredibly volatile tokens named in their memory. They tend to rapidly inflate before collapsing completely, often as early investors use the newer ones as exit liquidity. Such meme coins are frequently “rug-pulled” by their anonymous creators, and tend to bottom out within days.
Just yesterday, a meme coin named after former Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman and famed Bitcoin hater Charlie Munger soared 31,000% in the hours after the mogul’s death. It has since collapsed to nearly zero.
While Munger was a well-documented enemy of crypto who called the industry “disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization,” Kissinger’s connection to the world of digital assets—and thus the reason why he may have attracted the ironic attention of so many degen day traders—is less obvious.
Kissinger, who was most politically active in the 1970s, never made any public statements about crypto before his passing. Decisions he made while in office, though, continue to reverberate around the world—historians estimate that American foreign policy choices made under his guidance led to the deaths of between three and four million people worldwide.
Edited by Andrew Hayward