Thanks to the volatile price of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies are enjoying a frenzied moment in the sun as the market swings wildly on a daily basis.
The coins with the highest market cap (Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple, and others) deservedly get the most attention, but there are blockchain-based digital tokens for just about everything. While there are plenty of cryptocurrencies out there with tangible utility and unique value, in this story we salute the dregs: the weirdest, wackiest, and most ridiculous coins that have popped up over the past several years.
Fans of CryptoKitties—the Beanie Babies of blockchain—are only just realizing the frivolous wonders to behold within decentralized networks, but the cryptocurrency landscape is already littered with the ghosts of hundreds of dead coins that were too niche, too dumb, or blatant scams. The Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations website lists more than 1,500 active coins, but the further down the list you go, the more obscure they get. Below are the most unusual cryptocurrencies on the market right now.
Let’s start with the original weird cryptocurrency: Dogecoin The meme)-turned-cryptocurrency has been around since late 2013, developing a passionate online community on sites like Reddit around the likeness of the famed Shiba Inu dog. Dogecoin has pulled some stunts—like sponsoring Olympic athletes and NASCAR drivers—but has somehow managed to stay relevant and still sits on a healthy market cap of more than $650 million as of December 2017.
The latest company to wade into the cryptocurrency space in a ridiculous fashion is Kodak. The venerable camera company announced KodakCoin at CES in January to manage digital image rights and to pay photographers for image usage. The camera maker even announced a new Kodak KashMiner mining rig to go with it. KodakCoin was a reach, to begin with, and the company has already delayed its initial coin offering (ICO) to verify potential investors. However the saga plays out, KodakCoin deserves a spot on this list.
The most recent entrant on our list is the “Petro,” a new cryptocurrency announced by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The embattled leader said the coin would be backed by oil, gas, gold, and diamond reserves to prop up the country’s struggling, sanction-laden economy. Maduro gave no details as to when the coins would be rolled out or how exactly the Petro would fit into the current monetary and cryptocurrency landscapes. The Petro is actually not the first digital currency to emerge from Venezuela, however. That distinction goes to Bolivarcoin.
When you hitch your wagon to Dennis Rodman, you earn a place on this list by default. PotCoin is designed to provide a decentralized banking infrastructure for the legal cannabis industry, which is turning to blockchain for a number of creative solutions. There are actually a number of cannabis-focused coins—including CannabisCoin, KushCoin, Bongger, Ganjacoinpro, and others—but only one sent Rodman to North Korea.