PEPE vs. DOGE: How the memecoins performed their first time hitting a $1B market cap

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In a recent Cointelegraph Twitter poll, DOGE was voted as the memecoin that will have had the largest market capitalization by 2025, with PEPE coming in second place.

Memes, internet jokes and popular culture references have become an integral part of online communities. Because of this, cryptocurrencies inevitably gave birth to a new wave of assets called “memecoins.” While some argue that these coins are just a fad, others might also believe in their potential to bring financial gain to their investors. 

One of the most popular memecoins that was recently launched is a frog-themed token called PEPE. The token has gained traction amid the bear market and garnered a lot of support from various members of the community despite its official website saying “The coin is completely useless and for entertainment purposes only.”

According to its creators, PEPE is on a mission to “make memecoins great again,” a play on former United States President Donald Trump’s political slogan, “Make America great again.” The project also expressed its intent to surpass dog-inspired memecoins that “already have had their day” and have Pepe, which they argue to be the most recognizable meme in the world, take its place as the “king of memes.”

As it makes its way to the top, PEPE has to surpass the current king that sits on top of the charts for memecoins —Dogecoin (DOGE). In a Cointelegraph Twitter poll back on April 25, DOGE still remained on top when Crypto Twitter was asked what they think will have the biggest market capitalization in 2025. However, PEPE came in close and claimed second place.

PEPE and Dogecoin have their similarities and will inevitably perform differently from each other. Both crypto tokens gained a significant following and were created for a similar reason, which is entertainment. However, the difference lies in their journey to a $1-billion market capitalization and performances after hitting the market capitalization. 

Dogecoin’s journey to the top of the memecoin world

Dogecoin was created four years after the genesis block of Bitcoin (BTC) was mined. It was created by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, attempting to poke fun at the cryptocurrency space. 

The memecoin first gained traction in January 2014 as it reached a market capitalization of $60 million. Four years later, the token’s market capitalization reached $1 billion for the first time as the token’s price reached $0.0100.

Days after DOGE hit the milestone, the cryptocurrency proceeded to pump up to $0.0175, bringing its market capitalization to $1.98 billion before falling to a $784-million market cap, when the price fell to $0.0069 back on Jan. 16, 2018.

DOGE’s price chart in 2018 after it first reached a $1-billion market capitalization. Source: CoinGecko

Almost four years later, the crypto had another run, breaking its previous record. On May 8, 2021, the token reached a market capitalization of $88 billion as its price reached an all-time high of $0.7315 per token. The price action is commonly associated with the bull run of 2021–2022 where token prices soared as BTC reached new highs. 

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Contrary to the expectations of its founders, DOGE became one of the most prominent cryptocurrencies to ever exist. At the time of writing, the token sits on a $10-billion market capitalization, surpassing tokens such as Solana (SOL) and Polygon (MATIC), which arguably have more use cases than DOGE.

PEPE’s performance after hitting a $1-billion market cap

Unlike DOGE, which took almost four years before reaching the milestone, PEPE gained popularity very quickly. Just three weeks after its launch, the meme-inspired cryptocurrency almost instantly shot up to a $1-billion market capitalization. The token gained support and got listed in various exchanges from Bybit up to Binance. 

PEPE’s market capitalization reaching $1.8 billion. Source: CoinGecko

The token performed quite similarly to DOGE after hitting the $1-billion mark. After getting to $1 billion on May 5, the up-and-coming memecoin also almost reached a $2-billion market cap on the same day. However, after reaching $1.82 billion in market capitalization, the token’s market cap quickly plummeted to $725 million on May 9. 

At the time of writing, the token is trading at $0.00000192 per token, with a market capitalization of $800 million.

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