The internet’s most beloved celebrity cat, Grumpy Cat, has become the latest target of crypto ‘degens’ as the popular cat’s name has been used to create a seemingly dodgy memecoin.
In early May, unknown creators launched a memecoin called ‘Grumpy Cat Coin’. On its Twitter page and official website, the coin claims that it is “the most grumpy and unimpressed token out there,” and that its goal is to dethrone the existing Pepe Coin.
Grumpy Cat Coin’s creation is amid the ‘memecoin mania’ that continues to sweep the crypto world. Crypto coins named after popular internet memes with little to no real-world utility are being created and launched on an almost daily basis, with Pepe Coin becoming the hottest memecoin on the market in a matter of weeks.
Soon after Grumpy Cat Coin went live, several crypto influencers like ‘SlumDoge Millionaire’, ‘BagCalls’, and ‘Boat Nudlez’ began endorsing the token, persuading their followers that it is ‘the next big thing’. This is despite the fact that Grumpy Cat Coin has yet to demonstrate its usefulness.
Crypto influencer ‘SlumDoge Millionaire’, with over 260,000 followers, was one who openly boasted his chonky bag of Grumpy Cat Coins. “Just bought $20,000 of Grumpy Cat… we’re coming for you Pepe,” he tweeted.
The Grumpy Cat team quickly hit back at the influencer’s tweet. “Unofficial scam coin. Do not buy,” they replied and warned.
The drama does not stop here. Ben Lashes, the manager of Grumpy Cat, was reportedly kicked out of a Twitter Space – hosted by SlumDoge Millionaire on May 17 – for speaking out against the “disrespectful” use of the cat’s brand.
“As someone who travelled with Grumpy around the world, and kissed Grumpy like it was my own cat for seven years… we are keeping Grumpy’s spirit alive,” BenLashes said. He revealed that it was the four-year anniversary of Grumpy Cat’s passing, and added that the memecoin is thus “disrespectful to Grumpy Cat’s legacy.”
A reminder that Grumpy Cat passed away on May 14, 2019. This meant just a few days ago was the fourth anniversary of its passing. Grumpy Cat’s management team remains active on social media.
However, shortly after that, Ben Lashes was removed from the Twitter Space. Another crypto influencer, Maya Nicks, was also accused of removing Lashes from a Twitter Space for voicing his thoughts on the coin.
Not just Grumpy Cat who was clawed
It wasn’t just the beloved celebrity cat who found itself the target of opportunistic crypto bros: remember Nyan Cat? If the name doesn’t ring a bell, what about this gif of a rainbow kitty? Nyan Cat’s original creator, Chris Torres, also had his iconic internet art stolen for a memecoin.
‘Nyan Meme Coin’ was similarly launched in early May. The memecoin’s official Twitter account claimed that the coin’s aim was to just… be a meme. Torres took to Twitter to clarify that he is unaffiliated with Nyan Meme Coin, and accused the coin’s creators of blocking him on social media.
“Another day, another scamcoin using my art, raising an $8 million market cap and blocking me on their social media channels when I ask them to stop using my work,” he tweeted.
Respected blockchain investigator, ZachXBT, also alleges that crypto personality Kyle Chassé of Master Ventures has been coordinating with the creators of Nyan Meme Coin to promote the token.
At the time of writing, creators behind the Grumpy Cat and Nyan Cat memecoins have been served cease-and-desist letters. In both lawsuits, it is claimed that Grumpy Cat and Nyanify Inc. own the design and work trademark for the memes, and the memecoins have thus committed trademark infringement.
Poetic justice, if you ask me.