Retail traders were mostly absent from Pepecoin’s (PEPE) stellar rise to $1.5 billion market cap in a few weeks, even as the token snagged billions of dollars in daily volumes and a host of copycats.
This comes from a new report by on-chain analytics firm Santiment. Santiment compared the liquidity and trading metrics for pepecoin against shiba inu (SHIB) and dogecoin (DOGE) – tokens themed after the popular Shiba Inu dog breed that was once worth a cumulative $160 billion at peak.
Santiment said that while dogecoin and shiba inu hit trading volumes of $70 billion and $40 billion respectively at peak, pepecoin managed a comparatively lesser $2 billion.
A big factor here, however, is that pepecoin raked up such volumes in the midst of a bear market – one that’s marred with generally lower liquidity as key market makers scaled back crypto trading plans. This opens up the potential for future growth when overall market conditions are better.
“Although PEPE’s trading volume is significantly lower, it leaves room for growth and untapped potential,” Santiment said.
“However, it also means that the liquidity and retail participation in the market for PEPE is far less than what DOGE and SHIB experienced in previous years. In fact, it seems the retail landscape has changed dramatically, with retail participation appearing nearly nonexistent,” the report added.
Such a scenario has resulted in “dwindling volumes” for meme coin projects among retail traders – ones who exist outside of Crypto Twitter, which may not represent the actual popularity or impact of a token in the real world.
“Conversations continue, but it appears that the interest and investment from retail traders have significantly diminished,” Santiment said.
However, despite the differences in trading volume and liquidity, PEPE’s social volume within the crypto media is on par with DOGE and SHIB during their peak periods, Santiment noted.
Social volume is a measure of participation on social media, such as tweets or posts, which may indicate the number of people actively discussing any certain token.
Pepecoin believers, meanwhile, continue to hold a fairly bullish view of how the token may perform in the coming years.
“I’m not over-stressed from dips and FUD and hodling strong because I’m pretty sure pepe will give a fight to SHIB and DOGE and in a bull market that could pay off big time,” said one pepecoin holder @AdamMetaverse in a direct message to CoinDesk.
@AdamMetaverse cited the popularity of pepecoin among influential Crypto Twitter users, the popularity of Pepe the Frog memes among the general populace, and rapid listing of PEPE on crypto exchanges as some of the reasons behind this rationale.
“I’m holding more than $1M in $PEPE and overall I’m extremely bullish,” he added.