Recent developments have brought waves of new users into the world of cryptocurrency. Currently, it’s rather difficult to find somebody who has never heard of Bitcoin or Libra. If we dig a little deeper than that, other cryptocurrencies such as Ripple, Litecoin, and EOS are brought up. Currently, there are more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies, and the deeper we go into the rabbit hole, the more likely it is to find projects that have less utility, and that’s where the more peculiar and weird cryptocurrencies start to pop up. In this article, we will take a look at six of the weirdest cryptocurrencies out there, some of which are still active today.
Fans of James Cameron’s Avatar will recognize this cryptocurrency, as it shares the same name as Pandora’s precious metal. In the movie, the mineral is valuable because it is difficult to mine and because it can help solve an energy crisis. The cryptocurrency is a little bit different: roughly 200,000 UNO are in circulation, and the cryptocurrency is designed so that only 250,000 UNO can be mined. The comparison of “Bitcoin is the new gold” has been made multiple times before, but Unobtanium takes it one step further by describing UNO as “the platinum to Bitcoin’s gold”.
Unlike most cryptocurrencies, Unobtanium is designed around scarcity, which is supposed to drive up its price with time. To further achieve this, the current block reward for mining Unobtanium is only .01 UNO. This was achieved thanks to multiple halvings in their appropriately-named “rockchain”, which took place every 100,000 blocks. This means that the last UNO will be mined in 2043. Luckily, Unobtanium implemented merge mining with Bitcoin in 2015, which made the mining process much more convenient. Unobtanium had a fair launch and distribution, meaning that there were no ICO rounds or premined tokens.
Unobtanium took its name from James Cameron’s Avatar (2009), where it was a precious metal that humans mined on the moon of Pandora.
While it might seem weird and counterintuitive to have a cryptocurrency whose name literally tells you that it is hard to obtain, the catch behind Unobtanium is also pretty obvious. Its users see it as a form of long term investment, where the idea is to hold rather than spend UNO on goods or services. In case you’re wondering, Unobtanium is going up, it has seen an increase in price of 50.49% in 2019.
With Avatar 2 scheduled for release in 2021 and four sequels announced in total, it seems like the world created by Cameron will be relevant for at least a decade. It will be interesting to see if the release of upcoming sequels and trailers have an impact on Unobtanium, or if it gets lost in an ever-expanding sea of cryptocurrencies.
PotCoin started off in 2014 as a way of simplifying some of the legal problems of the marijuana industry, mostly related to federal banking regulations and cash payments. Potcoin was created in Montreal by Joel Yaffe and was launched on Jan. 21, 2014 (at 4:20 pm ET, no less) as the first digital currency created with the purpose of facilitating transactions in the legal cannabis industry. At press time, it is ranked as the 1,226th cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
One of its most notorious stunts was when the coin took former NBA player Dennis Rodman to Singapore for the June 2018 summit between U.S president Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, which led to a 25% surge in the price of PotCoin on the day of the summit. This didn’t last long though as the following day, PotCoin followed the trend of the market and decreased in price. While most altcoins are benefiting from the 2019 bull run of crypto, the price of PotCoin keeps decreasing, having lost 45.65% of its price in 2019.
In any case, that wasn’t Rodman’s first dealing with the North Koreans. In June of 2017, PotCoin sponsored what would be Rodman’s 5th trip to North Korea on a humanitarian mission, his first trip being in February of 2013. This makes him one of the few people to be in the good graces of both Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump. During his trips, Rodman developed a friendship with the Korean leader, and Rodman’s relationship with Trump dates back to his time as a cast member of Trump’s reality show, Celebrity Apprentice.
Later on in the December of that same year, and after numerous requests from people to make Potcoin renew its support for Rodman, the cryptocurrency sent Dennis on a “multi Country Asia tour on a peace mission” amidst nuclear threats from North Korea, in which he was seen sporting a PotCoin t-shirt with a picture of Trump, Kim Jong-Un and himself, with the flags of the United States and North Korea waving in the background.
NBA Legend Dennis Rodman on his way to the U.S. territory of Guam in December of 2017, wearing a PotCoin t-shirt.
Despite their ability to provide a secure way to make and receive payments in an industry that has been slowed down by regulations, the coin hasn’t gained much notoriety. However, the company is still very active on social media.
PotCoin is not the only option for traders who are also marijuana enthusiasts. After PotCoin, other altcoins related to cannabis appeared, like Dopecoin (DOPE), aimed at cannabis enthusiasts, and Hempcoin (THC) which has a focus on agriculture.
No, the name of this cryptocurrency is not a coincidence and is actually related to the verb trump. TrumpCoin is a cryptocurrency project that was born as a tribute for the then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, and is now purportedly linked to his political agenda as president of the United States. According to an interview with the creator of the coin, Trump was the highest profile representation of ideals that were paraded by crypto users, such as a shift towards free markets and less financial regulations.
At first, the coin was created to honor the former host of The Apprentice and help him win the presidential election. After Trump’s victory, however, the goal of the coin was changed to “support President Trump and his vision to Make America Great Again.” Support for veterans and securing the borders are some of the causes listed on the TrumpCoin website, but in reality, no actual affiliation to Trump’s government exists. The utility of TrumpCoin is thus pretty limited: it serves as a tool for speculation and as something that can be donated to programs that share the same political views as Trump.
Needless to say, this cryptocurrency is not actually endorsed by the president of the U.S in any way. In fact, Trump hasn’t even acknowledged the coin in interviews or on his Twitter, which says something considering Trump’s trigger happy social media behavior. To date, the only instance where Trump has discussed cryptocurrencies has been to publicly bash Bitcoin, Libra, and other cryptocurrencies. This could possibly explain why TrumpCoin is ranked at 1,438th. Still, the bullish run of crypto in 2019 has allowed TrumpCoin to go up in value by 29.97% throughout the year.
TrumpCoin is also not the only cryptocurrency of its kind. Vladimir Putin, for example, served as inspiration for both PutinCoin (PUT) and its hard fork, Putin Classic (PUTIC).
The political agendas and personalities of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have inspired the creation of cryptocurrencies.
Long-time users of the internet sooner or later learn that Rule 34 has absolutely no exceptions, and even cryptocurrencies aren’t safe. Launched in 2014, it received attention from mainstream media outlets due to its peculiar functionality: it’s a cryptocurrency for porn purchases. In reality, it was nothing special, it was just a cryptocurrency that operated with faster block times and higher transaction speeds than Bitcoin, but it had no real adoption cases or endorsements from the adult film industry or porn websites. Still, the concept was well received, and the coin was nominated as one of the finalists for the alternative payment services company of the year category in the 2015 and 2016 edition of the porn industry’s XBIZ Awards, and it was also a finalist in the innovative web product of the year category once, in 2015.
On Apr. 15 of 2016, a Titcoin developer revealed that they had been hacked, and that despite the nominations and media coverage, the Titcoin community was “pretty much non-existent” after only a couple of years, which led them to leave the project. In the same post, the developer stated that they would find a different development team to take the reigns of the project. A company called Joy Toilet was appointed in May 2017 as the team that would continue the development of Titcoin, but no major updates came. Things would finally change in the September of 2018, when Titcoin was bought by another similarly named cryptocurrency, Tittiecoin (TTC).
This change would cause contention within the community. As it turns out, the Tittiecoin team told Titcoin holders that they would have to swap their coins for a new version of the Tittiecoin cryptocurrency, one that also shared the TIT ticker but whose ultimate goal was to become the exclusive currency for Tittie island, a resort that is currently in its funding phase. To make things even more complicated, a Titcoin user created a separate community for those who didn’t want to swap their coins. Today, both coins exist, though their rankings at 1,685 and 1,495 for Titcoin and Tittiecoin respectively, don’t speak too well about their potential. After the split, the trading volumes of Titcoin took a tumble, and there have been days without a single Titcoin transaction since November 2018. However, its price has remained relatively stable despite the volatility of having inconsistent trading volumes. Since the beginning of 2019, the price of Titcoin has seen a 34.4% increase.
Due to recent events, the cryptocurrency community is divided over a pair of TITs.
Looking back at it, it should come as no surprise that one of the first altcoins to generate buzz from the media was related to pornography.
Though now dead, this project was a mineable cryptocurrency that was supposedly going to be used for buying pizza in the future. According to their business plan, they were working on a partnership deal with another website, which allowed for pizza purchases with BTC, but has since closed. However, no further developments were reported, and the coin soon became inactive. The last reported price of 1 PIZZA token was $0.000170.
The coin never really took off, and even their Twitter account only has a handful of tweets.
Funnily enough, what kept this coin going was the love for the dish. People who invested in or mined it showed more enthusiasm for pizza itself rather than the potential of the project.
What makes this stand out is that it seems like people invested in PizzaCoin out of their love for pizza, not because of its potential partnerships and implementations. It’s weird how projects can gain traction in the market only by having an appealing name and ticker.
Launched in mid-August 2017, Whoppercoin is another cryptocurrency that is related to fast food, though this one actually took off. It came to life as part of a loyalty program from Burger King in Russia. The idea was to monetize the loyalty points customers earned. They could scan their receipts and send that information to a wallet address to get the Whoppercoins transferred. By the end of August, 1 billion tokens had been issued on the Waves platform, which hosted the initiative. Customers were awarded with one Whoppercoin for every ruble they spent ($1 was equal to 59 RUB at the time), and a Whopper could be traded for 1,700 Whoppercoins.
The notoriety of this cryptocurrency was mostly due to Russia’s previous legal stance against crypto. It was unexpected to see a company as big as Burger King as one of the first companies in Russia to adopt the use of blockchain technology (and payments in Bitcoin) after the country’s government started embracing crypto. This token, however, never really took off, and is currently inactive.
Flame-grilled patty, a little bit of onion, and a pinch of blockchain-secured cryptography. It was delicious a couple of weeks ago, but now it’s gone cold and stale.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the aforementioned cryptocurrencies are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of weirdness. Along the way, many other weird tokens have existed. Today, many of them are now inactive, though some are still performing well. Perhaps the most notable weird coin that is still active is Dogecoin, which was inspired by the Doge meme. You can read our in-depth article on Dogecoin here.
Another weird token that has become inactive is the Useless Ethereum Token, a cryptocurrency that was brutally honest and straightforward: it offered no value at all. This was more of a satirical move rather than an actual cryptocurrency project; it was a clear jab at the proliferation of ICOs in 2017, though people still willingly pledged more than $60,000. Others weird coins became inactive because they were too niche, such as Cthulhu Offerings, a cryptocurrency where each token was meant to represent an offering to H. P. Lovecraft’s monster. There were even reports of a Hot Potato Coin, which was basically a coin that self destructed if you failed to sell it within 30 days.
Given its decentralized nature, the sky's the limit when it comes to potential use cases and applications for cryptocurrencies, which is why we end up seeing so many weird coins on the market. But time and the maturity of cryptocurrencies in general prove to be the ultimate solution—coins that don’t successfully fill a niche or that outlive their usefulness end up losing their value. Weird coins usually have a limited potential for application and they’re usually passion projects or just satirical manifestations, which is why they’re expected to be not as successful as their more established counterparts. Still, every now and then, all the ingredients come together to create the perfect storm, such as the case of Dogecoin, or some of them might become more sought after in the future, such as Unobtanium.
In a way, this tells us something about the crypto space in general. For passionate traders and investors, it is normal for them to eat, drink, and breathe cryptocurrencies in order to keep their fingers on the pulse of the market. Under such commitment, however, it is easy to forget how weird (or rather, different from the norm) cryptocurrencies in general are. Despite this, some of these coins manage to perform well in the market, which means that sometimes, “weird” is just what we need.
Thank you for reading,
The COIN360 Editorial Team