Someone mentions cryptocurrency and the first thing you think of is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the clear market leader with no other competitors even coming close. It leads the way in market capitalization, trading volume, price, and nearly every other market indicator.
You could spend your entire life comparing cryptocurrency projects to see how they stack up to Bitcoin. For the purposes of this post, we will take another angle. Rather than try to compare cryptocurrency projects to Bitcoin, we are going to look at some of the strangest projects ever launched. If you follow cryptocurrency, you might be surprised by some of the names on this list.
The first strange project on our list is one you might not have expected: Dogecoin. What makes this one strange? The fact that its creator intended it as a joke. Dogecoin was never supposed to reach a market capitalization of $2 billion (2018). What is even more amazing is that it enjoys such a high market cap even though the sale price is measured in pennies rather than dollars.
Dogecoin was originally launched as an experiment to see if it was possible to create a cryptocurrency with a wider reach than Bitcoin. Its creator never expected it to be an overnight sensation. He even chose a cartoon dog to be the coin's mascot - just to demonstrate he wasn't taking things too seriously.
This next candidate is a fairly new enterprise recently launched by Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao. His token has been affectionately dubbed the 'Pac'. You will probably never see it publicly traded on exchanges so, if you want to get your hands on it, you will have to buy it directly from Pacquiao's online property.
What is the point of this project? To tokenize access to the legendary boxer. Fans will be able to purchase the tokens and then use them to purchase related merchandise in Pacquiao's virtual marketplace. Pacquiao intends to launch a mobile app to give fans one-on-one access. The app, which is set for release in late 2019, will rely on the tokens for purchasing time with the boxer.
It is hard to say whether this project represents a great business decision or a bit of narcissism. In the end, its success or failure will rest solely in how popular Manny Pacquiao really is.
If you are launching a new cryptocurrency project intended to directly compete with Bitcoin, what would you call it? The people behind the Unobtanium project have decided on Uno. For the record, their chosen name is not a reference to the popular card game. It is a reference to the 2009 James Cameron film that gave birth to the fantasy world of Pandora.
The creators of Unobtanium are a pretty bold group. They claim their coin is to Bitcoin what platinum is to gold. Those are fighting words by most standards. Moreover, they have gone the extra step of comparing their project to a fictional element that supposedly finds great value in its exceptional rarity.
The whole project is rather odd from top to bottom. Just 250,000 coins will ever be mined - and that's if people find enough interest in the project to buy. And for the record, it is going to take 300 years to get those coins into circulation. Good luck with that.
Useless Ethereum Token (UET)
If you are among the many cryptocurrency skeptics in the world, the Useless Ethereum Token (UET) is just for you. However, note that you have been warned. The name of this token says it all. The only way to buy UET is to donate genuine Ethereum (ETH). You will receive completely useless tokens in return.
The project has no market capitalization. Its tokens cannot be traded on an exchange. Worst of all, you cannot spend the tokens on anything. You simply get tokens to put in your wallet and stare at from time to time. So what's the point?
It would appear as though the creators of the Useless Ethereum Token are thumbing their noses (or flipping the middle finger) at the entire cryptocurrency concept. They openly admit on their website that they are selling a useless asset. They also admit that they will take your money and use it to buy stuff. They specifically mention electronics.
As strange as it sounds, people have actually bought in. The project's ICO has since closed, but there is a statement on the project website that implies people really did purchase UET tokens despite plain language explaining that they were getting nothing in return.
If you live in Russia, love the Burger King chain, and are apt to spending copious amounts of money on fast food, welcome to Whoppercoin, the cryptocurrency project of a number of Burger King franchises in Russia. At this point it serves only as a loyalty program to customers. It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to put so much effort into blockchain just to reward customers with free burgers, but it is what it is.
Interested customers apparently get one coin for every ruble they spend at participating Burger King restaurants. At somewhere around the 1,700-token mark, customers can get a free whopper. That works out to $25 or so. Let's just say your whopper isn't really free.
Which do you love more: buying weird cryptocurrencies or visiting the dentist? Well, you no longer have to choose. Now you can combine both thanks to the revolutionary DentaCoin project. This is a project intended to do two things.
First, dentists want you to download their app and take surveys to help them but understand what you think about what they do. Second, they want to use the tokens you have earned to facilitate payments outside of the traditional insurance paradigm.
This project seems a bit weird, but it is a really good idea. Dental patients can actually earn dental services the same way they can earn cash or other kinds of rewards just by taking surveys. They win by receiving tokens they can use to pay for care at participating dental offices. The dentists win by gaining a plethora of market research with no out-of-pocket expenses.
It goes without saying that no dental patient is going to receive free lifetime dental care from taking surveys. The coins just don't add up that quickly. But if you do not have dental insurance and are looking for a way to take the edge off your next bill. DentaCoin is worth looking at.
Venezuela's official state-backed cryptocurrency makes our list because of the purpose behind it. Venezuelan leaders launched the project in hopes that it would revive the nation's struggling economy by suddenly injecting new monetary value into its economy.
Simply inventing a cryptocurrency doesn't make it valuable. A cryptocurrency's value is a direct result of demand. And why would anyone seek out an asset from a country whose economy went from being the most powerful in South America to financial ruin?
The Petro was officially launched early in 2018. If you went looking for it but couldn't find it, there's a good reason: no one will trade it. Since August 2018, Petro has not been all that active anywhere but in the imaginations of Venezuela's leaders.
This bizarre cryptocurrency is almost impossible to explain in real terms. It was inspired by American author H.P. Lovecraft and his now famous Cthulhu Mythos. Cthulhu is essentially a cult religion. It is also a religion requiring ritual sacrifices. But wait. The leaders of this cult do not expect you to sacrifice your pets - or any other living creature for that matter. Tokens will do.
Sounds to us like this is a moneymaking venture. Create a religion, tell people they need to participate in ritual sacrifice, and then sell the tokens they can sacrifice by contributing them to your cult. Despite lore centering around a giant sea monster that lives in the Pacific Ocean, Cthulhu Offerings feels a lot like UET.
If Cthulhu Offerings is not the weirdest cryptocurrency project on our list, the honor would have to go to Coinye. This project was just one of many strange projects intended to flip the bird at traditional cryptocurrency. No one knows if its creator ever intended to succeed because it was shut down almost immediately after launch.
As the name suggests, Coinye borrowed from the name and likeness of musician and singer Kanye West. Needless to say that Mr. West was not too pleased that his good name was being used to promote a project he was in no way associated with. All it took was the threat of a lawsuit to shut the doors on Coinye. In one respect, the entire thing is quite regrettable. It would have been interesting to see what the creator could have done with this coin.
All of the weird cryptocurrencies profiled here just go to show how wide open the cryptocurrency space is. From the powerhouse that is Bitcoin to a useless token that represents your willingness to give someone else your hard-earned cash, there are plenty of opportunities to buy tokens. Just a word of warning: buy wisely.