In general, crypto is dangerous. It is an asset class that’s risky by nature, with potential dramatic, prolonged downturns possible, proven out by last year’s price action. Indeed, 2023 has been better for crypto overall. Interest rate hikes are slowing, and that is making riskier investments more attractive. Tech stocks have surged, and markets are positive on higher-risk assets. Accordingly, the overall market capitalization of the crypto has surged from $800 billion to more than $1.1 trillion at the time of writing.
But while the overall macro backdrop may be more positive, substantial risk remains. Dominant cryptocurrencies are much safer. That’s almost always true in any case. However, investors should avoid trending cryptos in June, which has historically been a difficult-to-judge month for markets. Early-stage tokens merit extra scrutiny and perhaps complete avoidance altogether.
Here’s a list of three dangerous cryptos I think are best left alone right now.
Dangerous Cryptos: Pepe (PEPE-USD)
Pepe (PEPE-USD) is one of the trendiest cryptos at present. It’s also yet another meme-inspired coin that has emerged from a strange investment strategy that didn’t exist a few years ago. Meme coins burst into the collective investment conscience during the pandemic with Dogecoin (DOGE-USD). Many others have followed.
They all have several commonalities. Their use cases are limited to non-existent, for one. That‘s certainly true of Pepe. Additionally, demand is driven by their recognizability through memes. The more they’re used in memes, the better.
In Pepe’s case, it was born out of a comic called Boy’s Club. It has been co-opted by movements unrelated to its creator’s intentions. While welcomed for its use in Hong Kong protests, its use was not welcomed by its creator in connection with the alt-right movement.
The reason to avoid Pepe is that the majority of investor interest around this token appears to have passed. It is no longer novel, and meme investors are likely to move on to the next new thing. This token’s price has been waning of late, and until some major momentum-driven move takes place, I think this slide can continue indefinitely.
WaifuAI (WFAI-USD) looks like a typical pump-and-dump scheme in the making. It bears many of the hallmarks of such cryptocurrencies, which is why investors should avoid it at all costs this month, and any other for that matter.
Don’t let the allure of its ultra-low price lure you in. Currently, $1 gives you ownership of over 25 million tokens. That sounds pretty interesting, sure. Indeed, this token’s low price (and high number of zeros after the decimal point) provides investors with the idea that massive upside could be possible. However, I’d imagine whales and other large-scale owners will dump this token, if and when a major surge takes place.
One need only look at an overview of WaifuAI to understand that it is based on very little. The project’s description is filled with marketing jargon that means nothing. It seems to be based on some strange utilization of anime-inspired characters and the “charm,” “beauty,” and “euphoria” that investors somehow attach to said art. If it seems too strange to invest in, it probably is.
Dangerous Cryptos: Shiba Inu (SHIB-USD)
Shiba Inu (SHIB-USD) is one of the original Dogecoin-inspired offshoots from the height of meme coin mania. That’s pretty much all there is to Shiba Inu. It’s essentially a crypto that was created as a joke, in a very similar fashion to its predecessor.
It was also marketed as the “Dogecoin killer,” although both tokens are still very much in existence.
The story behind Shiba Inu isn’t compelling. It revolves around a special dog — a very, very special dog — that inspires people to invest in tokens bearing said dog’s image. It worked for a little while. During the pandemic excess spurred on by stimulus checks and boredom, Shiba Inu shot upward. It was so cheap that the zeros right of the decimal point fell off. That resulted in substantial gains for investors.
But that was during the pandemic when interest rates were much lower, and inflation was hardly a concern. Shiba Inu has basically traded flat throughout 2023. The magic is gone, but the danger remains.
On Low-Capitalization and Low-Volume Cryptocurrencies: InvestorPlace does not regularly publish commentary about cryptocurrencies that have a market capitalization less than $100 million or trade with volume less than $100,000 each day. That’s because these “penny cryptos” are frequently the playground for scam artists and market manipulators. When we do publish commentary on a low-volume crypto that may be affected by our commentary, we ask that InvestorPlace.com’s writers disclose this fact and warn readers of the risks.
Read More: How to Avoid Popular Cryptocurrency Scams
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.