r/MemeEconomy is a subreddit in which users discuss memes as if they are real-world products. If a meme has risen, they say “SELL,” and if a meme is just starting to bubble up online, they say that they are going to “BUY.” No real cash or money is involved. Now some Redditors are building upon this idea to come up with a fake stock market-type thrill, reports The Verge.
Memes: the king in NASDANQ
A 12-person team of Redditors led by Ron Vaisman and Brandon Wink is taking the idea behind r/MemeEconomy to make an interactive and working meme stock market. The team of Redditors is calling the trading tool NASDANQ.
A meme economy does not mean that anyone with money to spend can participate. The stock market will operate on its own fictional currency like the subreddit, and no one participating will make any real money or use any, for that matter. The most difficult and important part of Vaisman and Wink’s project, even without any money in the game, has been assigning a stock price to memes.
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In an interview with The Verge, Vaisman said the idea is to give this usually intangible thing a value so that the people can feel like they are making some money when before they could not. What this really means is coming up with an algorithm that is capable of determining a value of every meme based on a combination of growth and popularity.
How this stock market works
For a meme to find a place on NASDANQ, someone must determine the cultural impact it has made or will make. Fans will make that call. Each trader will be given 1000 units of NASDANQ currency after they create an account.
Then, by paying a specific amount of that fictional currency, a group of people will be able to make a “firm” that will enable them to submit memes for NASDANQ consideration, notes The Verge. Wink and Vaisman say that if several firms submit a similar meme, it will factor into the decision of the algorithm to enable the meme onto the market.
A meme needs to be categorized after being approved. Memes will be distributed to the markets based on their characteristics. The three markets are text-based memes (text is the same, but the image will change), penny stocks (not very popular memes) and image-based memes (opposite of text-based stocks), explains The Verge.
Work started on the project started in August, and Vaisman admits, “It’s taking some time.