A slew of royally-themed NFTs, memecoins, and Web 3 paraphernalia flooded NFT marketplaces and exchanges following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
As the U.K. mourns the loss of its 96-year-old monarch, Web 3 enthusiasts capitalized on the global attention to launch a dizzying array of algorithmically generated, Queen-themed nonfungible tokens, as well as a slew of cryptocurrency tokens such as Queen Elizabeth Inu, QueenDoge, and London Bridge Is Down on Binance Smart Chain and Ethereum.
Queen Elizabeth Inu rallied 28,506% on PancakeSwap, with $17,000 in liquidity at the time of writing. Another token, Elizabeth, rallied 8,000% with $204,000 in liquidity.
This comes somewhat ironically as the U.K. prepares to rebrand its money with the image of the succeeding monarch, King Charles III. About 29 billion British coins and over four billion banknotes will need to be changed by the Royal Mint and the Bank of England, respectively. The new monarch will face the opposite way to the queen in a long-held British tradition to signal the dawn of a new era.
Cryptoqueen NFT, anyone?
Following the algorithmic tradition of blue-chip NFT collection CryptoPunks, a collection called RIP The Queen Official, with over 8000 images, was listed on OpenSea. Each algorithmically generated image contained slightly different renderings of the queen’s eyes and mouth.
Another collection, QueenE, pioneered by Fabio Seva and the holder of the maladen.eth ENS domain in July 2022 said that the auction of their seventy-third queen NFT would be the last. The pair had planned to create NFTs of the queen for as long as she lived. The alleged final NFT was sold for 2.73 ETH, followed by a surprise NFT auction of the queen’s likeness imposed on a skeleton.
It remains to be seen whether the cryptocurrencies have genuine backing or are just another of the pump-and-dump schemes that lost investors over $2.8 billion in 2021, according to Chainalysis. Pump-and-dump schemes gain traction through misleading promotions that cause the price of a cryptocurrency to increase, after which promoters sell the coins or tokens, causing retail investors to lose large amounts of money.
In Jan. 2022, victims of a pump-and-dump scheme promoted by Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather filed a class-action lawsuit against the pair for promoting EthereumMax, a cryptocurrency unrelated to Ethereum.
One Reddit user wrote of the new queen-themed coins that “insensitive” greed strikes again. At the same time, another joked that central banks should be afraid of “ElizabethMoonCorgiRocketCoin.”