Meme Economy is a satirical concept and internet subculture in which memes are discussed in the jargons of the financial industry, as if they are commodities or capital assets with fluctuating values. Since its inception as a community on Reddit in 2016, the joke has spawned a number of spin-off projects built around the fictional meme market infrastructure.
On September 28th, 2016, killameme7 created the subreddit /r/MemeEconomy. The subreddit's description reads:
"/r/MemeEconomy is a place where individuals can buy, sell, share, make, and invest in memes freely. You'll also get updates on the market and be able to collaborate with other fellow dank meme traders."
As of November 11th, 2016, the subreddit has 31,941 subscribers.
The first instance of memes being discussed as stocks came on June 11th, 2012. Redditor HomeButton submitted a post titled “Mad Karma with Jim Cramer” to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit, which featured a screenshot of Cramer hosting Mad Money with the headline news ticker edited to list trending memes on Reddit instead of stock quotes. The image macro was captioned with "Dump all your karma in pictures of feet" (shown below), referencing a foot photograph post that had reached the front page the day before. Prior to being archived, the post received over 4,300 up votes and 100 comments. The following memes became known as Mad Karma With Jim Cramer.
The subreddit was rocked during the Meme Renaissance of Me_IRL when memes were posted at "an unsustainable rate." They've also responded intensely to memes related to the 2016 United States Presidential Election and other major events.
On October 17th, LuckyCosmos posted a pinned thread explaining the way the subreddit and "meme trading" works, including a FAQ. Memes are bought and sold on "GoodBoyPoints (GBP)."
On January 9th, 2017, Reddit user deros94 wrote a report about an early-2017 meme drought and posted it to the subreddit. The piece, shown below, argued that the early-2017 meme landscape was a "barren wasteland" and memes cropping up on /r/me_IRL of late had been forced and rehashed ideas.
On September 29th, 2016, Redditor Darkpitt registered the domain NASDANQ.com and posted an announcement plans to turn it into a meme exchange marketplace on the /r/MemeEconomy. On February 22nd, 2017, Redditor AchillesDev, one of the voluntary developers working on the NASDANQ project, posted an update revealing that the team has officially formed a company under the name NASDANQ LLC and the alpha version of the platform will be ready for launch within two weeks, equipped with basic functionality, such as buying and selling memes and setting firms. On April 12th, 2017, Nasdanq launched their closed beta, providing testers with access to basic functionality on the site. That day, Redditor Icedog68 posted a screenshot of his site profile (shown below).
On February 3rd, 2017, a group of Redditors on /r/MemeEconomy launched MemeTrades.com, the first online stock brokerage platform for internet memes, where visitors can participate in mock-trading memes as virtual commodities by logging into Facebook.
On January 25th, 2017, a group of Redditors on /r/MemeEconomy digitally released the first issue of its monthly news magazine titled Meme Insider, which offers various insights and advices on the market conditions of meme exchange in the vein of financial news magazines like Forbes.
 /r/MemeEconomy – WARNING! ME_IRL CREATING MEMES AT AN UNSUSTAINABLE RATE!