Crypto Hidden Gems: The 6 Golden Eggs of 2023

Which projects pleasantly surprised the crypto market this year?

6 golden Christmas eggs.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin

By now, the smell of pine needles and Mariah Carey’s glitzy voice should have made their presence known.

But we prefer to celebrate Cryptomas instead of its better-known cousin in this corner of the internet. As opposed to six plain goose eggs, our blockchain geese have been hard at work giving us what we really want:

The Six Golden Eggs of 2023!

The Sixth Day of Christmas

The crypto world loves a secret surprise. Whether it’s a million-dollar altcoin airdrop or a creative new Bitcoin (BTC) utility, 2023 brought plenty of stunning revelations that are shaking up the industry.


These golden eggs represent some of the best crypto innovations of the year. Proving that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology can still surprise you, this year’s hidden crypto gems have brought new use cases to the digital asset space.

Put the turtle doves and partridges aside for a second, and let’s explore some of the unique crypto projects and blockchain platforms that cropped up in 2023.

6 Golden Eggs of Cryptomas 2023

The Cryptomas geese left no egg unlaid this year, gestating everything from meteoric meme coins to next-generation Ethereum (ETH) scaling solutions and viral meme coins.


Without further ado, let’s get cracking!

1. PEPE Coin

Surprise surprise, 2023’s biggest out-of-the-blue success story is none other than an explosive meme coin that defied all naysayers on its way to the moon. In a few short weeks, one iconic green frog dominated the cryptocurrency market, spreading the gospel of PEPE throughout the Ethereum blockchain.

Launched on the 15th of April, PEPE Coin’s meteoric rise stunned the crypto world. Setting out to challenge meme coin kings like Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB), PEPE’s ascent was relentless. Racking up billions of dollars in trading volume, the internet’s favorite frog became the face of the crypto market, bringing unimaginable riches to early investors.

Pepe coin trade tweet from X.
Source: 𝕏

A select few traders turned their lunch money into millions in the space of a few weeks, while the meme coins’ success kick-started a frenzied season of on-chain meme coin trading. 

While PEPE has since retraced over 70% from its astronomical all-time high market cap of $1.5B, the meme coin has retained a passionate community of meme coin enthusiasts who eagerly await the frog’s next great push.

2. BLUR Airdrops

Nestled within our second golden egg, BLUR airdrops have given the NFT community an early Christmas on more than one occasion.

Blazing past OpenSea, quickly established itself as the NFT community’s marketplace of choice. Its advanced features and generous points system attracted NFT traders in their thousands, with every user clamoring for a taste of a rumored crypto airdrop.

The conditions were simple. Use Blur for all your NFT trading needs and be rewarded. In February, the first round of BLUR token airdrops went live, distributing 360M BLUR tokens among users. Some of the platform’s biggest traders were handsomely rewarded, with the top receivers netting millions of dollars worth of BLUR.

The fun hasn’t stopped, either. Consequent ‘seasons’ have continued dropping millions of BLUR tokens on NFT traders, leading to controversy within the NFT market. Despite the team saying that Wash-Traders wouldn’t qualify for rewards, the platform has been inundated with falsified trading volume.

Blur airdrops have also drawn the ire of a large portion of the Ethereum NFT community. They argue that Blur’s reward system has led to an influx of bots and wash traders that are artificially farming points and polluting the ecosystem.


What’s the value of friendship? Is it having a trusted person in your life that you can rely on in times of joy and need? Or is friendship a quantifiable asset that can be traded on the free market? This is the question aimed to explore with its unique SoFi (Social Finance) application. is a decentralized social media platform, but it’s more than just a place to share holiday photos and festive greetings. Built on Coinbase’s Base chain, flipped the script and transformed 𝕏 accounts into tradeable assets called ‘Keys.’ 

Holding someone’s ‘Keys’ meant you could enter token-gated chat rooms with crypto influencers and personalities. These Keys could also be traded between accounts, starting a speculative game amongst traders looking to profit from the fluctuating popularity of key 𝕏 accounts.

The platform exploded upon launch, attracting thousands of users and amassing a TVL (Total Value Locked) metric of over $50M USD at its peak in October. has since stagnated, with platform adoption dwindling over time and several security issues plaguing the popular crypto app.


Not to be outdone by rival networks, the Solana (SOL) community conceived an iconic meme coin of their own. Designed to rally the Solana network after the catastrophic collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, BONK (BONK) mysteriously started appearing in Solana wallets around Christmas 2022.

While many people dismissed BONK as a random scam coin, the wider Solana community had other ideas. BONK went parabolic over a few weeks, finding its way into the heart of Solana culture.

Bonk webpage.
Source: Bonk

Over the course of the year, hundreds of Solana developers started creating fun dApps that uncovered new use cases for BONK. From Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) to Telegram bots and Web 3 games, BONK has become an integral part of the Solana ecosystem.

Like Shiba Inu (SHIB) before it, community members found creative ways of burning BONK tokens, adding a deflationary element to BONK’s tokenomics.

BONK rose to new highs in November, notching an all-time high market cap of over $250M. While this is far from the lofty heights of its rivals Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu, BONK was a hidden crypto gem that no one saw coming.

5. zk-Rollups

Within the Ethereum ecosystem, 2023 was undoubtedly the year of Layer 2 scaling solutions. While optimistic rollups like Arbitrum and Optimism dominated the charts, zk-rollups also found their way into the Ethereum pantheon, promising unmatched security on the blockchain.

zk-Rollups are a creative way of boosting Ethereum’s scalability while adding additional layers of privacy. Smart contract-capable platforms like zkSync and the Polygon zkEVM bundle numerous transactions into a single transaction, significantly reducing the strain on the Ethereum network. 

Beyond that, zero-knowledge technology allows users to prove they know sensitive information without revealing said data to intermediaries. This novel technology brings a wealth of new utility to crypto and helps users safeguard their blockchain data against prying eyes.


Brian Armstrong’s exchange has always prided itself on doing things by the book, running a serious, professional platform. When Coinbase announced they’d be launching their very own Layer 2 network, no one could’ve predicted what would happen next. 

While Base has witnessed its fair share of innovative and sincere applications and crypto projects, the chain’s first few days of uptime were mired by absolute chaos. Risk-loving traders flocked to the network like a gaggle of geese, eager to find the next big thing.

Presumably named after the Coinbase founder’s hairstyle of choice, BALD gleamed like a sweaty scalp on a crisp sunrise. The meme coin dazzled its way into the hearts of meme coin traders, netting over 300,000% price appreciation in the space of a few days. 

Unfortunately, like a fully-fledged hairline, not all things are made to last. BALD developers betrayed traders by withdrawing millions of dollars out of its liquidity pool, effectively rugging the coin and leaving most investors with a handful of worthless tokens.

While still unconfirmed, many on-chain sleuths believe that the devious mastermind behind the catastrophic rug pull was none other than disgraced crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).

According to blockchain detectives, the BALD deployed address has on-chain links to Alameda Research, SBF’s now-bankrupt trading firm. On top of that, similarities were also drawn between the BALD team’s use of “nor”, a word that frequently materialized in SBF’s distinct vernacular.

BALD was ultimately a scam, however, traders who were able to get in and out before disaster struck were able to reap enormous gains. While this golden goose egg may have shone as brightly as the others on this list, late buyers found nothing but a rotten yolk underneath all the glitz and glamour.

Let BALD serve as a timely reminder: not all that glitters is gold. 

On the Flipside

  • If approved, Bitcoin spot ETFs would be the biggest golden egg for the crypto space in 2023. This crucial advancement is a massive step for crypto adoption and may help stabilize volatility in the crypto space.

Why This Matters

Analyzing what made hidden crypto gems so successful might help you find undiscovered golden eggs before they hatch ahead of next Christmas. That said, take some time away from the charts this holiday season and enjoy the festive season with your loved ones.


Where is the safest place to buy crypto?

For most people, cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and Binance are the safest places to buy crypto. However, some crypto users would also argue that storing crypto assets in a self-custodial wallet is safer for long-term storage.

What is a hidden gem in crypto?

In the crypto market, a hidden gem is an undervalued coin or digital asset that is still relatively unknown and out of the public eye.

What is the number one crypto?

Without a doubt, Bitcoin is the number one crypto. It has the highest number of holders, adoption, and the largest market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies.

Check out the previous entry in our 12 Days of Cryptomas series where we look back at a positive year for Bitcoin
Bitcoin’s Impressive 2023 Recovery Sets Stage for Golden 2024

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Finn Miller

Finn Miller is a New Zealand-based blockchain writer for DailyCoin who specializes in simplifying complex blockchain topics. He is experienced in crafting whitepapers, researching on-chain data, and advising emerging crypto projects, and uses his unconventional approach to learning and passion for knowledge to provide cornerstone educational content for readers of all levels. When not exploring the depths of DeFi, Finn can be found exploring his other passion, the great outdoors.