How a joke cryptocurrency took the world by storm
There are hundreds, maybe thousands of cryptocurrencies out there, ranging from the highly innovative to the ridiculous. Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency based on an old meme, was meant to be one of these ridiculous but useless coins. However, due mainly to its charm and fiercely loyal fan base it blew up reaching a market cap of over $1 billion in January 2018. Let’s look at how the ‘little coin that could’ went from a joke to being worth over $1 billion in just 5 years.
What is Dogecoin?
If you cast your mind back to the distant past of 2013, you may remember a dog, or rather doge, taking over the internet. A confused looking Shibe Inu with a comic sans internal monologue. ‘Much think’, ‘very past’, ‘such remember’, ‘wow’. The dogs name is Kabosu and she became an internet sensation. What does any of this have to with cryptocurrency? Well, the same year IBM software engineer Jackson Palmer and Adobe Project manager Billy Markus decided to create a cryptocurrency as a joke to satirize the Bitcoin trend. They decided that since Bitcoin was a digital currency, they would combine their coin with the most popular digital meme of the time. Thus, the Dogecoin was born. To this day it still has a market cap of over $300 million.
The rise of the Doge
Adrian Lee a senior finance lecturer at the University of Technology in Sydney had this to say to CNET when asked about Dogecoin: “Dogecoin is an easily replicable coin, I don’t know how it distinguishes itself from Bitcoin. I really think it has to do with being established early…And also the dog.” Despite its less than serious origins, people loved the new coin. It soon grew a vibrant and slightly cult-like following. Though many people embraced the coin, it was on Reddit that it really took of. People started to mine Dogecoin, much to the surprise of its creators. There are 100 million Dogecoin, compared to 21 million Bitcoin. The creators never expected anyone would ever want to mine it so they made it easier to mine than Bitcoin. Dogecoin is nearly completely mined out, a testament to its bizarre popularity. Dogecoin soon started to grow in value and become a legitimate, tradable asset.
The Doge community
Many cryptocurrencies have their champions who are more than happy to support the many benefits of their chosen coin. DogeCoin, however, has a following that goes beyond coin valuations and market prices, they just love DogeCoin. Dogecoin is predominantly used to ‘tip’ others online when you appreciate the content they create or share. It’s similar to liking a post but actually provides the content creator with something of actual value. Its users are also known for their charitable contributions. On Reddit, the Dogecoin community runs drives to buy socks for the homeless. They have also raised money for the Jamaican bobsledding team to go to the Olympics, and for water projects in Kenya.
The future of Dogecoin
They want their cryptocurrency to go ‘to the moon’ as they say, but if that doesn’t happen the support for the coin will keep it going far beyond anywhere, anyone, imagined it could go. This coin was never meant to go anywhere, but with a loyal fan base, it could take its first trip to the moon. In the words of Kabuso the Doge herself: “Much surprise, many value, such market cap, wow.”