DogeCoin: A joke that became a legit business

Dogecoin is a digital currency that began out as a joke and went on to become the top 10 crypto candidate, with a market value that reached more than $2 billion.

In 2013, a popular Internet Meme based on the Japanese dog breed Shiba Inu (“Shibe”) was developed and inspired by the Doge. The coin was created. A hilarious picture of a dog with his ‘thinking’ written on the end, such as a sarcastic birthday note, went viral and was quickly a cult follower.

It was used for Google Easter egg graphics and was also picked up by Delta Air Lines and used in a safety film.

the market cap of the coin has now plummeted to just $338m and is in the 42nd spot in the top 100 (14/6/2018) according to Coinmarketcap – and therein lies a story of some of the worst excesses of the crypto frenzy.

The history of DogeCoin.

The coin was released in December 2013, following the decision by Jackson Palmer, Adobe Product Manager in Sydney, to make fun of the rapidly increasing number of cryptocurrencies. He tweeted that he was investing in a new digital currency called Dogecoin: “It’s the next big thing,” he laughed.

Palmer then went a step forward and purchased the domain name, placing a coin on the home page embossed with a picture of the Doge breed. He added a note that said, “If you want to make Dogecoin a reality, get in touch.”

Meanwhile, in the US, Billy Markus was designing his cryptocurrency, Bells [according to the currency used in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing], when he came across the coin’s platform. He got in contact, and the pair agreed to transform the coin into a cryptocurrency based on the bitcoin blockchain and mined in the same way.

There is no formal pronunciation in case you are unsure how to spell it. Palmer said of the International Business Times, “‘Officially’ is anything such as ‘dohjcoin’ from the Homestar Runner [cartoon series].

Thanks to its internet fame, the coin took off and rapidly gained traction, with a devoted online community, reaching a market cap of $60m in just one month.

By mid-2015, there were 100 billion coins in circulation,  and a further 5,25 billion coins were introduced annually. The worth, actually just $.0035, is so small that it appears to be used otherwise than most cryptocurrencies.

So many problems!

There was an early hiccup when, less than three weeks after the sale, 21 million coins, worth nearly $12,000, were stolen from Dogewallet. Undeterred, the group set out to collect cash to compensate hack victims.

In preparation for the winter Olympics in Sochi, Cryptocurrencies came into fame later that year when devotees from Dogecoin collected $50,000 in inspiration from the hit Fun Runnings movie so they would have to take part in the cash depleted bobsleigh squad.

More than $36,000 has been raised in just two days, and media coverage has helped boost public awareness of the ‘old currency.’

Palmer told the Sydney Morning Herald that he never intended the coin to get too serious, but the internet community had other ideas – quickly gaining ground on Reddit’s popular social internet platform. “That’s true virilism,” Palmer said. “[Dogecoin] grew his mind.”

There’s a dark side to the coin!

At the beginning of 2014, a British man named Alex Green created a cryptocurrency exchange called Moolah to facilitate the spread of Dogecoin. That was the beginning of a bleak time for the digital currency that some analysts say will never truly rebound from.

Green began giving out generous sums of the coin via tips on Reddit and even contributed to causes that included the culture of the coin – including sponsoring Nascar racing driver Josh Wise.

Moolah began raising funds from the Dogecoin community, raking at more than $750,000, according to Palmer – largely as a result of goodwill stemming from Green’s earlier generosity.

How’s Dogecoin doing in 2020?

However, the infrastructure has not been a key point of concern for coin creators who are now volunteers. The latest version on Github is over two years ago. However one reason it continues to operate and trade is its active mining community. As Zachary Maschiach of CryptoIQ put it:

Many scripting miners still favor Dogecoin (DOGE) over other cryptocurrencies for Scrypt PoW. Indeed the Dogecoin (DOGE) hash rate is approximately 150 TH/s. This is only below the Litecoin (LTC) hash rate of 170 TH/s, presumably because Dogecoin (DOGE) can be combined with Litecoin (LTC), meaning that miners can mine both cryptos simultaneously using the same job. Essentially, everyone who mines Litecoin (LTC) prefers to mine Dogecoin (DOGE) as well because the merge of Dogecoin (DOGE) mining increases profits.

In Q2 2020, Dogecoin is the 26th largest market cap with over $570 million of total capitalization. 

James M. Marrero

1 comment

  • Beautiful stories. Never give up, crypto has come a long way and many of us just learnt of this type of currency a few years back. Truly inspiring

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