CRYPTOCURRENCIES are one of the most engrossing and innovative technologies of the past decade. Thanks to the recent bull run, the general public is taking notice of their potential as an investment, writes Judy Smith.
People are rushing to buy Bitcoin with credit cards to become a part of this revolutionary financial movement.
And while Bitcoin has been leading the way of the recent price rally, there are thousands of coins to choose from. But could you imagine that one of those coins hovering in the top 20 by market cap was created as a joke?
In this article, we will try to tell the story of Dogecoin - a cryptocurrency that was created based on the popular doge Shiba-Inu meme. You will discover how it was created and how this apparent gag became one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in the entire market.
What is DOGE?
Dogecoin (DOGE) is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies and was created in 2013 as a fork from Litecoin’s code.
Jackson Palmer - a member of Adobe Systems' marketing department - combined two of the most talked about topics on the internet at the time... the doge meme and cryptocurrencies. This unlikely combination gave us the name Dogecoin. His initial tweet was met with extremely positive feedback, with the community urging him to continue this project.
At the same time, Billy Markus, a programmer from Oregon wanted to create a cryptocurrency that would distance itself from the other cryptos and offer a more user-friendly alternative.
The initial idea behind DOGE was to mock the seriousness of the whole cryptocurrency space and go against the gold rush-mentality behind popular coins such as Bitcoin and Litecoin.
To this end, Palmer bought the dogecoin.com domain and slapped a picture of the now-iconic Shiba-Inu on the coin’s logo. Markus took notice and contacted Palmer, starting a collaboration that would lead to the creation of the DOGE coin.
What is different about DOGE?
Unlike most cryptocurrencies that have a limited total supply of coins, DOGE does not. Dogecoin’s creators decided to leave the supply cap open, letting miners being able to add DOGE coins infinitely to their portfolios. The reason behind this is to keep the incentive to mine more coins but also to be able to easily replace lost coins.
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Being based on a fork of Litecoin, Dogecoin uses the Scrypt algorithm for mining, making it a lot more democratic to obtain than Bitcoin as it requires standard hardware instead of the expensive ASIC miners.
At first, there were supposed to be only 100 million DOGE released. However, this plan changed and today, according to CoinMarketCap, there are more than 125 billion DOGE in circulation.
How did DOGE get so popular?
So, if the technology behind DOGE isn’t groundbreaking, how can its incredible popularity be warranted? After all, DOGE’s market cap reached $2 billion during the 2017 crypto bubble and the current cryptocurrency price has put its market cap above $1 billion once again.
The answer is simple - the community drives this project forward. Only 72 hours after its release in 2013, the value of DOGE jumped 300%, showing that simplifying the blockchain technology can bring in the masses.
Thanks to Palmer’s marketing genius, the project began to tick all of the right boxes when it came to gathering more followers.
For instance, in 2014, as big fans of the movie “Cool Runnings” they used the qualification of the Jamaican bobsled team to get the coin more visibility. Thanks to the community they managed to raise $25.000 and sent 26 million Dogecoins to the bobsled team, successfully sending them to the Olympics. This cemented even further the “fun, caring and sharing” mentality of the Dogecoin community.
Another example of the community being tightly tied together is the success story of the sponsoring of underdog NASCAR car driver Josh Wise. Doge supporters raised $55.000 and allowed him to race.
DOGE always goes viral
The DOGE cryptocurrency has a history of going viral many times over the years, which in turn has boosted its price and trading volume to astronomical levels.
Two recent events are worth mentioning:
- In July 2020, DOGE went viral on social network TikTok. Users began a challenge with the hashtag #DogecoinChallenge, urging others to invest $25 in DOGE. The fad caught on, boosting DOGE’s price by 100% in a couple of days.
- In December 2020, Elon Musk tweeted “One word, Doge”, which made DOGE’s price jump 25% in just a few hours.
Created as an internet joke, Dogecoin has amassed a loyal following throughout the years. Thanks to a solid community, it has outlived crypto projects that seemed more technologically advanced. Even the creators who thought the hype would die off sooner or later were wrong. People appreciated DOGE’s light-hearted take on the overtly serious crypto market which contributed to its huge popularity.