What once started out as a meme or joke cryptocurrency now has a market capitalization of over $10 billion. This is Dogecoin, a currency with a very particular origin and evolution.
What is Dogecoin?
Like all other cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin is a digital currency that can be invested or used to buy other digital currencies, and purchase goods and services, both physical and digital, at merchants and retailers that accept it. It is similar to other cryptos in that its code is based on that Litecoin, which is itself based on Bitcoin, although it has a few key differences.
The first one is that, unlike Bitcoin, which established a maximum amount of 21 million units of currency, Dogecoin has 132 billion coins in circulation and the DOGE network processes a new block every minute. For that reason, Bitcoin has reached all-time highs of $60,000, while Dogecoin’s value has never exceeded $1.
However, the most notable difference is the active online community that makes this currency fun. But now it’s more than just fun because Doge is traded in pairs like DOGE/USDT.
Among some of their actions, the group (found on the social network Reddit) successfully funded a sponsorship for Nascar driver Josh Wise to advertise the coin on his car, and they have raised money for various charitable causes.
Beginnings of Dogecoin
Dogecoin was officially created on December 6, 2013, by a couple of software engineers as a joke. Billy Markus was an IBM programmer who considered differentiating his crypto from Bitcoin, which had been created by an anonymous person or group, and he wanted his cryptocurrency to be open to the masses.
To make his particular dream come true, Billy sought help and found Jackson Palmer, who was working at Adobe at the time. They quickly hit it off and Jackson decided to register the domain dogecoin.com as a nod to the “doge” meme that was very popular at the time.
Dogecoin was an instant hit in the community because of its humor in it, as it was a currency that could be easily mined and bought for pennies on the dollar. In just two weeks after its creation, the Reddit channel, r/Dogecoin, had more than 19,000 members, and the price of the cryptocurrency increased by 300%.
However, on December 25 of that same year, the community received its first major blow from a hacker who broke into DogeWallet, a third-party provider of digital currency wallets, and stole $11 million. But the community was quick to react, launching an effort called “SaveDogmas,” which donated $15 million to the wallet to reimburse victims of the hack. This is one of the actions that would best define the spirit of the community for the future.
Why did Dogecoin quickly become so popular?
Although it started as a joke, it can be said that it is not anymore and its popularity has grown to unimaginable levels. Apart from its usefulness and having a large community that revolves around cryptocurrency, Dogecoin’s popularity is due in large part to the famous and influential supporters who have used it and express their support for the currency. Among the most famous list are Gene Simmons, bassist and co-leader of the band Kiss, American activist and Tiger King star Carole Baskin, rappers Snoop Dogg and Lil Yachty, and former adult film star Mia Khalifa.
But if there is someone who really stands out from the rest and whose actions have greatly influenced the public to increase the fame of Dogecoin, it is Elon Musk. The founder of SpaceX, CEO of Tesla Motors, and the richest man in the world, first came into contact with Dogecoin in 2018 when he asked Jackson Palmer for help in combating scam bots posing as him to steal cryptocurrencies.
Then, with several tweets spread between 2018 and 2021 mentioning the coin, such as the time he wrote that it was his favorite cryptocurrency or that it could become the official currency of Mars, it caused both the popularity and the DOGE price will increase significantly. Such was Elon’s ability to influence the cryptocurrency market through Twitter that it became known as the “Elon effect.”