Ana Sullivan

Dogecoin Is Not a “Joke” Anymore

by Ana Sullivan February 6, 2018

Dogecoin (DOGE), as advertised on its website, is a “fun, new and rapidly growing” cryptocurrency. It was created in 2013 by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer from Portland, Oregon. Dogecoin started its life as a “joke currency”. Palmer wanted to use Dogecoin to show the absurdity of wagering huge sums of money on unstable ventures. However, investors did not get the joke and Dogecoin grew in value as many users began using it, sharing it and posting memes about it, which put it among the top cryptocurrencies on the market. In fact, the currency itself was named after the then-popular Shiba Inu dog from the “doge” meme. Last year, Dogecoin was one of the top ten coins on the market with several online exchanges offering DOGE/LTC (Litecoin) and DOGE/BTC (Bitcoin).

The creators` idea was to create an altcoin to reach a much broader demographic than Bitcoin. Also, the developers wanted to keep Dogecoin “fresh and fun” in order to distance it from the controversial past of Bitcoin (being widely used in online black markets as well as in ransomware extortions). The purpose of Dogecoin is to use it to buy goods and services or trade it for other crypto or traditional currencies. In addition, one of the most popular uses of DOGE is the so-called “tipping” Internet users who create or share interesting posts and other type of content. The “tipping” is just like a “like” or an “upvote” but it has a real value which can be used all across the Web. The currency is used with a wallet which you have to install on your computer or smartphone.

The current price of DOGE is only $0.003111 USD. However, with a circulation supply of 113,077,183,783 DOGE, the coin has a market capitalization of $351,772,942 USD. There is no limit to how many Dogecoins can be created.

However, regardless of what the initial idea of Dogecoin was, things didn’t go as planned. Along the way, Dogecoin became a magnet for greed and attracted a group of scammers and hackers who defrauded investors, hyped fake products, and left many of the currency’s original backers empty-handed. Jackson Palmer (yes, one of the developers of Dogecoin) is no longer involved in the project. In fact, he is one of the loudest voices warning that a similar fate might soon befall the entire cryptocurrency industry. Palmer keeps talking about how cryptocurrencies have gone out of control and pointing out cases with fake ICOs, scams, frauds, hackers, thefts, etc.

For example, one scammer raised $750,000 from Dogecoin supporters for a cryptocurrency start-up that never materialized. Also, a hacker broke into Dogewallet, the website where users stored their coins, and stole thousands of dollars’ worth of the currency. Soon after that, the forums were full of angry scam victims and people who just wanted to get rich quickly.

When leaving the Dogecoin project in 2015, Palmer said that the cryptocurrency market “increasingly feels like a bunch of white libertarian bros sitting around hoping to get rich and coming up with half-baked, buzzword-filled business ideas.”   Then he started making YouTube videos, explaining tech topics to beginners, including how cryptocurrencies work.

My mission in all of this is to help people better understand things, rather than just thinking about profit.” - Palmer said. He believes that a reckoning in the cryptocurrency market is coming and that people will only use digital coins for illegitimate projects. “The bigger this bubble goes, the bigger negative connotation it’s going to have. It’s going to be like the dot-com bust, but on a much more epic scale.”

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