A Tale of Coin and Community
With Bitcoin recently catching headline after headline and having recently hit an all-time high of $58,000, various other cryptocurrencies have been dragged into the forefront of the public’s attention by their older growth-spurting cousin. Among these cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin was the subject of a recent investor craze that swept the internet. Cryptocurrency analytic group ICO Analytics found that Dogecoin was the most discussed cryptocurrency on Twitter in February of 2021. With catchphrases like “Dogecoin to the moon!” leading the coin’s charge onto the front stage of the internet, it is important to ask: What sets Dogecoin apart from other crypto currencies?
Having been conceived in the meme nebula of Reddit and the Twitterverse, a Shiba Inu dog affectionately dubbed "Doge" became a widespread meme that evolved into a cryptocurrency created on Dec. 9, 2013 by Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus. The details of the coin were released on Github, a popular internet forum in a post titled “Dogecoin - very currency -many coin- wow - v1.1 Released.” Dogecoin works like most other cryptocurrencies. It has a “limited” number of coins (100 billion), it can be mined by solving blockchains (complex math problems that make up all transactions that is Dogecoin and when solved, pay out a small amount of Dogecoin to the solver), and most importantly, it’s spendable.
What sets Dogecoin apart from all other forms of cryptocurrencies is its quick-witted, wide-reaching and animated community. The Dogecoin community, mainly consisting of small individual investors, interacts through forums such as Reddit, and partakes in all kinds of different projects that could only be accomplished through collective effort. Not only has the Dogecoin community recently raised enough money to send a physical representation of a Dogecoin to the Moon, they have done much more. From NASCAR sponsorships and sending the Jamaican bobsled team to the Olympics, to building wells in Kenya through a fund called “Doge4Water” and mobilizing a fund under the moniker “Doge4Kids,” which donated to the charity “4 Paws For Ability,” an organization that provides children with much-needed service animals, the Dogecoin community has impressive levels of coordination and altruism.
Dogecoin’s recent spike in value was caused partially by a number of famous personas lending their public support for the coin. The list of supporters includes pop star Kevin Jonas, billionaire Elon Musk, rappers Lil Yachty and Snoop Dogg, “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin and “Kiss” frontman Gene Simmons. Elon Musk has without a doubt been the most vocal supporter of the coin, having tweeted “Doge might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool.” and “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto.” This loud support for the coin had a significant effect on its popularity and therefore its price over the past few months.
Free celebrity endorsements aren’t the only way the Dogecoin community has been getting the word out about the “people’s crypto.” Over the past couple of months, billboards sponsored by members of the community have been popping up around the country, famously appearing in Times Square as well as along highways in several states including Texas, Florida and California. While billboards have drawn some criticism from the Dogecoin community as having less reach and being less cost-effective than targeted ads on social media, the sensationalism and tangibility these billboards provide garners a feeling of realness that modern advertising lacks.
But ultimately, is Dogecoin really fairly valued? The answer is complicated. One issue associated with Dogecoin is that over half of all available Dogecoin is owned by just twenty people. In order for a currency to be usable by everybody effectively it has to be less concentrated in its ownership; these twenty Dogecoin holders certainly pose a roadblock to the crypto’s future. Additionally, a lack of oversight by the SEC for cryptocurrencies degrades faith in investment in the coin.
Another potential problem for the coin is that it was initially created as a joke, and as a result, faith in the value of Dogecoin as a legitimate asset is questionable. This results in a very volatile market price for Dogecoin with huge swings both up and down in value. But, even with these challenges, Dogecoin succeeded in making a name for itself in the world of cryptocurrency. It reached market value thresholds thought impossible for it to achieve. Its decentralized, incredibly secure and easy-to-use nature gives it all the traits and potential value of any other cryptocurrency.
At the end of the day, the value of Dogecoin is largely in the eye of the beholder. However, if the Dogecoin community continues to keep up its hard work in an attempt to get the coin recognized on the world stage as a respectable investment, and continue working together toward the greater goal of creating a cryptocurrency that is truly for the people, perhaps one day Dogecoin’s value will go to the moon.
Photo caption: A Shiba Inu dog, on which the artwork of Dogecoin is based
Photo Credit: Pixabay