Dogecoin, which started as a parody cryptocurrency, has now broken the $1 bln market cap showing how far virtual currencies have come since Bitcoin’s inception in 2009.
Four years after the Bitcoin genesis block was mined, programmer Billy Markus coded his very own cryptocurrency in 2013. With the help of Jackson Palmer, a product manager and data analyst at Adobe, Dogecoin was brought to life, meme and all.
Taking up the popular internet meme of the Shiba Inu dog, the creator envisioned the cryptocurrency to be a friendly online payment system, although its rise in popularity may not have been intended.
Nevertheless, in the space of five years, Dogecoin has grown into its own vibrant community of users. Over time, Dogecoin has become popular as a ‘tipping system’ among its users – as stated on the website:
One of the most popular uses for Dogecoin is “tipping” fellow internet-goers who create or share great content. Think of it as a more meaningful “like” or upvote, with real value that can be used all across the internet.
The cryptocurrency has no limit on the amount of coins that can be created by mining. At the time of writing, there are over 112 bln Dogecoins in circulation. While a single Dogecoin is worth no more than $0.01, a single cent, the total market capitalization is now over $1.19 bln – amounting to 72,423 Bitcoin.
Much like Bit-cointalk is known for its bold artwork, Dogecoin took up an Internet meme as its ‘mascot’ of sorts. The word ‘doge’ is a popular internet term for a dog, which started out as a simple misspelling of the word in a TV series back in 2005.
As knowyourmeme.com explains, the term doge was married with the picture of a Shiba Inu dog on Reddit back in 2010, leading it to become one of the most well-known internet memes.
Its association with a cryptocurrency came about in 2014 and the rest is history – although Doge and its various memes would have provided constant internet joys with or without a virtual currency.
The Dogecoin community is also well known for its charitable endeavors.
In 2013, Dogecoin wallet platform Dogewallet was hacked and millions of coins were stolen. In the aftermath, the Dogecoin community started a fundraising effort known as SaveDogemas, which eventually raised the same amount of Dogecoin stolen in the hack just a month after the cyber theft.
The community has also raised funds for Olympic athletes, water projects in Kenya as well as retired NASCAR driver Josh Wise.
Cypherpunk Jameson Lopp gave the cryptocurrency a shoutout on Twitter:
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) January 4, 2018
Another user celebrated Dogecoin’s rise in value, pointing out that it was worth more than the Japanese Yen.
dogecoin is worth more than the japanese yen now, what a time to be alive pic.twitter.com/bEHpSf3pJo
— Wolfborg (@Wolfborg13) January 5, 2018