What Is Dogecoin?


A dogecoin cryptocurrency token with a shiba inu face.
surassawadee/Shutterstock.com

The original memecoin, Dogecoin, brought cryptocurrency into the mainstream media spotlight. Its rise in popularity is nothing short of historic. Here’s where it came from and why everyone can’t stop talking about it.

The Beginning of Doge

Dogecoin’s journey from its inception has likely changed the world of money as we know it forever. Cryptocurrencies were gaining traction in the years preceding Dogecoin’s fame. But when Dogecoin made it to everyone’s social media feed, discussions of cryptocurrencies became commonplace. And that was exactly the goal of Dogecoin founders Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer.

Dogecoin was created with the hope of making cryptocurrencies more accessible. Markus and Palmer believed that Bitcoin was obscure and difficult to utilize. They wanted to design a peer-to-peer currency that was shrouded in less mystery and not associated with dark web crime. To help gain notoriety, the 2013 shiba inu “doge” meme that circulated around the internet was chosen as the logo to help gain notoriety with a wider audience.

An original doge meme image.
One of the very first “doge” meme images to appear online. Atsuko Sato (original photo)

One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Doge

Dogecoin has similarities to many other cryptocurrencies despite its memecoin status. It is secure and immutable. It uses a proof of work consensus mechanism. Dogecoin can be bought and sold on many exchanges just like other cryptocurrencies. It can even be used as payment for services and products. But it took a while before this status was achieved as the first memecoin to gain global attention.

RELATED: What Is a “Blockchain”?

Since 2013, Dogecoin has gained momentum and attention intermittently.  During the later half of 2020, Dogecoin began trending on social media sites. At the time it was worth only $0.003. People began to buy Dogecoin in hopes of driving up the price. Well, it worked.

Dogecoin catapulted into mainstream media in 2021. By mid-January, Dogecoin gained attention from a group of prominent celebrities and entrepreneurs. Most famously, Elon Musk endorsed Dogecoin on Twitter multiple times between 2020 and 2021. Thanks to widespread attention, by February of 2021 it hit a price of $0.08, a 2,500% increase.

After a slight lull, the ascension continued into April when one of the most widely used cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase, listed Dogecoin. This listing propelled Dogecoin to a new all-time high of $0.41. At one point during this rally, Dogecoin was the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Even the widely used stock and cryptocurrency exchange Robinhood experienced an outage due to enormous amounts of traffic from people trading Dogecoin.

The culmination of Dogecoin hysteria reached its peak when Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live in the first week of May 2021. In the lead-up to his appearance, Dogecoin skyrocketed to $0.72. From December 2020 to its peak in May 2021, Dogecoin rose nearly 24,000%.

An illustration of Elon Musk next to a doge coin.
KLYONA/Shutterstock.com

Dogecoin Remains Relevant

Dogecoin may not have run out of steam just yet. Musk announced in late 2021 that Tesla would begin accepting the memecoin as an official form of payment for certain products. And he is not alone. Movie theater company AMC announced in April 2022 that movie-goers can now purchase tickets with Dogecoin. The number one live-streaming platform, Twitch, allows users to pay in Dogecoin. In April 2022, news of Musk placing a bid to purchase Twitter put the currency on the center stage again as rumors of integrating Dogecoin payments on the social media platform circulated.

The future of Dogecoin remains controversial and up in the air. There are proponents that argue it is a legitimate form of currency. Some believe that it is a complete joke and possesses no intrinsic value.

Considering that it still remains in the spotlight and is a personal favorite of one of the world’s richest men, don’t be surprised if it sticks around. Stranger things have happened because of the internet. Only time will tell if Dogecoin is here to stay or fades as a one-hit wonder.





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