The History of Dogecoin: A “Joke” That Turned To Serious Investment
#TMBT or Take-Me-Back Tuesdays will be NFTing’s featured articles that will discuss the history of NFTs, cryptos, metaverses, blockchain, and everything that is about the web 3.0.
Our sixth #TMBT feature will discuss the radical start of the crypto that started as a ‘joke’ by two engineers — the Dogecoin.
In 2013, Dogecoin (DOGE), a peer-to-peer, open-source cryptocurrency, was introduced by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer. They initially made Dogecoin a joke based on a popular meme On December 14, 2021, Dogecoin spiked more than 20% after Elon Musk said that Tesla will accept the currency as a means of payment for Tesla merchandise featuring a Shiba Inu — a Japanese dog breed.
Despite that, Dogecoin’s blockchain still has its advantages. Palmer and Markus based the blockchain’s technology on Litecoin, so Dogecoin uses the same proof-of-work technology. In addition, Doge has been using the scrypt algorithm, making it popular among its users.
Other notable features of Doge include its unlimited supply and low prices. Because of that, Doge has a loyal community of supporters who trade using the platform and tip currency for social media content.
In short, Dogecoin started as a joke but gained a massive following after it was created.
Read on to learn more about the platform’s history.
Dogecoin’s Radical Start
Dogecoin started as a joke between two engineers in 2013 — Adobe software engineer Jackson Palmer and IBM software engineer Billy Markus. People started using it as soon as it was launched, and the website gained over a million unique visitors within its first month.
Markus and Palmer’s idea was based on the dog meme that became popular in the same year. It boasts an image of a Shiba Inu dog with Comic Sans thought bubbles spouting out of it with near monosyllabic ideas. Internet users use it to express anything from jokes about diets, early mornings, naps, etc.
Before its launch, Palmer absentmindedly tweeted, “Investing in Dogecoin, pretty sure it’s the next big thing.”
Much to his surprise, people encouraged him to pursue the idea, and a week later, he bought the domain Dogecoin.com. Afterward, the idea became popular on Reddit, making it a hotbed of doge activity in 2013.
Meanwhile, Billy Markus was still in Portland at this time. He had been trying to program his digital currency and was looking for a right currency that would pique the interests of a broader demographic. Markus wasn’t interested in the profiteers who have flooded into Bitcoin since its launch in 2008. Unfortunately, the program was not as successful as Markus expected.
Then, Markus came across dogecoin.com after a few days the website went live.
Markus reached out to Palmer, expressing his interest in the venture. Before Palmer even responded, he started reconfiguring Bitcoin’s source code, which was available publicly. Markus turned its user-facing elements into the dog meme. Eventually, Palmer replied, and they formed a partnership.
Markus and Palmer patterned the currency from the open-source software project, Litecoin. Unlike Bitcoin, Dogecoin doesn’t have restrictions on the number of coins that you can use in the system.
In fact, Redditors made Dogecoin immediately famous in 2013, generating a market value of $8 million at the time. Then, it became more famous for “tipping,” a practice of repaying people on the web for performing “good deeds.” Those deeds can refer to making a platform more accessible or sharing an idea.
Dogecoin became the second-most-tipped currency a week after its launch.It developed a subculture because it offers a lower barrier entry than Bitcoin, making it an excellent choice for people who might be interested in cryptocurrencies.
Markus and Palmer never intended to compete with Bitcoin — it was all a joke in the first place. However, the coin’s trading volume in 2014 briefly surpassed Bitcoin and all other digital currencies. In 2015, Palmer took an extended leave of absence from the company because he thought the platform was becoming increasingly toxic.
In 2017, Dogecoin had a market value of $2 billion.
Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus absentmindedly developed a payment system, making fun of the wild speculations in the cryptocurrency world at that time — Dogecoin. It was considered as the first “meme coin” and more specifically, the first “dog coin.” Even with its satirical nature, some people still consider it a legit investment.
The intention of the Dogecoin’s creators is to create a peer-to-peer currency that would reach a broader demographic than Bitcoin. In addition, they wanted their currency to be different from other controversial coins. On December 6, Dogecoin was officially launched, and in the first month, the website gained over a million visitors.
On December 19, Dogecoin gained 300% in value within 72 hours. The growth occurred when Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were suffering from China’s decision to restrict Chinese banks from investing in cryptocurrencies. However, the spike has quickly turned into an 80% drop the next three (3) days due to the exploitation of mining pools from Dogecoin’s small computing power to mine.
On December 25, millions of Dogecoin were stolen during a hack on their wallet platform, Dogewallet. The hackers accessed the platform’s filesystem and modified the receive/send page to send all coins to a static address. To help mitigate the loss of funds from Dogewallet after the breach, its online community decided to help victims by starting the initiative called “SaveDogemas.”
The initiative raised enough money to cover all the stolen coins one month later.
In January, Dogecoin’s trading volume briefly surpassed Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Despite that, its market capitalization remained lower than Bitcoin’s. In the same month, Dogecoin’s online community started a fundraiser to raise $50,000 for the Jamaican Bobsled Team. The Jamaican Bobsled Team qualified for the Sochi Winter Olympics, but they might not be able to make it to the prestigious event due to insufficient funds.
On the fundraiser’s second day, they raised $36,000 worth of Dogecoin, and the exchange rate rose by 50%. In addition, the online community also raised funds for a Sochi athlete, Shiva Keshavan.
In February, Dogecoin started with a supply limit of 100 billion coins. However, it was later removed by Palmer to create a consistent reduction of its inflation rate.
In March, the community was able to raise 67.8 million Dogecoins to sponsor NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Josh Wise.
Jackson Palmer left the cryptocurrency community and has no plans of coming back. That’s because of this belief that cryptocurrency is fundamentally exploitative and built to enrich its top proponents. Billy Markus agreed that Palmer’s reason was valid.
Dogetipbot, a cryptocurrency transaction platform, became popular on sites like Twitch and Reddit. It allowed its online users to send Dogecoin to other users through commands via Reddit comments. In May 2017, Dogetipbot was taken offline and discontinued after its creator declared bankruptcy.
It left many Dogetipbot users losing their coins stored in the system.
Dogecoin briefly reached a peak of $0.017 per coin, allowing it to gain a total market capitalization of nearly $2 billion.
In July 2020, the price of Dogecoin spiked following a TikTok trend aimed at getting Dogecoin to $1.
On December 20, 2020, Elon Musk posted a tweet about Dogecoin for the first time. Musk tweeted ‘One Word: Doge’. Shortly after, the value of Dogecoin rose by 20%.
In January, Dogecoin rose by 800% in 24 hours worth $0.07. The increase was a result of the attention it got from Reddit users, partially encouraged by Elon Musk and the GameStop short squeeze.
In February, Dogecoin’s price rose to $0.08 following encouragement from Gene Simmons, Snoop Dogg, and Elon Musk on Twitter. This was followed by a series of Dogecoin-related tweets by Musk in the same month captioned ‘Dogecoin is the people’s crypto’ and ‘no highs, no lows, only Doge’. Following these tweets, Dogecoin’s value rose by roughly 40%.
In March 2021, Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA team Dallas Mavericks, announced his team would allow purchasing products and tickets with Dogecoin. In addition, he declared his franchise had become the top Dogecoin merchant, having completed 20,000 transactions. In the same month, the Dogecoin Foundation, led by Eric Nakagawa, began collecting donations to build a well in the Tana river basin in Kenya in cooperation with Charity: Water, which was able to raise 14,000,000 Dogecoins worth $2.8 million in 2021.
On April 16, 20221, Dogecoin hit a new high of $0.45 from $0.10 two days prior — a 400% increase in two days with a trading volume of nearly $70 billion in the following 24 hours. This was sparked by the coin’s listing on the cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase.
On May 4, 2021, the value of Dogecoin surpassed the symbolic hurdle of $0.50, a 20,000% increase in just one year, after Elon Musk posted a series of tweets about Dogecoin. On the 9th of the same month, SpaceX announced a rideshare mission to the Moon completely funded by Dogecoin, thus becoming the first space mission funded by a cryptocurrency. Elon Musk confirmed this news via Twitter. DOGE-1 will be a minor 40 kg rideshare payload on Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 mission in Q1 2022.
On August 14, 2021, the Dogecoin Foundation announced the “re-establishment of the Dogecoin Foundation (since 2014), with a renewed focus on supporting the Dogecoin Ecosystem, Community and promoting the future of the Dogecoin Blockchain.” The Foundation was reinvigorated by the addition to its Board of notable advisors such as Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum co-founder and inventor) and Jared Birchall (representing Elon Musk).
On December 14, 2021, Dogecoin spiked more than 20% after Elon Musk said that Tesla will accept the currency as a means of payment for Tesla merchandise.
As of July 2022, Dogecoin has fallen below $0.07, and its $8.9 billion market cap makes it the tenth-largest cryptocurrency.
Dogecoin’s recent popularity has been fueled by the subreddit SatoshiStreetBets, where users planned to send the currency “to the moon” — or at least reach their goal of $1 per coin.
Dogecoin saw similar efforts in July when an unsuccessful TikTok trend called for forcing the coin to equal a US dollar. Unfortunately, online users have a long way to go before the coin’s price reaches a dollar. Its current worth is about $0.0779.
A Future Full of Doge
With the following that Dogecoin has gained over the years, plus influential people also supporting the project, it will only be a matter of time that they will reach the ultimate goal of $1 per Dogecoin. The coin is under a decade old, which means there is great potential and big room for growth for this asset. Some crypto savants believe Dogecoins is far much better than Bitcoin and will surely surpass the top cryptocurrency in the world, but only time will tell.
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