Dogecoin is one of the most unique digital currencies in many respects, while remaining technically very similar to others. It’s meteoric rise was completely unexpected, and is, perhaps, one of the clearest examples of the power of a meme on the internet. With it’s original cap of 100 billion coins, which has since been changed to be limitless, compared to Bitcoin’s 21 million, it seemed to challenge the accepted rules of digital currency. Digital currencies were thought to get their value from their scarcity, and thus must be deflationary. Thanks to Dogecoin, it seems that is not true.
How Did Dogecoin Begin?
The coin was launched on December 8, 2013 as a joke, based on the popular Doge meme, but within a week of it’s launch, it was obvious that the new currency had traction. The fledgling coin exploded upward, and by February 12, 2014, it’s market cap was over $90,000,000. Since that time, Dogecoin, along with nearly every other digital currency, has experienced a significant downtrend. However, the price recently stabilized, and has recently begun to trend upward once again.At this moment, the market cap is around $43,000,000, but the Dogecoin community has grown to gargantuan size. (Update: Dogecoin has fallen significantly since that time, and is now around $15,000,000)
But many have asked: What caused this phenomenon? Surely it wasn’t the meme alone…
Why Did Dogecoin Grow So Large?
While the meme was influential in bringing in users that had previous not been a part of the digital currency community, and gave the Dogecoin community a common theme to unite around, the true driving force behind Dogecoin was the generosity of the people involved. Dogecoin users have taken the reins on charity, and sponsorship, in the digital currency world. From $30,000 in Doge donated to help send the Jamaican bobsled team to the Olympics, to $55,000 to sponsor the NASCAR #98 car driven by Josh Wise, to a recent charity drive, Doge4Water, which managed to raise over $30,000 to support clean water projects in Kenya. The Doge4Water campaign also broke a record by receiving the largest single tip sent through Twitter, when @savethemhood donated 14,000,000 dogecoins, or $11,000, to the initiative.
Many have questioned Dogecoin’s long term viability, due to the nature of it’s creation, but no one can question the sincerity, and generosity, of it’s community. As long as it stays true to it’s roots, and continues to dominate the it’s niche as the charity coin, I expect it will be around for some time to come.