If someone launches a digital coin based off an internet dog meme, is it an avante-garde media experiment, a joke, or a real currency? Enter Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency protocol based on Litecoin and inspired by the Doge internet meme of the Japanese Shiba Inu dog.
Ultimately, there are two histories of Dogecoin. In one version, a whimsical cryptocurrency caught fire, inspired widespread micropayments and tipping, and ignited a community to random acts of playful sponsorship around the world. In another version, the coin was co-opted and all its perceived playfulness was actually a clever PR stunt to raise money for moolah.io, and in 2014, it mostly fell apart.
It is difficult to interpret Dogecoin’s current status, much less its future. It has remained a top ten currency by market capitalization and supports over 10 thousand unique transactions per day, suggesting social tipping is alive and well. In January 2016, its market cap almost doubled, but it has since subsided, and the average daily value of those many transactions has averaged under $200,000 – low for a currency with such a high market cap.
In early 2016, many non-bitcoin cryptocurriences are enjoying newfound attention. Could Dogecoin soon realize its unofficial motto – to the moon?
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