Dogecoin started off as a joke cryptocurrency but now has a market capitalization of $7 billion and a huge global following. How did it all happen?
It is June 22, 2014. Jackson Palmer, a self-identified “average geek,” is high in the stands at a Nascar race at the Sonoma Raceway in California. He is an Australian man in his 20s. He has zero interest in racing. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine it would come to this.
Dogecoin was a parody cryptocurrency created by Adobe Product Marketing Manager Jackson Palmer and software engineer Billy Markus in late 2013. The two set out to make the project “as ridiculous as possible” and centered it around a popular internet meme of a Japanese Shiba Inu “doge” that would say nonsensical phrases like “much wow” and “such tired.”
The total supply of 100 billion coins was another one of the “wacky decisions” the co-founders made to “make [dogecoin] … undesirable as a cryptocurrency so that it [didn’t] become serious.” Eventually, though, the supply limit was removed to promote the use of the crypto token and discourage holding.
He surveys the scene.
Below him: a tremendous crowd. The overwhelming blare of engines. Hurtling round at tremendous speeds: the #98 Moonrocket, a high-performance racing car. No different from the other cars on the track, except for one crucial detail.
On the bonnet of the car: a dog. A Shiba Inu, more commonly known as a “Shibe,” the dog made famous in the Doge meme that was popular in 2013.
Emblazoned on top: the word “DOGECOIN” in all caps. Below: “digital currency”.
Palmer describes the situation using words like “crazy,” “surreal” and “nuts.” He remembers this moment as a “reality check.” Dogecoin was a tweet, then it was a cryptocurrency worth money in the real world. Six months later, he watched as a joke that he’d made in passing somehow manifested itself into something tangible. A Doge car in full flight.
It reminded Palmer how insane the world could be.
This is the story of Dogecoin, the joke that became too real for its own good.
The next big thing
Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency, a form of digital money that, much like bitcoin, enables peer-to-peer transactions across a decentralized network. One important difference: bitcoin is the original blockchain proof-of-concept. Bitcoin is ground-breaking. Bitcoin is (some belief) a world-changing tech with the potential to transform how money works in the 21st century.
Dogecoin is a digital coin with a picture of a dog on it.
Elon Musk, who’s been a vocal supporter of Dogecoin, said there’s too much
the concentration of the coins among its major holders and he will support them if they sell their coins.
“If major Dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support,” the Tesla Inc. co-founder and chief executive tweeted Sunday evening. “Too much concentration is the only real issue.”
Celebrity Dogecoin supporters
Another major contributor to dogecoin’s global popularity in more recent years is its growing list of influential celebrity endorsers who frequently voice their support for the Shiba Inu-themed cryptocurrency on social media. The list includes Netflix’s “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin, Kiss co-lead singer Gene Simmons, former professional bodybuilder Kai Greene, former adult film star Mia Khalifa and American rappers Snoop Dogg and Lil Yachty.
The most notable celebrity endorser of dogecoin, however, is none other than Tesla CEO, and the world’s richest man, Elon Musk.
Musk first came into contact with DOGE back in September 2018 when he publicly enlisted the help of former dogecoin creator, Jackson Palmer, to combat Twitter scam bots that were impersonating Musk to steal people’s crypto. Seven months later, Musk tweeted “Doge might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool.” in response to winning an April Fool’s Day poll to become the project’s newly elected CEO.
In March 2020, Musk followed up with another doge-related tweet stating “Dogs rock … they have the best coin”, and four months later shared a dogecoin meme to his 46.9 million Twitter followers with the caption “it’s inevitable.”
Towards the end of 2020, Musk continued tweeting about DOGE – causing prices to pump 25% on Dec.20 after he posted “One word: DOGE.” He even jokingly commented that dogecoin could one day become the official currency of Mars.
During the WallStreetBets stock market frenzy that gripped the traditional financial markets in January 2021, Musk sent dogecoin prices soaring 800% towards a new all-time high above $0.08 after tweeting an image of a dog on the cover of a “Dogue” magazine.
So how did dogecoin become so popular? In short, it seems the selfless community, the light-hearted origin of the project, and the real-world utility were the biggest contributors to dogecoin’s early success in the crypto market. Over the last few years, however, dogecoin has really become a kind of cryptocurrency avatar for meme culture, fueled by online communities and support from internet personalities like Elon Musk. As that culture has risen in influence, DOGE has risen in value – essentially taking on a life of its own that its creators never intended.
Elon Musk Can’t Stop Tweeting About Dogecoin
Dojo 4 Doge
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 21, 2021
If major Dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support. Too much concentration is the only real issue imo.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 14, 2021
In a follow-up tweet, Musk restated his support for the “meme” cryptocurrency: Dogecoin has fallen 14% in the past 24 hours to 5.6 cents, according to data from. CoinMarketCap. The Shiba Inu-themed digital coin has been among the obsessions of retail investors this year, rising to an all-time high of 8.4 cents last Monday from about 1
cent at the beginning of the year.
A Brief History of Elon Musk’s Recent Market-Moving Tweets Dogecoin is now the 13th-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of around $7.2 billion.
Musk, the richest person in the world, partly contributed to Dogecoin’s rising popularity with his frequent tweets about it. Last week, he said he bought some for his son so that “he can be a toddler holder,” a term in the crypto community that refers to a person who holds rather than selling.
Real utility and a caring community
In 2014, the Dogecoin community was eager to prove the meme-based cryptocurrency did, in fact, have real-world utility and began raising funds through DOGE donations to help support a wide range of sporting and charitable causes.
The first saw the community raise $30,000 in a matter of hours to help send the Jamaican bobsled team to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The story was picked up by a number of mainstream news outlets including Business Insider, The Washington Post and The Guardian, and helped broadcast the dog-themed crypto project to the rest of the world. By mid-January, DOGEdaily transaction volumes briefly overtook bitcoin and every other cryptocurrency (in U.S. dollar equivalent). Another community-led initiative called “Doge4Kids” started in February and raised $30,000 for the 4 Paws For Ability charity which provides service dogs to children with special needs.
Also that month, a Washington Post article was shared in the Dogecoin Reddit channel describing an Indian luger named Shiva Keshavan who desperately needed funding to make it to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, after his home country was suspended by the International Olympic Committee for corruption. Within 24 hours, over $7,500 worth of DOGE was raised by the Reddit community, allowing Keshavan to enter the competition.
Moving at light speed
Pre-mining: the act of gathering cryptocurrency before launching your coin into the public domain. Almost everyone serious about launching a cryptocurrency does this.
But Markus and Palmer didn’t premise any Dogecoin. Because they weren’t serious about launching a cryptocurrency.
“We thought it was this big joke that would die off,” laughs Palmer.
And according to Markus, Palmer wasn’t even sure how to mine a cryptocurrency.
Markus had a relatively powerful gaming PC, with two graphics cards, so he was officially the first person to mine Dogecoin. But given the nature of mining (which gets increasingly difficult as the currency is mined) Billy’s computer was no longer powerful enough to mine Dogecoin after about five minutes. Markus split what he’d mined 50-50 with Palmer and that was that. Both got about $5,000 of Dogecoin.
And that’s all the Dogecoin either man would ever own.
In online crypto circles, Dogecoin became popular very quickly. Forum threads moved rapidly. The name Dogecoin echoed throughout dark corners of the internet.
But Reddit was almost certainly the main driver in Dogecoin’s rapid rise to crypto stardom. The Dogecoin subreddit exploded almost immediately, and with that explosion came the infrastructure any cryptocurrency needs if it is to become successful: mining pools, services.
Why buy doge?
Becoming a DOGE millionaire may not cost much, but it can be hard if you’re only accepting small tips in internet chats.
Still, there may be reasons to buy DOGE, even if you’re not looking to take your luxury DOGE lifestyle to the next level.
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