According to its own website, Dogecoin (DOGE) is, officially, a mere “decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency that enables you to send money online”. Yet, digging a little deeper allows you to uncover much more about the fun factor behind this altcoin with an unlikely mascot. One of 2013’s most viral memes, the cute (if somewhat uncomfortable)-looking Shiba Inu is featured in an introductory video available on the website in question.
Watch it first or read our Dogecoin guide for a bit of context before you dive into the world of the most humorous cryptocurrency on the Internet.
The Dogecoin: Introduction and definition
Dogecoin (DOGE) was introduced on December 6, 2013, as a “joke”! Yet, by January 2014, its capitalization had reached US$60 million, which is enormous for a cryptocurrency that never intended to become more than a cute private joke for the crypto community’s own benefit. Somehow, the uncomfortable-looking smile of the highly meme-able Shiba dog, whose inner monologue had already taken the Internet by a storm, propelled the coin to unexpected heights.
What is the Doge Meme?
Popularized in 2013, the Doge meme consists in a picture of an adorable Shiba Inu dog displaying an expression somewhere between amusement and concern. To illustrate the supposed reflections of the pup, several subtly ungrammatical phrases along with out-of-place single words written in Comic Sans font appear to float around him.
The original image, which included such expressions as “so scare” and “wow”, inspired thousands of Internet users to come up with tier own subtitles for the little dog’s train of thoughts. The web was then practically taken over by creatively bad English.
What is Dogecoin (DOGE)?
Jackson Palmer (who works for Adobe’s marketing department in Sydney) and Billy Markus (a programmer from Portland, Oregon) decided to create an amusing little cryptocurrency, with no stakes or ambitions. Their goal was to poke fun at Bitcoin’s widely accepted seriousness by developing a Bitcoin fork for crypto enthusiasts to experience a different side of cryptography.
This Internet currency is a chucklesome and easy-to-use altcoin which, though it was not intended to have any true purpose, became a reference in micropayments and small transactions of various types. It is especially useful to those who want to utilize a token free of transaction fees to purchase music online, to tip a content creator to show their appreciation, etc.
How does Dogecoin (DOGE) work?
When it all started out, it was decided that a maximum of 100 billion Dogecoin (DOGE) tokens would ever be issued. However, this amount was reached by enthusiastic miners by June 2015, which prompted the altcoin’s founders to remove that cap and consider the total number of tokens as unlimited.
Just because Dogecoin (DOGE) was not supposed to be useful does not mean that it isn’t real or that it doesn’t technically work. This Bitcoin fork (actually inspired by Luckycoin, itself based on Litecoin) relies on the same type of blockchain and, as such, involves a mining process by which tokens are created and released. Dogecoin’s block time – unlike Litecoin’s, which is 2.5 minutes – is only 1 minute.
Over the course of its history, the DOGE Token allowed miners to be rewarded for their efforts, albeit inconsistently. For instance, for the first 100,000 Dogecoin (DOGE) blocks found, the reward was a random amount of DOGE which could go from 0 to 1 million! As time went on, the maximum number of tokens miners could win was reduced. At the 200,001st block, it was lowered to 125,000 coins. As of the 600,001st block, the reward is set at 10,000 Dogecoins.
Since there is no limit to how many Dogecoin (DOGE) tokens can ever be produced, the cryptocurrency itself is considered inflationary. But then again, increasing its inflation rate was never the objective.
Why use Dogecoin?
Officially, there is no real, good reason to use Dogecoin (DOGE)! And yet, Dogecoin news continues to report more and more instances of the cute doggie-coin finding new applications. One of the main explanations as to why it seems to appeal to so many crypto enthusiasts is that owning negligible amounts of the currency is still sufficient to carry out transactions. Similarly, obtaining the tokens is relatively simple, since it can be received for free from many faucets.
As far as actual uses go, for a “joke cryptocurrency”, there are many more than one would expect! It is widely employed on Reddit or Twitch, for instance, where it serves as a means of easily rewarding content creators in the form of tips. Inexpensive and free of transaction fees, it is indeed convenient for microtransactions.
This doesn’t mean that it was never part of bigger projects! On the contrary, Dogecoin (DOGE) has managed to establish such a large community that it is regularly in a position to hold fundraising events to help various causes. For instance, this was the case in January 2014, when $50,000 were raised to help the Jamaican Bobsled team fly to the Sochi Winter Olympics (which they couldn’t afford to do). Athlete Shiva Keshavan also benefited from the same fundraising. In March of the same year, the operation Doge4Water collected donations to build a well in Tana, Kenya. The successful campaign allowed them to raise $30,000 in the form of 40,000,000 DOGE tokens. Dogecoin (DOGE) even sponsored NASCAR driver John Wise. Clearly one of the main advantages of Dogecoin, its incredible community has proven time and again its world-altering potential, despite the coin’s volatility.
This volatility, along with the fact that it is not globally recognized as a legitimate cryptocurrency (as it never claimed to be one), are among Dogecoin’s drawbacks. Its capitalization topped in January 2018, when it reached $2 Billion, only to fall back down to $250 million a year later.
Another issue with Dogecoin (DOGE) is its lack of official structure. Once again, as it was not supposed to ever truly be used, the need for one simply didn’t exist.
How to buy Dogecoin (DOGE) on Bitit?
Because of its “joke” status, buying Dogecoin (DOGE) from the most widely known exchanges can prove complicated. One answer has been to purchase a more prominent cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin) and to exchange it for DOGE. However, it may not be the most straightforward solution for those who are simply looking to become a part of the dogecoin community.
This is where Bitit comes in. Thanks to its e-commerce-like interface, buying Dogecoin is as easy as making any other purchase online. Bitit’s Dashboard is available to anyone if you wish to check how many DOGE you can get for any given amount in your own fiat currency. A few steps are all it takes to create an account and have your tokens sent directly to your private wallet. Various means of payment are supported, including credit or debit card, bank transfers and cash.
How to store Dogecoin (DOGE)?
Storing your Dogecoin (DOGE) safely is especially important, despite it being a meme coin! Fortunately, several options are possible. Some swear by the official Dogecoin Wallet and its Lite version, MultiDoge. Both are compatible with Windows, Linux and OSX, and MultiDoge is available for Android, too. It is worth noting, however, that this tool can be long to install because it needs to sync up with every other user. Updates are also significantly lengthy. The browser version may be preferable for that reason and, as online storage solutions go, Dogecoin’s version is reasonably secure.
Other software alternatives include Jaxx, but, as always, hardware storage provides a much safer choice. The Ledger Nano S or X as well as the Trezor are highly recommended.
Finally, paper wallets are inexpensive and quite reliable, as your private keys are not kept online.
Fun and weird, Dogecoin (DOGE) is the only cryptocurrency with no projects or ambition. And yet, it somehow managed to convince many that its adventures were worth pursuing and created a community whose achievements outweigh those of several of its more serious counterparts. All this shows just how far a crazy idea can go if enough people decide to follow it! What Dogecoin is not, however, is a reliable or safe investment. While there is always a part of risk in the purchase of any crypto asset, one that officially and purposefully declines any responsibility for its own success certainly does not constitute a sound venture. With that said, if your wish is to join in on the fun and to embrace the notion of having a cute little Shiba Inu as your new mascot, then, perhaps, Dogecoin (DOGE) is the best cryptocurrency for you!