Cryptocurrency Dogecoin has a market cap over $2bn, because some jokes get better with age
A true under-doge story.
For months now, people have been obsessing over Bitcoin and its enigmatic (possibly fictitious) Japanese founder, Satoshi Nakamoto.
We were all blind to the rise of another cryptocurrency, only in this instance, it was fronted by a Japanese dog.
Such green pic.twitter.com/ih0izyPYBD
— Doge (@DogeTheDog) January 4, 2016
Yes, Doge. The daft Shiba Inu canine from Japan, which became a meme because nothing looks dumber, has now become a major player in the online currency market, because nothing is sacred.
Dogecoin is the cryptocurrency exciting the world now, after its market cap rose from $1.7m on 5 January to over $2bn, while its value also doubled over the month of December.
This might still only be a fraction of Bitcoin's total value at present ($270bn), but considering the fact that Dogecoin was a cryptocurrency conceived purely for fun, it would seem now that the joke is spiraling out of control to some extent.
Founded in 2013 by Jackson Palmer, prior to December's Crypto-Fever, it was known only by those obsessed with memes, finance or sports, first when it was used to help send the cash-strapped Jamaican bobsled team to the 2014 Winter Olympics, and later in the same year, when it became the official sponsor of NASCAR driver, Josh Wise to the tune of $55,000.
Of course, this bizarre form of sponsorship arose as a result of a Reddit joke, when a campaign was launched on the NASCAR subreddit by a some 1,200 users who sought to fund Wise's Ford Fusion.
In total, 100,541,093.89 Dogecoins ($55,000) were donated at the time, including one user who accidentally donated 20,000,000 Dogecoins instead of 2,000,000. So it would be fair to say, this was never supposed to be taken seriously.
— CNET (@CNET) March 26, 2014
That has changed a bit, since over 100 billion Dogecoins are now existence by comparison to the maximum of 21 million that Bitcoin can create. Dogecoin on the other hand has no upper limit, which is why a single coin is valued at less than 2¢.
So don't expect to mingle with the crypto-elites after acquiring your first few Dogecoins.
This phenomenon is not going to get you rich, if that's what you are hoping. Actually, it seems to herald something slightly less amusing.
Palmer has since issued a statement on his Twitter, expressing concern in relation to the well-being of the cryptocurrency market overall as he put things in perspective by noting that "a currency with a dog on it which hasn't released a software update in over 2 years has a $1B+ market cap."
"While it's great to see mainstream enthusiasm for cryptocurrency, I think the high valuation and market caps serve more to distract from the real goal of these projects than anything", Palmer wrote.
"The fact that most conversations happening in the media and between peers focus on the investment potential is worrying, as it draws attention away from the underlying technology and goals this movement was based. As a result, we're seeing even highly centralized assests such as Ripple achieve extremely high valuations, despite their lack of technological innovation and misalignment with the original vision of Bitcoin."
Saying that the current cap did not mean much to him since he has not held "a substantial amount" of his own coin since early 2015, Palmer said what the news does show him is the extent of the current "crypto mania".
— Jackson Palmer (@ummjackson) January 8, 2018
Concluding, he said:
"It's relatively safe to label the current market as a 'bubble', although it's hard to predict how much it'll inflate and for how long before it inevitably bursts."
There isn't a lot of joy in that final statement really. The only consolation lies in the fact that were the crypto-bubble to pop, we are probably going to see that lovable face all over Bloomberg reports as people debate over whether or not to regulate Doge.
Not since Pepe the Frog was co-opted by the alt-right has a meme been so threatening.