There is a new fixation of the investment world’s reckless abandonment: a cryptocurrency that began as a joke in 2013, mostly forgotten, and thanks to a flood of Tesla’s tweets Inc.
Elon Musk, the chief executive, is suddenly valued at more than $ 6 billion.
It is called Dogcoin, a tribute to bitcoin that was designed to serve no real purpose. Dogcoin holders cannot buy much with it and cannot easily convert it into cash. For most of its life, virtual currency has traded for no other reason than to generate laughter online.
Dogcoin is named after an internet meme that surfaced nearly a decade ago. The meme centers around the image of a Shiba Inu dog with poor spelling habits (thus doge instead of dog). Users photoshopped the dog’s cute face from astronauts to Twinkle.
In 2013, software developer Billy Marcus was seeing a bitcoin gain in popularity and decided to create his own lightweight cryptocurrency. He first based it on the “Animal Crossing” videogame and called it the bell after the game’s printing currency.
People hated online, he said. So when another developer, Jackson Palmer, shared a new idea for a cryptocurrency based on the Doge meme, Mr. Marcus reconfigured his code for the bells to fit the meme.
He sets out to make a coin so ridiculous it can never be taken seriously. In exchange for solving mathematical puzzles, dogCoin miners operate fast-moving computers, ranging from a dogCoin to hundreds of thousands of dogcoins.
It was a moment of fame at the time the coin was introduced. In 2014, its online supporters helped fund the Jamaica Bobsled Team’s trip to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and sent a dogskin nascar racer to Talladega Superspeedway, Alabama. Like most memes, it faded from relevance.
Then Mr. Musk came. On January 28, He covered a tweet “Dog” magazine.
Dogecoin came out as a topic on WallStreetBets, the Reddit forum that inspired trading in GameStop Corp
At the end of January, the price of dogecoin rose by half to 8 cents, where it traded at the beginning of the month.
Billionaire Tesla Boss Tweeted about it again on thursday, Breaking what he said was going to become a hatus from the social-media platform. “No high, no rise, only doggie,” he posted. Dogcoin immediately Shot 80% intraday, before leveraging.
Dogcoin’s network created by volunteers struggled to accommodate the influx of buyers. Volunteers locked real money into euros to buy more server space.
Mr. Marcus, who no longer works on Dogcoin, could not believe that the code he wrote in three hours on Sunday gave rise to a cryptocurrency worth billions of dollars in total market value.
The 38-year-old Mr. Marcus said, “DogCoin’s idea is worth 8 cents, the Gametop costs $ 325.” “It makes no sense. This is super absurd. The coin design was absurd. “
Users can purchase dogecoin with a credit card on cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms, including Robinhood Markets Inc.
Chef Damien Vrzyniak of a restaurant in Peterborough, England, had not heard of Dogecoin before tweeting about Mr Musk. He quickly scooped something up through a cryptocurrency brokerage account used during the Kovid-19 lockdown.
Dogecoin “is a completely weird name”, he said, but he felt Mr. Musk, who has nearly 45 million Twitter followers, increased its attraction.
In late January, a small group of protesters gathered in front of Robinhood’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, to protest the ban the broker put on trading at Gametop, AMC Entertainment Holdings. Inc.
And other companies that were popular on Reddit.
As Dave Stevens, the chief executive of cryptoanalytics firm Ciphertress, went his way to the grocery store, a woman approached and encouraged him to join it.
“Market rigging,” she said.
“Buy bitcoin,” he joked to her.
“No, no, no,” he shot excitedly. “Buy a dog!” Have you seen it I think we can get it for a dollar. “
A vocal group of buyers on Reddit have made it their mantra to pursue dogecoin by $ 1. Twitter account TikTok Investors posted video of a woman in purple workout clothes Singing about singing “To the Moon.”
In theory, it would be difficult for DogCoin to hit $ 1. Unlike Bitcoin, the number which can be less than 21 million, Dogcoin has no limit. However, the rise of GameStop has reminded investors that anything is possible.
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NewForForver also converts to cryptocurrency that once disliked Dogcoin. Angelica Shaver, a 28-year-old graduate student who runs a YouTube channel focused on cryptocurrency, said this in a tweet in early January “Literally insulting tech community” Since its creation.
But as the hype grew, he decided to use it as an opportunity to teach cryptocurrency newbies how to buy, sell, and analyze coins. He purchased $ 1,000 of Dogecoin during the last week of January, was shot before its price, and continues to maintain its position.
“Luck loves irony, and it’s very true,” she said. “I have spoken against DogCoin many times. I have truly said that DogCoin is an insult to technology, and here I am now holding this bag of Doggies. “
write to Caitlin Ostroff at [email protected] and Paul Vigna at paul.vigna.wsj.com
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