Since Dogecoin’s creation last December, there has oft been the murmur on social media by bitcoin enthusiasts calling it “another pump and dump” or a meme-ified Litecoin with inflation. Those accusations may be true, but in the eyes of Dogecoin enthusiasts (Shibes), they are assets. Dogecoin was never intended to be the government-breaking bank-challenger that bitcoin is. A co-founder of Dogecoin, Jackson Palmer, said to ABC, “People are trading coins for small purchases, like in an online game where you can purchase a different set of armor, I think that’s a really good place [for Dogecoin].” Dogecoin is an intentional pie-in-the-face to Bitcoin, in everything from it’s logo to it’s inflationary block schedule, and because of that has separated itself from the pack of 100+ alternative cryptocurrencies. Effectively, Dogecoin has become the cool kid in the high school of cryptocurrencies.
Alt-crypto markets are dictated entirely by marketing, as they must first build users before they can attract businesses to accept them. Many alts have improved upon bitcoin in various ways – making it faster, more anonymous, or making its hash power go to a greater purpose – but these improvements are merely marketing tools until they gain a wide enough usage to realize their feature’s purpose. Instead of marketing to crypto-hobbyists with shiny new features, Dogecoin used tipping and sheer silliness to tap into the more energetic market of the layman. In the short time Dogecoin has existed there has been a flurry of high profile charitable activities as well as small-businesses accepting it. If you doubt how valuable the energetic “youth” market is, just look at the lengths Campbell’s Soup is willing to go.
The unique dichotomy between Dogecoin and Bitcoin communities is easily observed on Reddit (to be fair, the bitcoin community is much bigger than its Reddit), as it spawns public accusations and defenses from each side. I say it is unique because you don’t see the lethargic Litecoiners amassing 2000+ up-votes in a matter of hours, or any other alt-communities sponsoring Olympic teams. Due to Dogecoin’s lack of seriousness, and culture of tipping even when the tip is not of much value, it has become the one alt-market which has a significant number of members that did not witness the maturation of bitcoin in the last few years (evidenced by /r/Dogecoin gaining massive subscriptions while other alts stagnated). Considering the constant reminders of Bitcoin’s troubled past, I view the freshman community as an asset.
Additionally, the recent decision to allow an infinite number of Dogecoins to be mined demonstrated to me that the developer is willing to go against the grain of crypto-currency. It sent a message that Dogecoin is not meant to be horded, but to be spent and tipped. Every new recipient of Dogecoin creates another Shibe, tipping tenths of a cent because someone referenced their favorite movie. If you combine this with the sheer audacity of those already involved in the Dogecoin community and the lack of crime-blog mentions, you have the foundation of what may become a tongue-in-cheek empire. In fact, if you really want to kill Dogecoin, start taking it seriously.
Full disclosure: I own 153 DOGE