It started out as a parody, then caught fire, fuelled by a swelling cohort of retail investors and a growing intersection between finance and pop culture. Eventually, it turned out to be something a lot more serious and, ultimately, indicative of the current market environment. Long story short, DOGE’s origin can be traced back to an internet meme, more specifically a type of Japanese dog breed called a Shiba Inu hopelessly prone to misspelling and mispronouncing common phrases. With an innocent, foolhardy demeanour on comic display, pictures of the Shiba proliferated across the landscape of internet memes in the early stages of last decade. Often, such images included captions expressed in comic sans containing broken modifiers like “so scare,” “much noble,” “much wow” and “such tired.
Its funny origin along with support & endorsements from internet personalities like Elon Musk, rapper Snoop Dogg and Gene Simmons which gradually exposed Dogecoin to the crypto world as a coin of potential value, which it eventually became.
Dogecoin was created in 2013 by IBM software engineer Billy Markus and Adobe software engineer Jackson Palmer. Their aim was to create a joke version of the already established Bitcoin to give the public a friendly way to get to grips with the world of crypto-assets. At the peak of the meme’s popularity near the end of 2013, Palmer, made a joke combining two of the internet’s most talked-about topics: cryptocurrency and Doge. Palmer tweeted, “pretty sure it’s the next big thing”, which received unprecedented attention. Reddit was the main driver in Dogecoin’s rapid success and popularity. The digital currency instantly exploded on Reddit, generating a market cap of $8 million within two weeks, the r/Dogecoin Reddit channel gained over 19,000 users with a subsequent major price increase of 300%. Further, it became popular for the internet practice of “tipping,” which was a way of repaying people on the web or giving “thanks” and “kudos” to each other. Reddit users were sharing Dogecoin back and forth constantly, which expanded the user base of Dogecoin and, as a result, increased its value as a cryptocurrency.
Following this Reddit mania surrounding the Dogecoin community, a 2019 Twitter poll decided Elon Musk should be Dogecoin’s chairman. Since then, Elon’s supportive tweets stating how Dogecoin is his favorite cryptocurrency with memes showcasing Shiba going to the moon, havebeen one of the main drivers behind Dogecoin’s surge in popularity and rise in value by more than 14,000% since the beginning of 2021!
It’s been a wild ride to get where Dogecoin is today and we’re now seeing an emergence of even more meme coins such as SHIBA. Some may laugh off the meme coin realm but it’s definitely one on which to keep a close eye!