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What is Dogecoin: The Backstory of DOGE

Read 4 min
Coins spiraling in a circle
— Dogecoin started life as a meme created by Jackson Palmer and it quickly blossomed into a cryptocurrency with a loyal fanbase.

— Because of Dogecoin, the Jamaican bobsledding team went to the Olympics in 2014 and a drought-stricken village in Kenya got a well with clean running water.

— Elon Musk either adores the cryptocurrency itself or the irony of how well it does in the market.

— Dogecoin shows us that cryptocurrency is more than just money; it’s about a cultural movement.

The Dogecoin backstory is a fascinating one. Much irony. Such potential.

Not many people know about the wonderfully wacky history of Dogecoin. While it made its name as a bit of a meme in the crypto market, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. The internet’s love for Shiba Inu dogs shot Dogecoin into star status, but why are people so crazy about it?

What Is Dogecoin?

Well, in its simplest form is a Dogecoin cryptocurrency coin that can be exchanged and sent between wallets. But in reality, it’s so much more than that.

 Dogecoin is a symbol; an apt representation of what the heart of the cryptocurrency industry can mean. But how on earth is a token that started life as a meme worth so much to so many people? 

Well, to understand that, let’s dig into Dogecoin’s backstory.

The Backstory of Dogecoin

Dogecoin was created as a joke to poke fun at the cryptocurrency industry and the sudden interest the scene was receiving. Jackson Palmer, a sceptical Adobe product manager back in the day, created Dogecoin as a tongue-in-cheek dig at the hype of the burgeoning financial technology. His best way of satirising a cryptocurrency? Through a meme itself. Using “Doge”, the popular meme of the Shiba Inu dog, as literally the face of the cryptocurrency (yes, literally), Dogecoin at its essence is dripping in meme culture.

However, the idea of a satirical token quickly led to a surprising amount of support and Palmer realised he had something on his hands. With that, he bought and launched the domain At the time, Billy Markus, an IBM software engineer, was trying to build and launch his cryptocurrency (Luckycoin) but was having no luck in marketing it (the irony isn’t lost on us either). So he got in touch with Palmer to ask if he could build the software.

The two teamed up and officially launched Dogecoin into the wild at the end of 2013. Two weeks later, it saw a massive 300% jump in price. Maybe it was the ever-endearing face of the Shiba Inu on the token that enticed people. Maybe it was the fact that China had just banned banks from investing in cryptocurrency. (Okay, okay, it was probably the latter.)

Either way, the coin shot up in price and gained popularity as a result of these Dogecoin token purchases. Three days later, the value faced a massive plummet but intrigue had already been garnered and the token had a name for itself in the scene.

How Does Dogecoin Work?

At first glance, Dogecoin might look like a joke form of Bitcoin. However, if you pull back the curtain, you’ll see that there are different elements in the technology. At the heart of it, there are a couple of key differences which sets DOGE apart from the other cryptocurrencies.

The Tech Behind The Token

Firstly, Dogecoin has an unlimited supply whereas others (like Bitcoin and Litecoin) have a hard cap on how many coins can ever exist. This plays an important role in the price of Dogecoin. To illustrate, it’s much more affordable than Bitcoin, but it also runs the risk of devaluation.

Dogecoin is very different from Bitcoin indeed. For starters, Dogecoin transactions are a lot faster and cheaper. However, the whole network is a lot less secure than its more traditional counterparts.

Dogecoin: Beyond The Cryptocurrency 

From its satirical start, the Dogecoin community has set itself apart from others as a supportive group. Not only to the Doge but going beyond cryptocurrency to support causes across the world.

In January 2014, just after its launch, the Doge community decided to fund the Jamaican bobsled team’s journey to the Sochi Winter Olympics. The 27 million DOGE (which counted for around $30,000 at the time) was donated without any incentive or promotion by the founders. In fact, Palmer was at a local pub and saw the value of the token rise. Even he wasn’t ready for what was to come. 

In March, the Dogecoin Foundation, a non-profit, gathered $11,000 worth of Dogecoin to fund and build a well in Kenya. The campaign named #Doge4Water raised an incredible 16.3 million DOGE. And that community saw the DOGE community as much more than crypto-loving basement dwellers.

And that’s the kicker: Dogecoin, at its root, is a cryptocurrency that represents more than money. It stands as a point that while not taking itself so seriously, it’s given a serious amount of room to influence the scene. 

It seems to have positioned itself as a symbol to break the status quo, to rebel against financial control.

And its user base is all here for it.

Elon Musk’s love for the Doge

Elon Musk weighed in on the irony that Dogecoin has managed to yield such a firm following, saying on social media app Clubhouse that “fate loves irony” and that the “most entertaining outcome and the most ironic outcome would be that dogecoin becomes the currency of Earth in the future.”

It’s worth noting that this particular comment comes amongst a flurry of tweets that the Tesla founder was entertaining the market with, many of which were memes themselves regarding the meme token.

Despite Musk’s tongue-in-cheek commentary of the tongue-in-cheek token, the Musk influence was astounding. At the height of his Twitter antics which started towards the end of January 2021, the price of Dogecoin rose by over 800%.

Dogecoin Into The Future

Okay, putting Musk aside, Dogecoin’s main appeal is that it is relevant beyond just the facet of finance. It’s a phenomenon that unites an eclectic group of tech nerds, digital natives, and financial pundits through satire and hype. Oh, and don’t forget the irony keeping it all together.

So while it may just be a speculative asset at the moment, the cryptocurrency which started life as a meme does hold value. Whether it will continue to grow or volatility will prove too great an obstacle for it is still unsure.

But for now, we do know Dogecoin is already making its mark in the culture of the cryptocurrency community, giving us a taste of what could come.

How To Buy Dogecoin Securely

Fortunately, it’s extremely easy to get your hands on Dogecoin today. One of the easiest, and most secure methods to buy DOGE is using Ledger Live. Ledger Live supports DOGE with all of its devices, meaning you can trade Doge with confidence. Because as you know, anything of value is better protected with a device that keeps your keys offline. And for that, your best option is a hardware wallet. Luckily, Ledger devices offer a secure way to interact with DOGE no matter your experience with cryptocurrencies.

Knowledge is power – so keep on learning! If you enjoy getting to grips with crypto and blockchain, check out our School of Block video Understanding Memecoins – Dogecoin, Shiba Inu & more.

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