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Dogecoin is unavoidable in 2021, thanks to Musk’s SNL appearance, outspoken detractors, and interested family members. DOGE’s worth increased by more than 12,000 percent between January 2021 and early May of this year, but its cultural momentum has been building for nearly a decade. As Musk continues to tweet about his beloved cryptocurrency and new dog-themed coins emerge, let’s have a peek at the past of the initial memecoin.
- December, 2013: Software developers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer meet on Reddit, bond over appreciation of a popular meme, and create Dogecoin — a joke-based alternative to Bitcoin. Unlike BTC, which is designed to be scarce, Dogecoin is intentionally, comically abundant, with 10,000 new coins mined every minute and no maximum supply.
- January, 2014: Dogecoin enthusiasts on Reddit raise more than $50,000 in DOGE to fund the Jamaican bobsled team’s trip to the Sochi Winter Olympics.
- March, 2014: Same community raises $55,000 to sponsor NASCAR driver John Wise’s Talladega appearance. (The car’s graphics include a giant Shiba Inu on the hood.)
- April, 2019: Elon Musk tweets about DOGE for the first time: “It’s pretty cool.” Musk also reaches out to the Dogecoin development team around this time, according to Decrypt.
- January, 2021: Investors on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum band together to pump “memestocks” like GameStop and AMC. Looking for the next opportunity, traders settle on DOGE, which is worth a fraction of a penny.
- February, 2021: Musk tweets a flurry of DOGE memes, including a photoshopped image from The Lion King (in which the Tesla founder holds a Shiba Inu up to the sky). Prices begin to spike.
- May, 2021: DOGE hits its all-time-high of $0.72, driven by the broader crypto boom, months of individual investor interest, and a steady drip of Musk tweets, punctuated by his appearance on SNL. (Prices fall in the hours after the broadcast, but remain vastly up for the year.)
Why it’s important…
Despite Dogecoin’s popularity, the issue of whether it is worth remains unanswered. The short response, as with many assets, is supply and demand. Although conventional investors such as Warren Buffett are concerned with “fundamentals,” younger internet traders may be more dependent on momentum — and in a financial market where many feel excluded, the fact that a joke-based coin may be worth roughly the same as General Motors or Adidas may be part of the attraction.