The Chinese calendar has yet to reward dogecoin, the crypto-joke-coin created by technologist Jackson Palmer. The year of the dog began Feb. 16, according to the Chinese lunar calendar, but since then the digital token has dropped 26%, more than double bitcoin’s decline during that span.
To recap, Palmer created dogecoin in 2013 and named it after a shiba inu meme. It started as a parody of the flood of the bitcoin copycats, known as alt-coins, being created, but it also became a useful “educational gateway” for crypto because of its low price and friendly community, according to Palmer’s telling of events in Motherboard. (Palmer also used the token’s unexpected popularity to raise money for the Jamaican bobsled team.) He backed away from the crypto project a few years later after digital tokens, and dogecoin in particular, were targeted by scammers.
Then the great crypto boom came along. The overall market value of digital assets topped out at more than $800 billion in January, according to Coinmarketcap.com, before dropping to about $427 billion as of April 28. Dogecoin’s market value rode the wave, cresting at nearly $2 billion. “It says a lot about the state of the cryptocurrency space in general that a currency with a dog on it which hasn’t released a software update in over 2 years has a $1B+ market cap,” Palmer said in a Coindesk report.
Dogecoin’s market value is closer to $630 million these days, which is still a lot for something with no intrinsic value that was designed to get a laugh. Some people were hoping the year of the dog would drive it even higher, however, based on a rather lengthy discussion on Bitcointalk.org.
And yet. Dogecoin may again have a more serious purpose, via the not-so-serious sounding “dogethereum bridge.” Coindesk reported that programmers are using dogecoin for experiments in making ethereum more scalable for a broader range of applications. Ethereum has a goal of becoming the “world computer,” replacing third parties on the internet, such as servers and clouds, and creating decentralized applications, via a distributed network. But the computational power required to run this level of decentralization is a challenge. Now dogecoin is being used in projects that could potentially help solve that problem.
In the meantime, individual retail investors are still betting on dogecoin. Maybe the year of the snake (the zodiac animal for people, or, perhaps, digital tokens, born in 2013), will be better for the dog-meme-coin. We will find out in 2025.