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Dogecoin: A Legitimate Cryptocurrency or a Meme?

25th May 2021 Print

For most of us, the latest headlines following the Dogecoin’s eccentric journey through the stock market seems like a bizarre novelty – something that, like internet memes themselves, will no doubt pass into obscurity just as quickly as it shot to relevancy. 

Still, the Dogecoin’s latest antics are, in many ways, fascinating – not to mention unprecedented. It’s current value is enough to give even Bitcoin a run for its money – and all, seemingly, out of nowhere. 

So, does this represent Dogecoin’s explosive entry into the mainstream, or is it little more than a meme? Read more below. 

Cryptocurrencies, and a Changing Dynamic

In a practical sense – or, in other words, beyond the purely theoretical – cryptocurrencies have been around since 2009, following the inaugural launch of Bitcoin. Its entrance onto the world wide web was, for all intents and purposes, very niche – a relatively small group got their heads around the concept, found the courage to invest, and began trading it within a circle that, very gradually, began to grow. 

With that growth, a number of alternative cryptocurrencies were introduced – and the technology grew more user-friendly. Myriad attempts were made to induct the more ‘mainstream’ culture of web users into the world of crypto – and almost as many articles asking the question, “Why is crypto uptake so slow?” were published to news pages and commentary sites.

Slowly, however, the tides changed. More consumer-oriented companies began to utilise cryptocurrencies – whether for more promotional purposes, such as Burger King’s short-lived WhopperCoin, or for more practical reasons, as in the case of gaming sites like GGPoker, notable eCommerce destinations like Etsy, or massively influential brands like Starbucks. 

As a result, an increasing number of so-called ‘average’ or mainstream internet users – those who, historically, have felt little inclination to invest in cryptocurrencies – are beginning to embrace this alternative approach to buying, selling and investing. And, correspondingly, an increasing number of cryptocurrencies are popping up all over the internet – and gaining significant traction, particularly in light of Bitcoin’s rocky ride through the stock market as of late. 

What About Dogecoin? 

As the name would suggest to anyone who has been living on the internet for the past ten years, Dogecoin takes its name from a familiar, friendly meme inspired by a Shiba Inu, who bears a pleasant but somewhat discomfited manner in his pictures. Also suggested by the name of this cryptocurrency is the fact that it was created largely for fun – a light-hearted jab at the crypto community made by its creators, Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer. 

Despite the fact that it has been floating around niche groups for more than seven years, it was only in May of this year that the Dogecoin suddenly rose to the forefront of popular culture – and the stock market – when it reached a market capitalisation of more than US $85,000,000,000. 

Is it Legitimate?

While it may find its roots in a beloved internet icon, the Dogecoin is as legitimate as any other valid cryptocurrency out there – and it is certainly making some investors happy right now. 

Whether or not the Dogecoin represents a sound, long-term investment is, however, another question entirely. There are certainly pros and cons to investing in Dogecoin – and anyone with even a passing interest in crypto should do a little more research than staring into that enchanting face. Only time will tell whether it will ever be more than an internet joke – even when its value is high enough to prick the ears of even the wealthiest traders. 

Still, for those of us content to sit on the side-lines and observe the strange twists and turns of a phenomenon so unique to 2021, the Dogecoin’s rise to the forefront of the crypto industry is no doubt going to reward us with a few more surprises before its time in the sun draws to a close. 

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