For bitcoin’s most ardent supporters, cryptocurrency is no laughing matter. The upending of the fiat currency system is not just an important cause, but perhaps the most important. And bitcoin, the original crypto, is the ammunition the masses will use to kill the system.
But this is a digital-based currency we’re talking about, meaning it is inextricably linked to the internet. As you may or may not know, the internet is the series of tubes populated with cat videos and people who refuse to take anything seriously. So combine the internet with something Very Serious, and you’ll get a parody. In this case, it was dogecoin.
Dogecoin was, in a lot of ways, the same as bitcoin. Except, of course, in name and marketing. Dogecoin was named after the doge meme, which transposes pictures of a Shiba Inu dog and a pidgin language called “doge.”
Dogecoin adherents, or “shibes,” often positioned themselves as the whimsical free-spending antithesis of the libertarian-leaning, tight-fisted bitcoin crowd. Where bitcoiners would hoard and obsess over BTC valuation, shibes would toss doge to each other with abandon, even for acts as miniscule as making a good comment on Reddit. As a strange after effect, this practice actually led to the price of doge skyrocketing.
The tipping aspect of doge Dogecoin had given doge a use beyond mere speculation, and in turn fueled demand for the joke currency. In January the price of doge increased six-fold, briefly touching $1,956/1 million doge. At the same time, bitcoin lost half its value.
Much fad. Oh noes.
But then the bottom fell out. Perhaps everyone got tired of joke. Perhaps, as has happened with Crumbs Bake Shop (CRMB) , the cupcakery that recently shut down all its stores, dogecoin was a fad built on another fad, and was always destined to sputter out and die. Since hitting that price apex in January, the price of doge is down over 80 percent.
(courtesy of dogepay.com)
Unlike its altcoin compatriots like litecoin and peercoin, doge was never as tethered to bitcoin’s price. It really, stood on its own, in marketing, usage, and price. But despite that early promise to break out and attract a more widespread audience (and eventually a more stable valuation) doge’s price petered out.
Very bummer. Much lamentations.
Perhaps bitcoin’s relative resilience can be tarced to the fact that its believers are incredibly invested, not just financially but ideologically. Shibes tended to be more whimsical, interested more in a joke than the very improtant business of Changing Everything Forever. And thus, shibes were less likely than their more commited bitcoin counterparts to stick out a price downturn. Doge has dwindled in price, and shibes have gotten tired enough of the joke to cash out.
Very Rebound? Wow.
Although doge is way down in 2014, it ain’t dead. Let’s return to that other supposed fad the cupcake. On July 9, the cupcake-centric Crumbs looked every bit as dead as disco, shuttling every store and leaving employees in the lurch. However, an eleventh hour savior swooped in on July 10 in the form of a private investment group, who gave Crumbs the loan they needed to stay afloat, allowing them to re-open. In turn, the company’s stock skyrocketed from three to 36 cents a share in a single day, representing a monstrous gain.
What does this have to do with doge? Like cupcakes, the faddish appeal may be gone, but if a benefactor believes enough to invest in propping up the infrastructure, doge could rebound. Of course, that is a huge “if.” But dogecoin does have key differences to bitcoin that could make it attractive to cryptocurrency proponents of an ideological bent, like its usage and built-in inflationary aspect.
Dogecoin might still go the way of the Zubaz of the Razor scooter. That is, completely out of fashion. But as Crumbs has showed, even when a fad looks dead as a doornail, enough believers can resuscitate it. At least for a little while.
While the gain is miniscule, doge did spike in July 10 action, gaining 18 percent to hit $276/1 million doge.