Who let the doge out? Cryptocurrency is as nutty and cheerful as ever

Every human effort must have its influencers, and Dogecoin is no exception.

But in case these influencers haven’t influenced you yet: Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency, a virtual medium of exchange valued not by a bank or a government, but by those who use it. Do not worry. It’s not a Johnny-come-lately crypto like Potcoin or Fonziecoin; it is almost venerable. Invented in 2013 by Billy Markus (then software engineer at IBM) and Jackson Palmer (then product manager at Adobe), Dogecoin was intended as a nice throwback to deadly seriousness Bitcoin, the cloak-and-dagger opera of global finance that debuted in 2009. Designed to be relatable, Dogecoin was inspired by the beloved Doge meme from the Obama era, which shows a photo of a cream-colored Shiba Inu embellished with cryptic phrases in Comic Sans characters.

Doge is a misspelling of – well, yes, doggie. This is the joke. That’s all. Getting the cryptocurrency out of this joke is even a better joke. Best joke of all? The price of Dogecoin has jumped over 1050% between early 2021 and the time of this writing. Of course, by the time you read this, that percentage will be much higher. (Or lower. Crypto proceeds with tantrums.)

And Dogecoin would never have been this far without influencers. In the Golden Age, influencers were known as Thief Barons, and if any of them, someone like Andrew Carnegie or JD Rockefeller, invested in a commodity, you’d see it on your old steam stock ticker. More than making steel or railroads, the job of the robber barons, with their huge market shares, was to create fluctuations by injecting money or dumping inventory – then buying and selling. at the price of their choice. These days influence is exercised by those who don’t even (necessarily) invest. No one knows exactly, for example, what Jack Dorsey is doing on Twitter, but since February 2, 2020, the day he tweeted the hashtag “#Bitcoin(And launched Twitter’s Bitcoin emoji), the price of $ BTC has gone crazy.

Illustration: GABRIEL ALCALA

I want to try this. #bitcoin. #bitcoin. Nothing? Nobody?

Either way, the influencers who dusted off the old silly Dogecoin, after the joke was worn out and trading stagnated, are a forerunner of the merry Reddit pranksters who put pressure on hedge funds selling at discovered GameStop in January. Reddit investor-hackers liked $ DOGE for the same reason others liked $ GME: it’s a damn nice thing, with childlike nostalgia, and its luck has been reduced. Over the years, $ DOGE has grown from a once cute teenage girl to a disgruntled 20-year-old linked to a pandemic (who now trades cryptocurrencies). Along the way, vice-flagman and chronicler John McAfee, whom Belizean police suspected of being involved in the murder of his neighbor, allegedly pumped and dumped Dogecoin and, according to unsealed court documents in March, made $ 2 million. Then, in 2019, the enthusiasm for Dogecoin returned to Redditors, in its place. Earlier this year, the price dropped from around a third of a cent a coin to five cents a coin – and has remained in the dark ever since. The r / dogecoin subreddit does indeed make Dogecoin look fun: “The most amazing place on reddit!” A subroutine for sharing, discussing, accumulating and impressing Dogecoins. The very impressive innovative cryptocurrency. “

But the main man in the Dogecoin hype isn’t Reddit. This is Elon musk. As fun as Doge is, a mind game set in a stormy libertarian world, we wouldn’t be talking about it at all if Musk the Oracle hadn’t tweeted “One Word: DOGE” on December 20, 2020. That drives up the pitch. the price by 20% and leads some – maybe just me – to wonder if Doge wasn’t a spelling mistake of a wacky meme, but rather the word spelled on the right for a tall Venetian in a robe of gold weighing the weight of a Tesla. Someone like Musk.

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