What is Dogecoin (DOGE)?
Nobody can say that Dogecoin is the most serious of cryptocurrencies, but there’s no denying that it’s a well-known and very popular digital asset. But, it was actually launched as a joke. Yes, way back in 2013, software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, decided to create a satirical payment system, to poke fun at the first round of Bitcoin mania.
Basing the new crypto protocol on Luckycoin and Litecoin, and adopting a meme-inspired Shiba Inu dog as its logo, the duo set DOGE free on the world on 6 December 2013, only to see their ‘joke’ explode. The official Dogecoin website, which featured the much-feared Comic Sans font, racked up over a million visitors in the first 30 days, and things went ballistic.
There were a few early setbacks, including a major hack of the DOGE-specific wallet Dogewallet, and when miners realised they could mine the new crypto using a fraction of the power of Bitcoin, the meme coin managed to survive its baptism of fire. In January 2014, the trading volume of DOGE even briefly surpassed all other cryptos, including Bitcoin, combined!
In 2020, Elon Musk’s SpaceX even announced it would be completely funding a rideshare mission to the Moon using Dogecoin. And, in August 2021, the Dogecoin Foundation, which had existed since 2014, announced it would be doubling down on efforts to promote and support the growing Dogecoin crypto ecosystem. Thus, by 2022, despite crypto market turmoil, DOGE had firmly established itself as a popular cryptocurrency.
|Did you know?|
The Doge meme, which inspired Dogecoin, was based on a photograph of a Japanese Shiba Inu named Kabosu, taken in 2010. She was adopted from an animal shelter by kindergarten teacher Atsuko Satō in 2008. Much wow!
Dogecoin (DOGE) Basics
Dogecoin can be divided or combined into several subunits.
- 100,000,000,000 DOGE = 1 Moondoge
- 1,000,000,000 DOGE = 1 Updoge
- 1,000,000 DOGE = 1 Sumdoge
- 1,000 DOGE – 1 Heavydoge
- 0.01 DOGE = 1 Puppy
- 0.001 DOGE = 1 mDOGE (millidoge)
- 0.000001 DOGE = μDOGE (microdoge)
- 0.000000001 = nDOGE (nanodoge)
Dogecoin forked from Luckycoin, which itself was forked from Litecoin. Litecoin itself was based on Bitcoin – not forked, but created from a copy of its source code. This means it has many similarities in terms of the basics.
Like Bitcoin, Dogecoin uses a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to maintain the integrity of the blockchain. Although Dogecoin is easier to mine than Bitcoin, and in the early days, individuals could profitably mine it with a decent gaming computer, it now requires specialised Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners.
Although there’s no specific hard cap on the supply of Dogecoin, once Ð100 billion had been mined in mid-2015, the new supply was cut to just Ð5 billion per year – meaning it will take until 2035 for the Ð200 billionth DOGE to be mined.
Dogecoin Adoption & Usability
Although it was launched as something of a joke, Dogecoin was designed to be very useful for everyday transactions. This, along with the hype and media attention, assured it became widely accepted for payments – in fact, by late 2022, it was common to see DOGE accepted alongside the likes of BTC and ETH. This is just as well because being a first-generation crypto with no hard cap, its only real use case is for payments.
Dogecoin Network Fees & Speed
As with most cryptos, the exact fees and speed of Dogecoin transactions vary depending on factors such as network demand. However, as a benchmark, Dogecoin is around 10x faster than Bitcoin, and transactions usually only cost a few pennies. In fact, according to Dogecoin Whale Alert, someone once transferred Ð200 million for a fee of just Ð10 (equivalent to US$0.82 at the time).
|Did you know?|
High-profile figures including Telsa and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Snoop Dogg, Gene Simmons (from the classic rock band Kiss), and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have all shown enthusiasm for Dogecoin at various times.
Dogecoin Security and Safety
Because the Dogecoin network is highly decentralised and uses proof-of-work, it is widely regarded as very secure and gives a good degree of privacy. But, as always with crypto, you still need to be aware of the weak points in the ecosystem – namely interacting with third parties like exchanges and wallets, which can be vulnerable to hacks.
Security and safety tips:
- Don’t leave your DOGE on exchanges. Use exchanges for buying and selling only. Always transfer your crypto to a local wallet for short-term storage.
- For long-term storage, keep your crypto in a hardware wallet.
- Always keep your wallet keys in multiple safe places – they cannot be recovered.
- Never tell anyone about your crypto holdings. No matter how secure your storage is, if you or your loved ones are physically threatened, you’ll probably hand over your personal keys.
Dogecoin has suffered from the same price volatility as other well-established cryptos over the past few years. From launch until the start of 2021, it was mostly trading at under $0.005 of a US cent. Then, during the great 2021 crypto bull run, DOGE reached over $0.73, before crashing back down. In early October 2022, according to CoinGecko, DOGE was trading at around $0.06.
Final Word on Dogecoin (DOGE)
Dogecoin often bills itself as the ‘People’s Crypto,’ and the claim is actually pretty sound. After all, despite starting off as an act of satire, it is ultimately based on Bitcoin code and mechanisms, with all the security that brings but is much lighter and faster, making it more useful for everyday transactions. And, let’s not forget, the DOGE community – a crypto community unlike any other, full of people who can help remind crypto enthusiasts that they shouldn’t take things too seriously!
Similar Cryptos to DOGE
When it comes to technical similarities, as we’ve already mentioned, DOGE forked from Luckycoin, which itself forked from Litecoin, which was based on Bitcoin. So, they could be said to be similar to DOGE in that respect. However, when it comes to the bigger picture, taking into account social perception, branding, and adoption, the crypto that’s most similar to Dogecoin has to be Shiba Inu (SHIB). You can read more about SHIB here.