Cryptocurrencies exist for a myriad of reasons. Some cryptocurrencies offer solutions to technological problems, while others serve as infrastructure for ambitious future projects. Then there’s Dogecoin. The playful face of Doge’s Shiba Inu serves as one of the most persistent mascots of the cryptocurrency industry – for better or for worse. Existing since 2013, the comparatively low price of DOGE has always attracted new investors looking to see a high number in their portfolio. Usually, this means holding a lot of DOGE, but lately, it could also represent a considerable amount of profit.
Championed by Elon Musk for years, Dogecoin exploded in the most recent bull-run as investors flocked to the coin. The coin continuously shocked veteran crypto investors as it toppled all-time highs repeatedly. In part, a genuine affection for the coin drives this gain in price. Crypto enthusiasts know tokenomics can’t sustain a high value, but there is a certain nostalgic soft spot for the coin. Yet, the sheer number of DOGE minted with each block reward and the massive supply make a sustained value unlikely to impossible. While it may one day hit $1, it could never hold that price for long.
What is Dogecoin?
Blockchain projects often tout their new technology and efficient processes. Not so for Dogecoin, which is simply an amalgamation of the codebases for Litecoin and Luckycoin. The coin’s creator, Billy Markus, freely admits that he created the coin as a joke. At the time, in 2013, the cryptocurrency had yet to take off – and few outside the immediate community believed it would. DOGE existed as a humorous take on Bitcoin, and little else.
Dogecoin’s continued success in part relies on that humor. The community continues to be one of the friendliest in crypto, despite little active developer presence. DOGE’s first brush with greatness came in 2018, during the previous bull cycle. Reaching over $1 billion in market cap, crypto users appreciated the small value-per-coin and used it as a universal tipping system for a time. Now, as public sentiment turns away from energy-hungry Proof-of-Work coins, one of the many copycat coins may become the top dog.
The Rest of the Pack
While there is no shortage of Dogecoin copycats, recent events have allowed Shiba Inu (SHIB) to catapult into the limelight. Vitalik Buterin, the founder and front runner for Ethereum, received nearly half the total supply of SHIB as a marketing stunt. From that, he donated a stunning $1.2 billion worth to an Indian COVID relief fund – and then burned 90% of the remaining SHIB.
On the less outright benevolent end of the Doge Pack, tokens like Akita, Kishu, Husky, Pomsky, and a variety of others have flooded the market. Some have even sought to combine the star power of DOGE and Elon Musk –resulting in coins like Dogelon Mars. None have reached the meteoric rise or unexpected staying power of the venerable DOGE.