Bitcoin May Be a Bubble, But With Dogecoin at Least You Get a Cute Dog

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

So this happened last night:

It turns out that this is the cryptocurrency version of asking about the latest teenage slang. I may think I’m hip to the ways of bitcoin and ethereum and tether and whatnot, but in fact I’m just an old fogey.

“Get ready to have your mind blown,” replied Jordan Weissmann. Consider me ready. The name, it turns out, comes from a viral internet meme from several years ago, and the cryptocurrency itself is…um, interesting:

Dogecoin, the alternative cryptocurrency inspired by a popular meme, has surged over the weekend and now has a market capitalization over $2 billion….Founder Jackson Palmer, who created the digital currency as a joke, said new found interest in Dogecoin is a concerning indicator of wide-spread frothiness in the cryptocurrency market.

“I have a lot of faith in the Dogecoin Core development team to keep the software stable and secure, but I think it says a lot about the state of the cryptocurrency space in general that a currency with a dog on it which hasn’t released a software update in over 2 years has a $1B+ market cap,” Palmer told cryptocurrency watcher CoinDesk.

….As for Dogecoin, Palmer, a group product manager at Adobe, and Billy Markus, a software engineer at IBM, created it “without much real thought,” according to reporting by Motherboard.  As Palmer told Motherboard’s Patrick McGuire, “one night after work, I sat down with a beer, I had too much time on my hands, and I bought Dogecoin.com.”

I am once again prompted to wonder just what these market cap figures are based on. Are they based on actual trades for real money like dollars or euros? Or on trades for other cryptocurrencies that are then extrapolated into values in dollars? Or what? If I had my way, the market cap for all cryptocurrencies would be expressed in bitcoin just to remind everyone that this is probably just a giant circular game that everyone is playing. For example, Dogecoin has a market cap of B136,000. That’s a lot less insane sounding, isn’t it?

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate