Dogecoin (/ˈdoʊʒkɔɪn/ dohzh-koyn, code: DOGE, symbol: Ð and D) is a cryptocurrency featuring a likeness of the Shiba Inu dog from the "Doge" Internet meme as its logo. Introduced as a "joke currency" on 8 December 2013, Dogecoin quickly developed its own online community and reached a capitalization of USD 60 million in January 2014; as of March 2016, it had a capitalization of USD 22.2 million. Compared with other cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin has a fast initial coin production schedule: 100 billion coins have been in circulation by mid 2015 with an additional 5.256 billion coins every year thereafter. As of 30 June 2015, the 100 billionth Dogecoin has been mined. While there are few mainstream commercial applications, the currency has gained traction as an Internet tipping system, in which social media users grant Dogecoin tips to other users for providing interesting or noteworthy content. Many members of the Dogecoin community, as well as members of other cryptocurrency communities, use the phrase "To the moon!" to describe the overall sentiment of the coin's rising value.
Dogecoin was created by programmer Billy Markus from Portland, Oregon, who hoped to create a fun cryptocurrency that could reach a broader demographic than bitcoin. In addition, he wanted to distance it from the controversial history behind bitcoin, mainly its association with the Silk Road online drug marketplace. At the same time, Jackson Palmer, a member of Adobe Systems' marketing department in Sydney, was encouraged on Twitter by a student at Front Range Community College to make the idea a reality.
After receiving several mentions on Twitter, Palmer purchased the domain dogecoin.com and added a splash screen, which featured the coin's logo and scattered Comic Sans text. Markus saw the site linked in an IRC chat room, and started efforts to create the currency after reaching out to Palmer. Markus based Dogecoin on the existing cryptocurrency, Luckycoin, which features a randomized reward that is received for mining a block, although this behavior was later changed to a static block reward in March 2014. In turn, Luckycoin is based on Litecoin, which also uses scrypt technology in its proof-of-work algorithm. The use of scrypt means that miners cannot use SHA-256 bitcoin mining equipment, and that dedicated FPGA and ASIC devices used for mining are complicated to create. Dogecoin was officially launched on December 8, 2013. The Dogecoin network was originally intended to produce 100 billion Dogecoins, but later, it was announced that the Dogecoin network would produce infinite Dogecoins.
On December 19, 2013, Dogecoin jumped nearly 300 percent in value in 72 hours, rising from US$0.00026 to $0.00095, with a volume of billions of Dogecoins per day. This growth occurred during a time when bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies were reeling from China's decision to forbid Chinese banks from investing Chinese Yuan into the bitcoin economy. Three days later, Dogecoin experienced its first major crash by dropping by 80% due to large mining pools seizing opportunity in exploiting the very little computing power required at the time to mine the coin.
On December 24, 2013, The Reserve Bank of India cautioned users of Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies on the risks associated with them. On December 25, 2013, the first major theft attempt of Dogecoin occurred when millions of coins were stolen during a hacking attempt on the online wallet platform Dogewallet. The hacker gained access to the platform's filesystem and modified its send/receive page to send any and all coins to a static address. This incident spiked Tweets about Dogecoin making it the most mentioned altcoin on Twitter. To help those who lost funds on Dogewallet after its breach, the Dogecoin community started an initiative named "SaveDogemas" to help donate coins to those who lost them. Approximately one month later, enough money was donated to cover all of the coins that were lost. By January 2014, the trading volume of Dogecoin briefly surpassed that of bitcoin and all other crypto-currencies combined. As of 25 January 2015, Dogecoin has a market capitalization of USD 13.5 million.
The Dogecoin community and foundation have encouraged fundraising for charities and other notable causes. On January 19, 2014, a fundraiser was established by the Dogecoin community to raise $50,000 for the Jamaican Bobsled Team, which had qualified for, but could not afford to go to, the Sochi Winter Olympics. By the second day, $30,000 worth of Dogecoin was donated, and the Dogecoin to bitcoin exchange rate rose by 50%. The Dogecoin community also raised funds for a second Sochi athlete Shiva Keshavan.
Inspired by the Winter Olympics fundraiser and smaller charity fundraising successes, the Dogecoin Foundation, led by Eric Nakagawa, began collecting donations to build a well in the Tana river basin in Kenya in cooperation with Charity: Water. They set out to raise a total of 40,000,000 ($30,000 at the time) Dogecoin before World Water Day (March 22). The campaign succeeded, collecting donations from more than 4,000 donors, including one anonymous benefactor who donated 14,000,000 Dogecoin (~ $11,000) in what news media dubbed "the most valuable tweet in history".
On March 25, 2014, the Dogecoin community successfully raised 67.8 million Dogecoins (around $55,000 at the time) in an effort to sponsor NASCAR driver Josh Wise. Wise ran with a Dogecoin/Reddit-sponsored paint scheme at the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. On May 4, 2014, Wise and his car were featured for nearly a minute, during which the race commentators discussed Dogecoin and the crowdfunding effort, while finishing twentieth and narrowly avoiding multiple wrecks. On May 16, 2014, Wise won a spot at the Sprint All-Star Race through an online fan vote beating household name Danica Patrick, largely due to the efforts of the Dogecoin Reddit community. He finished the race in fifteenth, the last car running. The following race in the Coca-Cola 600, Wise debuted a Dogecoin/Reddit.com helmet. Wise later announced he would run the car again at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 as a thank-you gift to the community and the GEICO 500. He finished twenty-eighth in the race due in part to a refueling issue; he was in twelfth place after a gas-and-go pit stop, but the gas can did not engage long enough, resulting in a second pit stop that took him towards the back of the pack. The developer of the NASCAR '14 video game announced that they are looking into adding the Dogecoin car as a drivable car in an upcoming DLC.
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