If 2013 wasn’t weird enough in terms of bizarre headlines and trends (Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-un becoming BFFs, those hairy stockings meant to deter potential creepers), Dogecoin’s December 6th introduction certainly helped close off 2013 as a year of peculiarities. Dogecoin’s creators, inspired by the success of other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin, decided to launch their own digital currency. Theirs, however, is based off the popular “Doge” Internet meme. The deliberate use of broken English, Comic Sans MS font, and a Shibu Inu dog’s image are Dogecoin essentials, elements taken from the original Doge meme. How’s that for weird?
How does it work?
Like John Cusack tweeted a few weeks ago, I still don’t fully understand Dogecoin either. But basically, anyone can mine for Dogecoins using free software. The software runs complicated mathematic equations to mine units of the croptocurrency, but unlike Bitcoin, script-technology is used in its proof-of-work algorithm, meaning that specialized mining equipment meant to speed up mining rates cannot be used. This makes it easier for anyone to get started.
Mined Dogecoins are stored in your digital wallet, available in a browser-based platform at DogeVault.com or as a download at Dogecoin.com. Your wallet allows you to send and receive Dogecoins securely at no cost and payout is instant, giving Dogecoin advocates an intriguing argument for making Dogecoin more widespread.
The number of Dogecoins available to mine is not infinite. There are 100 billion total Dogecoins that can be mined and, so far, nearly 25% have been extracted.
Dogecoin users and miners are colloquially known as “shibes.”
What’s it worth?
The value of a Dogecoin relative to the U.S. dollar is constantly fluctuating. But according to CryptoCoin Charts, Dogecoin’s January 10, 2014 value is 0.00032 USD.
What’s with the meme?
The Doge meme features a photograph of Shibu Inu dog staring intently at the camera. Typically, captions written in broken English are added to the photo that represent the dog’s supposed inner monologue. Common phrases used include “Much ____,” “Such ____,” “So ____,” “Wow,” and “plz.” Text is always written in colorful Comic Sans MS font.
How do you pronounce it?
There doesn’t seem to be a consensus yet on how to pronounce Doge. This pronunciation tutorial says that it’s pronounced dohj while another sounds it out as doadge. Others suggest that it’s pronounced daw-gee as in “doggy,” doawg, or simply "dog." Since this altcoin has already passed its one month anniversary, it's time to settle the matter and create a consensus. Daw-gee anyone?
How legitimate is it?
Tough to say. Even though it’s named and modeled after a silly meme, some are seeing it as a legitimate successor to Bitcoin. (The legitimacy and validity of Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency is an entirely different argument, however.) Dogecoin did suffer a setback on Christmas day when it was successfully hacked, with Dogewallet users losing 21 million Dogecoins. The Dogecoin community has come together, however, to work towards reimbursing affected users. Interestingly, the hacking incident seemed to have little to no effect on its value or demand.
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