Dogecoin: The Tale of a Billion-Dollar Joke

Published on 17 Jun 2022


It was purely coincidental that Australian Jackson Palmer and American Billy Markus met. Before founding Dogecoin, Jackson Palmer was an Adobe Software Engineer, and Billy Markus was an IBM Software Engineer. It's only fitting that these individuals had never met at the time of Dogecoin's launch. This blog has provided the entire story of how Dogecoin became a billion-dollar joke.

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Origins of Dogecoin

Like all other stories, ours begins with the protagonists residing in different parts of the world and leading separate lives. Jackson Palmer was enthralled with the cryptocurrency market. During one of these days, he tweeted jokingly that Dogecoin would be the next great cryptocurrency after Bitcoin due to the volatility of the crypto market.

It was 2013, and the Doge meme featuring the now-famous Shiba Inu dog was sweeping the globe. Jackson saw the humorous side of the cryptocurrency market and used his Photoshop skills to create a coin that combined the worlds of cryptocurrencies and memes.

Soon after noticing that his tweet was gaining traction, Jackson decided to take the joke further. Jackson immediately purchased the domain and uploaded his edited image of Dogecoin to the website. He also left a note on the website inviting anyone interested in making Dogecoin a reality to contact him. Since, why not?

The video game-obsessed Billy Markus was working on his crypto project, "Bells," at the time. The cryptocurrency Bells was inspired by the Nintendo game Animal Crossing. In this game, animals live together and go fishing in a tiny community. These creatures utilized bells as currency in the game.

Markus also wanted to build something humorous, and Bells was his effort to develop a humorous cryptocurrency. While Bells was not well received by the crypto community, Markus viewed Jackson's tweet at this period.

Markus noticed that the concept underlying Jackson's tweet was identical to his own, namely the creation of a humorous and entertaining crypto coin, and he messaged Jackson. Before Jackson could even respond to Markus's communication, Markus had already begun developing the Dogecoin.

Bringing The Dogecoin To Life

Markus wrote Jackson a note offering that they collaborate, then began working on the Dogecoin. Bitcoin is an open-source blockchain with publicly accessible source code. Utilizing this fact, Markus rewrote Bitcoin's source code, transforming its user-centric components into what is now known as Dogecoin.

Only 21 million Bitcoins will ever be mined, but Markus wished for additional Dogecoins, so he generated 100 billion DOGE. Markus also replaced the word 'mine' with 'dig' since dogs do not mine but rather dig.

It took Markus around three hours to modify Dogecoin to his standards. He changed some visuals and altered the text of certain user interface components, and voilà! Dogecoin existed. A week after Jackson tweeted about Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency was launched online.

The First Miner of DOGE

Dogecoin was founded as a prank, and Jackson and Palmer's meeting was a simple incident; therefore, neither Jackson nor Palmer pre-mined nor pre-dug the DOGE. Once Dogecoin was released, Markus began mining the cryptocurrency.

Markus was the first individual to mine a Dogecoin. Mining is an energy-intensive and computationally intensive operation. Markus’s computer could only mine for around five minutes before giving up. Marcus shared fifty% of what he had mined with Jackson, resulting in a $5000 profit for both parties.

The Reddit Spike

Dogecoin was immediately popular on Reddit, which has a propensity for catching up on anything that is humorous or might attract the attention of its community. As soon as Dogecoin began to gain popularity among Redditors, its market value skyrocketed to $8 million.

Redditors have a tipping culture. This implies that once other Redditors discover an individual on the internet sharing an idea or making the platform more accessible, they will tip that individual.

Whenever a Reddit user said, "hey dogebot, give this Reddit user five dogecoins," the individual in question received five Dogecoins. Thus, Redditors were first responsible for Dogecoin's rise to stardom.

The End of Marcus & Jackson In The Doge-Community

In the following months, Dogecoin's popularity continued to surge, and its community expanded. In 2014, the market capitalization of this accidental cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, reached $90 million.

Markus continued to believe that Dogecoin was only a humorous crypto coin, and as a result, he began to battle with members of the Doge community. He left Dogecoin in 2015. Then, Markus sold all of his Dogecoin and purchased a Honda Civic.

As Dogecoin continued to grow, an increasing number of individuals began to see its potential as a source of income. In a few years, Jackson, too, left Dogecoin due to the intensifying conflicts.

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The Interminable Fluctuations

From 2014 to 2018, Dogecoin witnessed several ups and downs in its popularity and market value. During this period, Dogecoin experienced similar ups and downs as the crypto market, leaving both of its founders.

At the start of 2018, the market capitalization of Dogecoin reached $2 billion. By 2018, its market capitalization had decreased to $250 million.

Dogecoin has garnered the attention of everyone from ordinary crypto enthusiasts to Snoop Dogg and Elon Musk over the years. A tweet from Elon in January 2021 increased the value of Dogecoin by 250%.

Elon has supported Dogecoin on social media for the last three years and continues to post about it periodically. Dogecoin attained its all-time high value on May 8, 2021, when its market capitalization topped $90 billion.

Doge is now one of the market's most valued cryptocurrencies. While Dogecoin is susceptible to market fluctuations, it has weathered one crypto winter and is still thriving. Currently, its market capitalization exceeds $18 billion. That's not terrible for a digital currency that began as an inside joke between two developers.


Featured image: Blockchain cryptocurrency vector created by freepik


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