They’re everywhere and they’re more valuable than ever. For whatever reason, dog-themed cryptocurrencies have had an epic run over the past year. The most popular, of course, is Dogecoin, which is currently worth 26 cents each and $34 billion in aggregate. In other words, a coin with no utility besides a name that sounds like a meme is now worth more than tech giant Twitter.
That’s not all. There are now spin offs such as Shiba Inu, Jindo Inu and Alaska Inu that have had a similar surge in popularity. Shiba Inu, for instance, was mentioned online more often than BTC, ETH or DOGE in the month of October.
What is going on? Here’s why dog-themed cryptos have become so popular and what other blockchain projects could learn from this trend.
Rebellion against grift
The immense wealth-building potential of cryptocurrencies has attracted its fair-share of grifters. Bad actors have abused blockchain technology to commit fraud, deploy ponzi schemes and sell vapourware.
Meanwhile, there are more active cryptocurrency projects than ever before. AT the moment, there are roughly 14,000 digital assets trading on 430 exchanges collectively worth $2.8 trillion. It’s a massive market with plenty of duds, which is why new adopters find it so confusing to get started.
In the midst of this growing complexity and rampant fraud, Dogecoin stood out as genuinely authentic. Its creators, Australian entrepreneur Jackson Palmer and software engineer Billy Markus, never set out to make money. Instead, the coin was launched as a parody of all the other cryptocurrencies in circulation at the moment. In fact, the creators have even sold all their holdings since launching Dogecoin.
In some ways, this makes Dogecoin more trustworthy and decentralized than most other cryptocurrencies. The project is now more than a joke. The token’s authenticity and appeal has generated a robust community, which is why the token is much more valuable now than when its creators sold their stake.
The rise of ‘meme-trading’ could be another reason why DOGE and its canine siblings are so valuable now.
The era of Meme stocks
While Dogecoin’s authenticity and trustworthiness explains much of its market value, it doesn’t explain all of it. Part of the reason this asset is worth $34 billion right now is the fact there is tremendous demand for investment opportunities with “meme worthiness.”
This year, retail investors have piled billions into stocks like AMC, Gamestop, Blackberry and Clover Health. Many of these were nascent startups or failing legacy businesses that were targeted by Reddit communities seeking targets to short squeeze. These investments were driven primarily by online communities that used memes on social media to coordinate their efforts.
Dogecoin fits right into the meme trading trend because its inception was based on a meme. The Doge meme is still popular online, which makes it an ideal target for retail investors. Other dog-themed coins could be considered an extension of this ongoing meme.
Dogecoin and its canine-themed rivals are driven by meme culture and mass adoption of digital assets. This trend has created substantial wealth for early adopters, but also indicates that there’s demand for authentic, community-driven crypto projects.