My Joke Cryptocurrency Hit $2 Billion and Something Is Very Wrong, by Jackson Palmer

A cryptocurrency whose coin features the Japanese dog the Shiba Inu and was started as a gag is now worth $2 billion. From Jackson Palmer at motherboard.vice.com, h/t Stucky at theburningplatform.com:

Dogecoin’s inventor looks to the past for insight into the future.

Jackson Palmer is an Australian entrepreneur and technologist best known for creating the infamously successful “joke” cryptocurrency Dogecoin. Currently based out of San Francisco, Jackson works as a product manager but is still active in the cryptocurrency space. Jackson has holdings in various cryptocurrencies, including less than $50 worth of Dogecoin. You can follow him on Twitter and YouTube.

When I jokingly tweeted about “investing in Dogecoin” in late 2013, I never imagined that the tongue-in-cheek cryptocurrency I had just brought into the world would still be around in the year 2018, let alone hit a $2 billion market cap like it just did over the weekend.

Last year saw an explosion of interest and investment in cryptocurrencies across the board, so it’s tempting to see 2017 as the best year to date for the industry. But I feel it is shortsighted to mistake this explosive growth as being sustainable—in fact, I feel 2017 was arguably the worst year for cryptocurrencies yet. To understand why, let’s revisit what I learned from the currency I created as a joke.

Dogecoin started as a parody of the multitude of alternative cryptocurrencies, or “altcoins,” flooding the market at the time. As interest in Dogecoin grew through social media and an active Reddit community, it went on to become an educational gateway for many people dipping their toes into the world of cryptocurrencies for the first time, thanks to its low price and welcoming community.

In 2013, the vision for the future of cryptocurrencies seemed relatively clear: To deliver a peer-to-peer alternative to cash that, through decentralization, did away with the need for trust in financial institutions, which the 2008 crisis showed to be unscrupulous, and often corrupt. Bitcoin, which ignited the cryptocurrency movement in 2009, brought real technical innovation to the table in achieving this vision. Back then, I hoped that through the power of community, a project such as Dogecoin may help drive further awareness of and innovation in that technology.

To continue reading: My Joke Cryptocurrency Hit $2 Billion and Something Is Very Wrong

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