The value of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency initially launched as a joke, surged steeply after Reddit traders targeted it in an attempt to repeat the unprecedented share rises in heavily shorted companies like GameStop and AMC.
What is Dogecoin?
Dogecoin is a digital coin with a picture of dog on it. It is a cryptocurrency, a form of digital money that, much like bitcoin, enables peer-to-peer transactions across a decentralized network.
Since its creation, Doge has also been used to donate money to charities. These have included the 2014 Jamaican Bobsled team who couldn’t afford to get to the Sochi Winter Olympics, a Nascar driver named Josh Wise, and a clean water project in Kenya called Doge4Water.
Why was it a joke to begin with?
If you have spent any time on the internet during the last decade, you probably know the Doge meme. The iconic Shibe with broken modifiers: "so scare," "much noble," "wow."
At the peak of the meme's popularity in 2013, Palmer, an Australian marketer, made a joke combining two of the internet's most talked-about topics: cryptocurrency and Doge. He bought the Dogecoin.com domain and uploaded a photoshopped Shibe on a coin.
"If you want to make Dogecoin a reality, get in touch," said the website.
On the other side of the world, Billy Markus, a software engineer at IBM, got in touch and set Dogecoin live.
How much has Dogecoin surged?
Dogecoin soared up by more than 60 percent over the last 24 hours and experienced a 1,421 percent increase in trading volume according to crypto data firm CoinMarketCap.
The peak price of Dogecoin in 2018 was around two-cents, right before it crashed along with the rest of cryptocurrency. Reports suggest that by early 2019, Dogecoin had lost nearly 90 percent of its value and was trading for a fraction of a penny, until now.
Reddit users on the forum CryptoCurrency and SatoshiStreetBets discussions referenced the 'WallStreetBets’ efforts to squeeze out Wall Street shops from heavily shorted stocks and urged people to buy into Dogecoin.