With the Dogecoin cryptocurrency, Billy Markus just wanted to make a joke and have a laugh with his friends, poking fun at other budding cryptocurrencies by making a kind of crypto-meme mashup with the potential to attract as many people as the Bitcoin (BTC). And with a little Shiba Inu dog as its logo, the cryptocurrency clearly references Doge, one of the Internet’s cult memes, dating back to 2003. Peak ridicule achieved.

Dogecoin is the name of a joke cryptocurrency which was inspired by the Internet’s famous Doge meme. Last week, its value increased sharply thanks to the mass effort of stock market dabblers and social media users. Launched in Dec 2013 by Billy Markus, an American software engineer, this cryptocurrency currently counts a community of some 336,200 people.

So the Dogecoin doesn’t really have any economic value, however, as the Cryptoast website explains, it can be used principally as a means of payment for giving tips to content creators on the Internet.

On Jan 29 (Friday), the value of Dogecoin increased by over 264%, hitting US$0.0463 (19sen), reports BusinessInsider. Buoyed by users of the SatoshiStreetBets forum on Reddit, the aim was to send the cryptocurrency “to the moon,” boosting its value.

Wednesday, Feb 3; Dogecoin’s value had reached US$0.0321 (13sen), placing it 15th in the cryptocurrency market rankings, according to CoinGecko, a website providing real-time data on the value of cryptocurrencies.

“Meme stock”

This collective effort follows the wake of the GameStop case. In this case, users of the WallStreetBets forum on Reddit drove a share price rally on stocks in the video game retailer GameStop by mobilising millions of amateur stock market investors to short-circuit Wall Street’s projections.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the dramatic drop in in-store video games sales led many investors to jump ship and others to bet on the collapse of its stock value,” explains a Radio-Canada article.

On Facebook and Reddit, so many amateur investors turned the curve around by buying the falling GameStop stock en masse.

Wednesday, Jan 27; its value surpassed the historic peak of US$350 (RM1,424), while just a couple of weeks ago it was worth under US$20 (RM81). This ability of Internet users to defy investors and the lofty world of Wall Street has resulted in much talk of “meme stock” in recent weeks, describing stock that has been heavily influenced by people on the Internet. – AFP Relaxnews