From Dailyfinance.com | There’s a new cryptocurrency on the virtual block called Dogecoin, with a cute Japanese dog for a logo. But while its Shiba Inu mascot is almost too adorable to take seriously — and the currency itself started as a joke four months ago — Dogecoin (pronounced DOHJ-coin) is now looking to challenge bitcoin and become a legitimate, widely accepted method for buying things online.
Having a cheerful, over-the-top dog meme as its mascot shouldn’t cause people to take it less seriously as money, says Ben Doernberg, a volunteer on the board of directors of the Dogecoin Foundation, a nonprofit organization that started in December 2013. Alexander Hamilton, Abe Lincoln and George Washington are portrayed on our currency looking stern and sober for a reason: To instill confidence that those bills and coins will have value for years to come.
“For young people who spend all of their time on the Internet, I don’t know that it’s any more weird to have a guy from the [1700s] there than a dog,” Doernberg, 25, says of U.S. currency. “I don’t think it makes any more sense to have Ben Franklin there than Doge.”
Like many other cryptocurrencies, Dogecoins are mineable, meaning you can acquire them without paying in cash, as long as you have a reasonably muscular computer equipped to do some number-crunching with its spare power. There are already more than 64 billion Dogecoins in circulation, worth more than $34 million. The popular bitcoin, which leads all cryptocurrencies with a $6 billion market cap, has a current supply of 12 million.
One bitcoin costs $529.50, while one Dogecoin is worth .059 cents, according to recent prices. Or, to put it in more relatable terms, $1 will buy you 1,691 Dogecoins.
That’s quite a low barrier to entry compared to bitcoin, which dovetails with the idea that Dogecoin is meant to be used as currency and not as a speculative investment. “It’s not as focused as something you hold for 10 years and hope the price goes up,” Doernberg says.
Dogecoins are gaining popularity. A man in Wisconsin is selling his vacationhome for 100 million Dogecoins. That equated to about $135,000 in early March, but this weekend, it only amounted to around $59,000. PC builder Xidaxaccepts Dogecoins, and they’re accepted by GoCoin for international payments.
Dogecoin supporters also recently raised $50,000 in the digital currency to sponsor NASCAR driver Josh Wise in a May 4 race at the Talladega Superspeedway. The sponsorship fee was raised in Dogecoins, which a private buyer bought for $50,000, says Kevin Dusenberry, who managed the NASCAR fundraiser for Dogecoin.
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