The users of Dogecoin, the crypto-currency based on a popular internet meme about the inner thoughts of a Shiba Inu dog, are proving their Good Samaritan credentials following a high-profile theft which took place on Christmas Day.
Showing quite a lack of festive spirit, on 25 December someone hacked into two of the currency's most popular digital wallets – Dogewallet and Instadoge – and stole over 30 million coins which at the time would have been worth somewhere in the region of $18,000 (£10,890).
The operators of Dogewallet.com took the site offline urging users to use offline wallets instead as they were much safer:
"We're incredibly sorry to all users who lost funds from the attack. Please use offline wallets as online wallets are meant for new users who aren't using them [for] storage of coins. Offline wallets are more safe and secure than any online wallet due to possible attacks that can originate from anyone, anywhere."
Sense of community
However, while bitcoin is now the preserve of serious investors, Dogecoin was created as a sort of anti-bitcoin and became popular as a way of tipping online, becoming the second most-tipped virtual currency in the world within a week of being created.
And it is this sense of community and good will which is now set to save Dogecoin – in the short term at least.
Following the theft on Christmas Day, Ben Doernberg decided to try and restore faith in the crypto-currency by launching the Save Dogemas as a way of compensating those who lost money.
Coordinating the effort through Reddit, Doernberg said:
"This community is special; helpful, generous, enthusiastic, but also less experienced with crypto-currencies. We have many first time users of crypto-currency because our user-friendly community is bringing many new [users] to the coin world."
At the time of publication, the Save Dogemas campaign has received donations of almost 6.5 million Dogecoins. However as a result of the value of Dogecoins falling since the theft, these coins are now worth less than $3,000, versus over $4,000 at the time of the theft.
These unpredictable fluctuations in value are one of the main issues people have with crypto-currencies, along with the inability to trace any thefts due to their anonymous nature.
Doernberg says he and the seven other people collaborating on the project want to reimburse as many people as possible and will soon launch a way those affected by the theft can claim back their lost Dogecoin.
In another attempt to claw back some of the losses, a Dogecoin mining group has been established which will donate 1% of all coins mined to the Save Dogemas campaign.
Dogecoin co-founder Billy Markus told Business Insider that he was amazed by the project:
"I've never seen something like this before in crypto-currency. Usually when something gets hacked the common response is for everyone to call the people who got hacked 'idiots'. To me, this is incredible."