dogecoin demise
Much sadness for dogecoin as its community has suffered from in-fighting and falling prices in recent months, but is their renewed hope for the world's friendliest cryptocurrency?

Barely six months after dogecoin was first conceived, the cryptocurrency famed for its philanthropic and "fun and friendly" community has been beset by scandal, in-fighting and plummeting prices.

Now, as the price begins to stabilise and a new foundation forms, it is up to this same community to make dogecoin rise again.

Charitable endeavours from the dogecoin community that helped fund Olympic athletes, bring clean drinking water to drought-stricken areas of Africa and sponsor the first ever crowd-funded Nascar have been overshadowed in recent months by trademark disputes, fears of a 51% attack and leaked videos that revealed the extent of the rifts between prominent members of the community.

All this from a cryptocurrency that started life as a joke.

"I had been following cryptocurrency's boom quite closely and saw an influx of altcoins hitting the market," Jackson Palmer, co-founder of dogecoin, told IBTimes UK in an interview earlier this year.

"As a joke I put up a tweet saying 'investing in dogecoin, pretty sure it's the next big thing' and when I wake up the next morning it had kind of exploded."

Within two months of launching, dogecoin had a higher trading volume than bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies combined. At its peak in late January, it was the second most valuable digital currency in the world and had a market capitalisation close to $100 million (£58.4m). Less than half a year later it has bucked cryptocurrency market trends to be worth less than $20m.

dogecoin value falls
The value of dogecoin bucked market trends by losing over half of its value between April and June. CoinMarketCap

While it is difficult to put fluctuations in the cryptocurrency markets down to any one factor, it is also hard not to see a correlation with the widespread mistrust and bitter in-battles that have plagued the community in recent months.

'Cult-like' community

The first rumblings of discontent became clear to the wider community when disagreements and misunderstandings emerged about a trademark application for the word 'doge'.

Last month, gaming collectibles company UltraPRO International announced its intentions to trademark the word, causing outrage among dogecoin users, or 'shibes', who vented their frustrations with the plans on Reddit - the social news site that provides the main platform for discussion amongst the community. Among the prominent figures caught up in the furore were Palmer and Alex Green, the founder and CEO of dogecoin-trading platform Moolah.

Green responded to UltraPRO by putting up a notice of opposition to the trademark filing, which was misinterpreted by Palmer as Moolah wanting to take the trademark for themselves.

The misunderstanding escalated into a public dispute between the two on the forum, with many members seeming to take the side of Green.

Palmer responded in a final post directed at Green: "You're way too trigger happy with your legal team nonsense, and it puts a real dampner on any of the fun we used to have around here. I'm stepping away from this sadly cult-like subreddit."

Death threats and defamation

Throughout the whole debacle, despite calls from prominent community members to do so, Green has refused to show his face publicly. He tells IBTimes UK this is due to death threats that have sprung from allegedly exposing fraud on the part of cryptocurrency exchange Cryptorush.

"I'm on all the paperwork, but my face doesn't need to be out there," Green said. "Myself and my team receive threatening emails on a daily basis (so) I am going to continue with my policy."

Last week, however, a video chat between Palmer, Green and two others was leaked on YouTube, appearing to reveal Green's face. Perhaps more interestingly, the video seemed to disprove claims by Green that he had received threats from a "prominent member" that he would do "everything he could to take (Moolah) down" if he did not provide a copy of his passport and personal property records.

While the video uploaded is an edited version, IBTimes UK was given access to the full video that also does not reveal any such threats.

Instead, the video shows Green threatening legal action against those asking for proof of a recent audit. This request stems from the idea held by some that Moolah is nothing more than an elaborate ponzi scheme.

Rebuilding from a new foundation

Despite this drama, dogecoin is far from dead. Even the SuchSafe site that originally leaked the Palmer and Green video claims to have done so with the intention of uniting the community and making the meme-inspired cryptocurrency even stronger.

"We fully believe that dogecoin will survive any trials based on its tight-knit community," Suchsafe said in a blogpost referring to the video. "A community like ours that strives so hard to change the world cannot be washed away based solely on the price of its currency. A community like ours is like no other crypto community."

Last week a new version of the Dogecoin Foundation was established in the hope of reviving some of the trust and enthusiasm lost for the cryptocurrency.

Green has criticised the new foundation for being created "entirely in secret" for the vast majority, however Palmer and other prominent dogecoin figures have got behind it.

To move on from these dark days for dogecoin, quarrels between the most famous and fractious dogecoin figures will need to be fixed or forgotten, and it is up to the community to do this. In the midst of all the drama, signs that this is already happening emerged through a new post that exemplifies the unrelenting positivity held by the vast majority of the community.

"The level of interest in dogecoin is still insane compared to every other coin, apart from of course bitcoin," Reddit user Sku said. "We have survived a pump and dump, survived drama, and proven we are still here, and we are still a powerful force in Crypto."

To this one shibe replied: "It sucks to be missing some of the original founders, and the drama is annoying, but we're still flying.To the moon!"