Dogecoin Proves its Worth with Generosity and Kindness
The creators of dogecoin, Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, talk about the surprising success and the future of their meme-based crypto-currency. CC

It was created based on a joke tweet. The creators thought it was "ridiculous" and a "funny inside joke for the altcoin community" which would "fade out within a few days."

But just two months after Australian Jackson Palmer and American Billy Markus created the most talked-about cryptocurrency of 2014, dogecoin is thriving with an "amazing community" grown up around it.

As the Winter Olympics in Sochi begins, Indian skiers and Jamaican bobsledders can both thank the dogecoin community for helping to get them there - and the infant cryptocurrency is currently the fifth most valuable with a market capitalisation of over $50 million.

While Markus and Palmer are both surprised at the success of dogecoin, both also believe it is here to stay and want it to become "the internet currency" as an effective way to complete micro-transactions online.

Neither believe they will ever be able to retire on the profits from dogecoin but believe that while cryptocurrenies offer huge potential, there are still major problems to be overcome.

IBTimes UK spoke to both Jackson and Palmer about their cryptocurrency, its amazing success, its future but we started by asking the most important question of all: Just how do you pronounce dogecoin?

On pronunciation

Jackson Palmer (JP): 'Officially' it's something like 'dohjcoin', coming from the Homestar Runner pronunciation that Strong Bad gave it. I've pronounced it every way though, do-ge coin, dog-coin, doggy-coin, etc. Whatever is the most amusing at the time.

Billy Markus (BM): I originally started pronouncing it with a hard "g" but have recently moved toward a softer "g" sound - like when you say "giraffe". Check out my video where I pronounce it

On the origin of dogecoin

JP: Late last year I had been following cryptocurrency's boom quite closely and saw an influx of altcoins hitting the market. 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. I set up with a funny logo, Billy got in touch and then the rest is history.

BM: I was linked to [the page] from an IRC chat room, thought it was funny, and I threw it together in four hours with some parameters I thought were generally ridiculous - 100 billion coins in 1.5 years, for example - and a UI splattered in Comic Sans. I thought it'd be a funny inside joke to the altcoin community

On the huge success of dogecoin

JP: [We] honestly thought it'd fade out within a few days, but the community that's grown around it is amazing. We're doing incredible things in building a fast micro-transaction currency for the internet, and also helping charities in the process.

BM: I didn't imagine it being anywhere near as popular as it became. I thought it was amusing that people were trading it for things and small amounts of bitcoin at first. I thought people would mine it because it was silly and maybe months down the line they might trade a million for a litecoin or something.

On the dogecoin community

JP: It's overwhelming sometimes but I love it, and I'll be around for the long run to help steer this ship on our way to the moon. I've met some great people already, and the community is less than two months old.

Jamaican Dogesled Team

BM: I've been incredibly impressed with the community. [We[ wanted to set a tone that dogecoin wasn't really about hoarding and shilling and trying to get rich like we see in many other altcoin communities but that it was really just about having fun and tipping and learning about cryptocurrency, and I think that message actually did resonate with a lot of folks. The coin is where it is today because of the community's enthusiasm, excitement, and good nature.

On dogecoin scammers

JP: A lot of people get scammed out of their traditional currency as well. We try our best to bring attention to scams and tell people that crypto is the Wild West at the moment - be vigilant.

BM: It's all Wild West 2.0, just like when the internet was very young. We have a lot of good community members (like GoodShibe on Reddit) and others who are helping raise awareness of potential problems, and I personally advocate being safe and sensible.

On the future of dogecoin

JP: I think we want to secure its place as the internet currency - perfect for micro-transactions and tipping people you think are awesome. An example goal is that some people can tip a person streaming on and then that gamer can go and purchase some DLC or a new game entirely with that dogecoin. I think that's a really nice place for the currency to sit

BM: We hope that it can become the de facto tipping currency of the internet. Right now it is extremely popular on Reddit and gaining ground on twitter and Imgur, and we want to spread that to Facebook and Google+ and other social media sites, as well as new media such as TwitchTV and YouTube.

On owning other cryptocurrencies

JP I own some bitcoin and I think I have a lost feathercoin wallet somewhere... emphasis on somewhere

BM Yep, I own a small amount of a few cryptocurrencies. Obviously I'm a fan of bitcoin, but I also like the CPU coins a lot because you can mine them while also mining dogecoin on your GPUs (CPU coin examples that I like are primecoin and protoshares).

On cryptocurrency being here to stay?

JP: I think that cryptocurrency solves the double spending issue well and showed us that digital currency could in fact exist and work. That being said, with the current PoW (proof of work) implementations, we're both wasting electricity and open to issues as computing power increases. For instance, what is going to happen when quantum computing comes to the masses in the future? Will holding 51% of the hashrate on a network be *that* hard then? Lots of unknowns really, and nobody has a magic crystal ball (well, at least I don't - maybe Satoshi was a time traveller)

BM: I do believe so. I view all cryptocurrency as an experiment, it's all very young and fast moving and fascinating. I think bitcoin has a lot of incredibly ingenious solutions to complex problems (most notably the Two Generals Problem), but again it is a young technology that will continue to be tested and evolve. I do think virtual currencies of all types are growing and going to be commonplace in our future.

And finally, on retiring on dogecoin profits

JP: Nope. Billy and I have hardly any dogecoin compared to the other folks out there. We've given a lot away to people and charities, and are really in it for the learning experience and cool people we're meeting.

BM: Definitely not