Dogecoin Proves its Worth with Generosity and Kindness
Dogecoin has this week proved that there is space for a crypto-currency aside from bitcoin. CC

Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous person or persons behind the bitcoin protocol, published his white paper on the subject just six years ago, and while the idea that a crypto-currency based on the inner monologue of a Shiba Inus dog would have sounded like the ravings of a madman at the time, I bet he/they would have been smiling this week to see Dogecoin rise to prominence and make a real difference not just online but in the real world.

In case you missed it, this week the Dogecoin community came together to raise more than $30,000 to help the Jamaican bobsled team reach the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month.

The huge sum of money was raised in the space of just 48 hours despite one dogecoin being equal to less than £0.01.

So how has this come to pass?

Dogecoin started out with a single tweet by Australian Jackson Palmer who wondered aloud if bitcoin and the internet meme of 2013 - doge - could be fused somehow.

A week later with the help of co-founder Billy Markus in Portland, Oregon dogecoin was launched, using the publicly available bitcoin source code, altered so that the user-facing elements reflected the doge meme.

When launched at the beginning of December, most people dismissed it as a viable crypto-currency, comparing it negatively to the high-flying and oh-so-serious bitcoin which was even being talked about in the US Senate.

Missed the point

But what most people missed was the essential difference in the two currencies, a difference which was made all the clearer this week with the bobsled campaign.

As Palmer said last year: "It's not taking itself as seriously, it's not being used by people worrying about whether they'll become rich."

Dogecoin Fan Art
Dogecoin fan art

Dogecoin is all about community, generosity, kindness. It is the giving crypto-currency. Go onto the dogecoin thread on Reddit and you will shines as dogecoin devotes brand themselves freely giving of their hard-mined dogecoins.

Within a week of the currency launching, it became the second most-tipped currency online.

To the moon

Bitcoin is held up as the model of a crypto-currency, but this is just one interpretation of what a crypto-currency could be.

Re-reading Satoshi Nakamoto's original white paper on bitcoin, it says the objective was to create "a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash [that] would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution....a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust."

And that in a nutshell is what dogecoin is. It has shown this week that crypto-currencies don't have to take themselves seriously in order to be effective.

It remains unclear if dogecoin will go all the way "to the moon" but there is no doubt the community around it will have fun trying.