One year ago the world had never heard of dogecoin. The cryptocurrency, which was created as somewhat of a joke, has since sent athletes to the Winter Olympics, sponsored a Nascar and brought water to drought-stricken Kenya.
On the 8 December 2013, the first ever dogecoin mining pool was created so we thought that it was the perfect time to get the thoughts of founder Jackson Palmer on what has been a pretty amazing year.
Palmer talks about the creation of dogecoin, the highs and lows of the last 12 months and what the future holds for the cryptocurrency.
Palmer also reveals that far from bring a dogecoin millionaire, the most he has really gotten financially from the meme-based cryptocurrency is a big jar of Nutella, which sits on his desk.
IBTimes UK (IBT): Just over a year ago you joked about dogecoin, saying you were "pretty sure it's the next big thing". Was there any seriousness to this and could you ever have imagined how quickly it took off?
Jackson Palmer (JP): That initial tweet was really a jab at the Bitcoin and altcoin scene at the time - I noticed that SomethingCoin was popping up every couple of weeks (it's even more prevalent now) and wrote that tweet on a whim. A few of my friends latched onto the idea and my co-founder Billy reached out with the first official build of the Qt client... so I purchased Dogecoin.com, put up a basic website and the rest is history.
IBT: Why the Shiba Inu?
JP: I'd always loved the doge meme (the infamous photoset of Kabosu, celebrity Shiba Inu) and had just read an article by Adrian Chen about it actually being a good meme. Combined with my interest in cryptocurrency at the time, I put the two together and laughed to myself. Thankfully I decided to share my personal joke with the world.
IBT: What has most surprised you about dogecoin and its community? Is there one particular event or campaign that you're particularly proud of?
JP: I'd say the most impactful event was raising the $30k to help send the Jamaican bobsled team to the Winter Olympics. That all happened in around 24 hours and was something I'd never done before, nor would ever have imagined doing. That was the first point at which I really saw the sheer power of this community and realized that Dogecoin was here to stay.
IBT: Has there been any real low points over the last 12 months (Trademark disputes/ 'Alex Green' fiasco, etc.)?
JP: The trademark dispute was always a non-starter for me, because I simply called up Ultra Pro (the company seeking the "doge" trademark to legally protect themselves) and realised there was no malicious intent. Making such a big deal of it was more a PR stunt by Moolah in my mind.
On the topic of Moolah, I'd say that's the biggest low we faced over the past 12 months. Ben Doernberg and myself had raised concerns that were ignored several times earlier in the year about this company, and it's really sad as the founder of something to watch your community march towards what you know is disaster.
In typical Dogecoin fashion, I think the community has bounced back though... and if anything a lot of folks learned a lesson in exercising healthy skepticism, especially when it comes to the crypto world.
IBT: Do you think that given dogecoin's overall success, combined with its recent run of stability, that dogecoin is being taken seriously by both those within the community and the wider financial world?
I've never really promoted Dogecoin as the "fiat killer" like Bitcoin and it's community like to prophecise. Dogecoin is a really fun, absurd community and a currency that people use to throw change at each other on the internet in the form of micro-tips.
It's also a great education tool and awareness builder for Bitcoin and digital currency as a movement, which I think is great. Is Dogecoin ever going to rock the foundations of the financial world? No, and that was never it's intent.
The second people forget that and start taking Dogecoin too seriously is the moment I check out.
IBT: How much involvement do you still have with dogecoin and its development?
JP: I'm still quite involved in the community side of things, speaking at conferences and trying my hardest to keep things fun. As long as the community continues to value my thoughts and wants me to help steer the future of Dogecoin, I'll always be here for them.
As far as development goes, there is a team of volunteers who maintain the codebase and are far more qualified to do so than I ever was. There is also a passionate team behind the Dogecoin Foundation who are helping with outreach, legal issues etc.
IBT: As the creator of this 'joke currency' that once had a market cap of more than $90 million (currently $20m), have you personally made a small fortune from dogecoin?
JP: Lots of people assume this, but absolutely not. Billy and I only ever had around 5-6 million Dogecoin each (I didn't get my miner set up fast enough because I had an Nvidia card), which at the price peak was still only worth a few thousand USD.
The bulk of the Dogecoin I did have has gone towards charity drives and tipping over the past 12 months. I did buy a jar of massive Nutella with my doge, which sits on my desk at work.
IBT: Finally, getting out your crystal ball, what do you think the future holds for dogecoin?
JP: There is no way to predict the world of crypto, I've learned. At the end of the day, the community of users behind Dogecoin are going to define this future.
In my eyes, if they never lose sight of the fact that Dogecoin is supposed to be fun, inclusive and at it's core hilarious then it's a future I'm going to stick around for.