The Ingenious Unironic Irony of Doge

Why Dogecoin is long overdue a serious analysis

Dogecoin (pronounced ‘dozh-coin’ for you crypto boomers) is a cryptocurrency that originated as a light-hearted joke by Adobe darling Jackson Palmer and IBM programmer/all-around good internet citizen Billy Markus. After both left the project in 2015, the joke lived on through a handful of passionate core developers and a dedicated collective of meme dealers and shibe cypherpunks, who, through the power of meme magic, transformed Dogecoin from a dying sh*tco*n into a truly decentralized ecosystem. And with now de facto ‘Doge CEO’ — and possible Dogecoin whale — Elon Musk yelling it from the mountain tops of the Twitter-verse, Doge is long overdue for serious analysis. woof woof

Pump and dump, the future technocratic world currency, or something in-between?

Between the meme power from the still on-going r/wsb gamma squeeze and Elon’s nightly barrages of pro-Doge tweets — despite a short-lived Bitcoin reference in his bio — there’s been growing interest in not only trading it for mad gains — think of the gains — but as a real contender to reigning crypto bully, Bitcoin.

Yes, I know that’s a serious provocation but before you call Doge a scam and unsubscribe, forcing me to trade memestonks forever, a few others have indulged in the thought experiment. (Btw — does anyone have an update on Tuxedage? His last blog post is quite ominous.)

So, for us, serious thinkers, who have no Doge in the fight, why or even how could the meme coin potentially topple Bitcoin to become the unlikely world reserve currency in an already (more) unlikely future scenario where the transnational elite and their entrenched central bankers peacefully concede power (least likely) to the people’s coin? Let’s. get. tech. nic. al. tech. nic. al.

very 80s, so rhythm

Dogecoin is a real, functional payment system, and its underlying blockchain tech is based on Bitcoin.

Doge is the red-headed stepchild of Bitcoin, and like its more astute next of kin, is a decentralized Proof of Work (PoW) peer-to-peer payment system on the blockchain. More precisely, Dogecoin is a fork of a fork of a fork of Bitcoin, or in the biblical sense, Bitcoin begat Litecoin who begat Luckycoin who begat Shibus of Nazareth. Consequently, the underlying blockchain tech has a lot in common with its parent chain and in some ways it’s even superior. For example, Dogecoin uses a scrypt mining algorithm and merge mines with Litecoin (for added security) allowing for lower hashrates and less energy use than Bitcoin’s SHA-256 mining algorithm.

As an off-shoot of Bitcoin’s source code, Doge’s core development team also has the luxury of picking and choosing which Bitcoin updates it wants to implement or modify. In a way, Dogecoin developers view Bitcoin and Litecoin as the testing grounds for possible new software updates, improvements, and off-chain solutions for the growing ecosystem. If something goes wrong with new features, Doge devs can learn from Bitcoin’s mistakes, and along with the blessing of the Doge community, they can make the necessary changes with a strong vote of confidence.

Interestingly, Dogecoin’s PoW protocol features a block every minute, unlike Bitcoin, which gives mining awards every 10 minutes, and Litecoin’s every 2.5 minutes. Doge’s one-minute blocks allow it to process transactions at 10x the speed of Bitcoin (outside of the lightning network) and are the main reason it became so prevalent in micro-transactions and tipping on Reddit.

It also doesn’t have a supply cap like Bitcoin or Litecoin. Rather, Dogecoin will continue to release 5.256 billion Doge per year forever. doge go brrr

Shibes say this soft inflationary monetary policy or ‘Dogeflation’ will not only secure the chain for eons to come (comparatively, miners will release the last Bitcoin in 2140) but facilitate the much-needed economic foundation so critical during the early stages of adoption, helping the coin naturally appreciate over time. wait, woot?

On a long enough timeline the inflation rate for Dogecoin drops to zero — Doge Club Proverb

Dogeflation promotes price stability, adoption, chain longevity, market liquidity, and a whole bunch of other stuff that’s too long to breakdown here because I know ya’ll have the attention spans of actual Shiba Inuses and wouldn’t read it. woof

Here’s my honest try a summary, which is central to understanding Doge’s many use cases:

Doge has a reverse inflation curve which is shibespeak for the inflation rate decreases linearly every year. So, as the total supply (130 million) increases, the number of coins minted — 5.256 billion per year or 10,000 per block — is an ever-lower percentage of the overall number; meaning Doge’s current inflation supply of 3.9% will continue to fall and drop below 2% (the Fed’s ‘average’ target for inflation) sometime around 2045 and near 0% a few decades later, though technically never reaching absolute zero. So, Doge from a certain point of view is deflationary.

For a more spirited breakdown, take a gander at OG DogeProf Mr. Nutterbutter’s “dissertation” over at DOGEnomics. such funny

Normies like cheap, and Dogecoin is cheap.

Dogeflation also keeps the unit price (one Doge) economical and relatively stable for many years to come, allowing new arrivals to stick around, pitch a tent on the subreddit and learn about crypto, becoming a real stakeholder in the community; versus just buying and hodling it away in a wallet somewhere until you accidentally toss it in the trash years later. In other words, Doge’s long-term affordability is the perfect on-ramp for noobs and is likely already facilitating some level of adoption among the lower and middle-income spectrums who can’t afford — or more accurately, think they can’t afford (more on this below) — Bitcoin and other hard-capped deflationary cryptos which have seen unit prices reach levels similar to household yearly incomes.

A better way to understand it is through the lens of current price and market dynamics. If Doge today had the same market capitalization as Bitcoin ($700 billion), which has a unit price of roughly $40,000, one Doge would still be only worth around $5.50. A bargain price, don’t cha think? Suddenly the #dogeto1dollar meme isn’t so far-fetched. woof woof

The counter-argument is, of course, fractional Bitcoin, whereby one satoshi or ‘sat,’ Bitcoin’s smallest unit of measurement (0.00000001 BTC) — that’s eight decimal places after the zero for those of you straining your eyes to count — becomes its base unit.

Because we humans prefer to think in terms of whole numbers, Bitcoin-use would be more intelligible if sats were its base unit. For instance, a $3.50 coffee would cost 9,000 sats, rather than 0.00090000. such decimal

If a sats consensus could be reached across the hundreds of mini-bureaucracies of Bitcoin-centered businesses, wallet services and exchanges, this rebranding of sorts would surely take time. The space effectively abandoned the idea of Bitcoin as a decentralized peer-to-peer payment system in 2017 and has since adopted the ‘Bitcoin as digital gold’ manta, so it would be no easy task to revert. Meanwhile, Doge — which is also divisible by eight decimal points — already has the psychological advantage of having a low-price marker out of the gate due to its large coin supply. And if Doge were to become the trillion-dollar-market the #dogecoinarmy claims it will be, people would form a consensus organically through the hallowed meme halls of Reddit, Twitter and TikTok.

This brings us to Doge’s next and, by far, most compelling advantage.

Meme magic, strong community, and just not giving (too much of) a f*ck

Two weeks ago, the Doge community was somewhat of a rarity in crypto: a carefree, apolitical haven where fellow shibes and crypto enthusiasts could come together, bond over their mutual love of all-things Doge, and occasionally organize meaningful fundraisers for charity.

But that was two weeks ago. Now that Doge has entered the fray of crypto speculation, spammers and price shills are raiding Doge forums. No longer can shibes simply come together for the love of the Doge. Everything is assessed and perceived through the market and its impact on price. In response, r/dogecoin mods and community members have quickly mobilized to sticky FAQs and taken to the comments to dispel any misinformation in hopes of keeping the meme pool pH levels mellow for maximum meme generation.

Wait a second…are you having Doge a vu yet? That’s right, we already watched this play out in 2014/15 and again in 2017/18 within the community.

During each new wave of crypto adoption, newcomers found their way to Dogecoin. More than likely because it’s cheap, goofy, and the chill Doge atmosphere encourages everyone to partake in the fun. During each influx, shibes were able to handle the existential threat to the culture and successfully assimilate new arrivals, thus growing the Doge bone larger.

In 2021, however, the fierce ideological battle between Bitcoin loyalists and Doge patriots has moved beyond the borders of r/dogecoin and /biz/. The war is being fought on all social media fronts, from the Wokeistan streets of Twitter to the ex-Facebook refugee camps of QAnons now embedded on Telegram. The players are no longer only just your friendly neighborhood Geek Squader by day turned Reddit mod by night and the occasional indignant Bitcoin Maxi.

Today, everyday people — your mailman, that OnlyFans chick, even the neighbor’s dog — have become Doge-pilled, harnessing their combined meme forces to take down the Orangecoats. Yes, even the line between shibe and shill is muddied, with estranged celebrities latching themselves onto Doge’s rising cultural currency in an effort to stay relevant. These are extraordinary internet times, and our furry digital mascot seems to be on the cusp of mainstream acceptance. Are we witnessing mass adoption in real-time?

Money is the root of all evil, but Doge is the root of whatever we want it to be, and that’s paradigm-shifting.

On Clubhouse, an exclusive drop-in talk app where the far-left and the center-left can temporarily forgo their differences to discuss ways to accumulate more wealth, Elon recently touted that Bitcoin was on “the verge” of breaking into conventional finance. As mentioned before, Bitcoin has largely rebranded itself from a digital payment system to a deflationary digital asset used to hedge against the dollar. This leaves Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision for Bitcoin mostly unfulfilled. If Bitcoin will continue to be seen as digital gold, why not Dogecoin as digital money? Or at least meme money, and in today’s internet age, that gives it value.

Money has always gotten a bad rap, but it’s not really to blame. Money is just a vehicle for desire, influence, or any other emotional component of the human condition; and as a mirror, it will inescapably include our good and bad intent.

I’m not naive enough to think Doge could change this fundamental truth, but I am autistic enough to consider it may positively impact our relationship with money. How would society change if money was no longer an empty vessel but a statement on our shared values? Imagine a monetary system and culture based on charity and helping, rather than self-serving interests and hoarding. Could Doge potentially be the catalyst needed to mend our broken society? Is anything more universal or apolitical than laughter? lol such serious

To be fair, the creators of Dogecoin said it was never meant to be taken literally, so intellectualizing it through Socratic dialogue is probably ill-advised. Or is it? As explained above, there’s an argument to be made on its technical and cultural merits as a valuable cryptocurrency.

This is precisely the genius of Doge. It was never meant to be a real Bitcoin contender, yet against all odds, it has remained in the conversation for almost a decade now. From Earth-shaking inventions like dynamite and Viagra, to great works of art like the original Star Wars and Jesus toast, history has proved time after time that people often create their best work by accident. And that, my skeptic friend, is the unironic irony of Doge.

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