Elon Musk, prominent investor Mark Cuban, and millions of traders using the investment app Robinhood came to the world of Dogecoin long before Gerry La Chance ( There were people like Gary Lachance who truly believed in Dogecoin.
This is their story.
Early Dogecoin with fun
Mr. La Chance is like a tiger. At least it feels a bit like a tiger. He wears dark sunglasses on “tiger-patterned shoulder pads” and sits against the radio-cassettes lined up on the wall. On the left is a huge poster of Dogecoin. On the zoom screen, he seemed to be in a science fiction movie.
“I’m not kidding. Dogecoin gives me a lot of inspiration,” said La Chance. The voice is loose and inorganic, and even if someone says, “I’m not joking,” it makes me feel like I’m joking.
La Chance found Dogecoin in 2013, shortly after its launch. I felt it was perfect for my party revolution. I was fascinated by the logo. “I saw the doge all day and thought I’d never get bored,” he says. “The more I look at it, the more perfect the pose is and the more interesting it is,” said La Chance, who calls Doge the “modern Mona Lisa.”
In terms of memes, La Chance says it is “probably the most powerful brand in the world.” He has also hosted an event called “Camp Doge” at the annual music and art festival “Burning Man” in the United States. He embodies the playful, cheerful and goofy feel of Doge, especially in the early days.
No matter who I asked, it was just fun in the early days. Doge Coin fans held a “Doji Party” at the Los Angeles comic book store and other venues. A real Shiba Inu has also appeared.
“You could give a tip to a Shiba Inu and the money was donated to a dog conservation group,” recalls a woman named Pinguino, who has been actively involved in the community since the birth of Dogecoin. “Some people called DJs, gave lectures, and brought mining equipment.”
At the Doge Party in New York, he made a giant doge head with papier mache and marched cheerfully to Wall Street. The papier mache was placed on the statue of Charging Bull. “It was a weird gathering of people,” said a man from the early days of the Doge community (called Doge Doe here) who wanted to be interviewed anonymously.
“A 70-year-old cypherpunk programmer, a 15-year-old kid, and a Shiba Inu. There were many demonstrators occupying Wall Street.”
Spirit of forgiveness
They are not the kind of people who have become millionaires with crypto assets. Pingino was a designer working in a movie studio. She remembers that there were lawn managers, marketing people, machinists, and so on.
“Somehow, people in a very ordinary profession,” said Pingino. They weren’t rich, but they were happy to give. I just kept giving it. I was delighted to be able to easily demonstrate my generosity by spreading my doge on the popular bulletin board “Reddit” and Twitter.
“If I had 100,000 doge, it looked very rich,” said Pingino. “I felt great and it was fun to give out doge to people.”
Chipbots on Reddit and Twitter (bots that send crypto assets over social media, etc.) urged someone to send Dogecoin if they liked the joke.
With an app called Doge Rain, I was able to tag multiple people in a tweet and send a doge to each. Tagged people could also “pay-forward” by tagging others and sending doge.
“In the early days, the community focused on tolerance,” said Billy Markus, one of the creators of Dogecoin, who created Dogecoin in about two hours.
Marcus is no longer an official developer, but is actively involved in the community, giving fans “joy, kindness, learning, giving, empathy, fun, community, inspiration.” , Creativity, forgiveness, playfulness, ridiculousness “, and an open letter calling for respect for DOGE’s spirit of” Doing Good Every Day. “
In 2014, many “everyday good deeds” were actually done. For example, “paper wallet”. Fold the paper with the public key on one side and the private key on the back so that the side with the private key is hidden. Mr. Pingino was handing out such a paper wallet to strangers.
I put a reasonable number of Dogecoins in my wallet (often from my coins), but the numbers ranged from 10 Dogecoins to 98,000 Dogecoins. I went to a bookstore, put it in a book, approached a stranger, and handed it with a smile. “Please. It may be worth it someday!”
Dogecoin fans generously shared with each other, to strangers, and to charities. We donated to a charity that trains service dogs for children with autism and provided pizza to homeless people.
Olympics, well digging, car racing at Doge
Most notably, in 2014, Dogecoin supporters collected Dogecoins and sent the Jamaican Bobsleigh team to the Olympics. He once raised $ 30,000 to dig a well in Kenya.
Pingino said he was particularly proud of this impact on the real world, citing a study that the well helped local women. Thanks to the Dogecoin-funded well, “women can spend more time on education because they don’t have to carry water on their heads for two hours every day.”
There was also a sponsorship activity for the car race “NASCAR”. Under the cry of a teenage Reddit user, we support drivers who are unlikely to win. He collected enough Dogecoins to sponsor his racing car and covered the racing car with an illustration of a smiling Shiba Inu, confusing the NASCAR industry.
“We had a NASCAR watching party around 10am, because I didn’t have any NASCAR fans, but I wanted to see Doge running on the race track,” said Pingino. “It was really fun anyway”
Benefits not found in Bitcoin
But in a way, from the beginning, Dogecoin was more than just fun. It had hidden benefits. Mr. Pingino enjoyed introducing crypto assets to people at a gathering in Los Angeles and teaching them how they work. Doge was perfect for this.
“Bitcoin has scared people,” said Pingino. So she switched to Dogecoin, but said, “For those who aren’t very technical and for many women, it’s been a lot better. People learn much more openly when using Dogecoin. He did it. “
One of the reasons is the ultra-low price. The most effective way to teach how crypto assets work is to actually show them, Pingino said. However, sending and receiving Bitcoin is a bit tricky.
“It’s psychological. With Bitcoin, people who aren’t very familiar with it feel like they’re sending something expensive and valuable.” At a penny of $ 30,000, “I feel like I can’t afford to fail.” But with Dogecoin, you just send one cent and receive one cent, “Pingino explains. She held a workshop, gave everyone 10 Dogecoins and practiced sending them together.
The idea that Doge is “people’s currency” is deeply rooted. Good Shibe, who writes a series of Reddit posts inspired by Dogecoin, bought Dogecoin on the first day of its launch.
“I saw the logo and immediately felt that this was all,” says Good Shibe. I felt it was open to many people. While I felt a bit intimidating about the people around Bitcoin (especially the liberals), I was welcomed by Doge’s antics.
The bonus is mining. When Dogecoin started in December 2013, Good Shibe knew he couldn’t mine Bitcoin himself. It was a mess on his poor laptop.
Meanwhile, his “terrible poor and small video card” was able to mass produce 10,000 Dogecoins a day. “Everyone could make a lot of money. I think that led to a lot of early excitement in the community, because literally anyone could mine.”
Years later, the “paper wallet” distributed by Mr. Pingino suddenly became sought after. “In the last three months, all of my acquaintances have suddenly popped up trying to find a wallet,” Pingino said.
Some have found a wallet with 98,000 doge. It is now worth more than $ 30,000. Intrigued, Pingino recently wondered how many Dogecoins he had given out so far and aggregated all the old deals.
It was calculated to be about 2 million Dogecoins.
She is well aware of the cost of her generosity. Still, she didn’t hesitate to say: “It was worth it because it was a lot of fun.”
Suffering from scams and hackers
Alas, the world of doge wasn’t just about fun and games. Scammers, hackers and scammers have long plagued the world of crypto assets, but Dogecoin holders have been a good target for them. The scammers should have seen the Doge community and felt that “young and playful guys are wielding money,” Doge Do said.
And the scammers jumped in. The Dogecoin community still remembers the bitter experiences of “a series of large-scale price hoisting and slamming’pump and dump'”, fraud, and threats of 51% attacks.
“I’ve witnessed being hijacked by piggybackers trying to make money,” said Jackson Palmer, another creator of Doge. He is now completely away from Dogecoin.
The active Dogecoin supporters still have painful memories. “In one of the worst scandals, the chip bot stopped working and took all the Dogecoins it had,” recalls Good Shibe.
“Tips have been a great source of vitality in this community. As the tipping habits began to cease, other projects emerged and people were drawn in different directions.”
Perhaps the most notorious scandal is a fraudulent case by a user using the pseudonym Alex Green. He first attracted the Dogecoin community by generously handing out Dogecoins and tipping. He then invited people to invest in an exchange called “Moolah” for his own project.
Green soon turned out to be a scammer named Ryan Kennedy. Moolah went bankrupt and (probably) Kennedy put most of the money he raised into his pocket. A few years later, Kennedy was sentenced to imprisonment as a sex offender.
“The Dogecoin community had to be rebuilt,” Kaleigh Rogers of web media Vice reported in 2015. “Many people have abandoned Dogecoin altogether. Some have become more suspicious and no longer treat their coins generously. People are trying to figure out who and what to blame. I continued to make efforts without it. “
On the other hand, some have continued to inherit the spirit of Dogecoin. Like Mr. La Chance, who held the event “DogeCon” in Vancouver, Canada in 2018, which was touted as “4 days dedicated to the teaching of Dogecoin”.
Since 2018 was a new year, dog coin fans naturally celebrated the year of dogs. However, even they were stagnant in the “winter era of crypto assets (crypt winter)” and the number of events decreased. “Once we faced a big bear market, we lost a lot of vitality,” said Good Shibe.
In some other parallel universe, this may have been the end of the story.
｜ Translation / Editing: Akiko Yamaguchi, Shigeru Sato
｜ Top image: Shutterstock
｜ Original:’Silliness Is Next to Godliness.’ Why Doge Still Thrives