The closure and eventual bankruptcy filing of Mt. Gox has created a frenzy of news stories regarding the future viability and regulation of the bitcoin exchange. In the midst of  bitcoin’s problems, however, another cryptocurrency called “dogecoin” is continuing to grow in popularity.


Dogecoin was originally created as a parody of other cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and Litecoin. Initially created by Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, the digital currency has now settled into its own little niche within the online community.


Originally, the term “doge” is an internet meme that gained popularity over the last couple of years as, it features a confused Japanese (Shiba Inu) dog typically paired with sayings in broken English such as “so scare” and “what r you doing.” Founders Palmer and Markus found its image fitting for their version of cryptocurrency, and launched the currency in December 2013.


Nearly three months since it entered the markeplace, the coin which had no initial value is now estimated to be worth around $60 million. However, dogecoin’s creators and users do not appear to be as focused on the potential financial gains as much as creating a currency for an online community. Palmer has called for governmental regulation of cryptocurrencies as a whole and even turned down multiple venture capitalists offering up to $500,000 investments into the currency.


In its three month of existence, funds have already been raised in dogecoins for the Jamaican bobsled team and an Indian luge competitor to make it to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Furthermore, organizations like  Doge 4 Kids, which provides service dogs for children, have been developed to create donations for social causes via the online currency.


More recently, the currency has been used for offline activities, such as entrepreneur Matt Thompson’s decision to to sell his house in exchange for the digital currency. As is true with any currency not backed by a commodity like gold, the value of the currency wholly depends on what people believe it  is worth.


While bitcoin has paved the road for cryptocurrencies, dogecoin and other currencies shows that there is room for more than just one online currency, and people are willing to believe in another.


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