KATWIJK, THE NETHERLANDS – JANUARY 29: In this photo illustration, visual representations of the digital cryptocurrencies Dogecoin and Bitcoin are arranged on January 29, 2021 in Katwijk, the Netherlands. (Photo by Yuriko Nakao / Getty Images)
Jed Rawson came to an inescapable conclusion. “I’m pretty sure this is the greatest accumulation of wealth in my family in 500 years,” said Rawson, 38. “My father was a teacher, I am one of seven children. And if you go back 500 years, then in England they are all sock knitters and miners. “He says so with one look at the rising price of Dogecoin – which is approaching total market cap around $ 50 billion and more than sixfold in two weeks – and the other on R / Dogecoin, the Reddit community that is dedicated to this latest fad in cryptocurrency.
Rawson has become a star on R / Dogecoin where he posted screenshots of his Robinhood brokerage account on a daily basis. On Monday it was well over $ 700,000, around 1.7 million Dogecoins. “A man on Reddit called me DFV from Dogecoin today,” he says proudly. It alludes elliptically to the Redditor known as Deep King Value or DFV, which helped spark the month-long run on GameStop stock. “I rode that wave and it was pretty wild,” says Rawson, who runs his own e-commerce consultancy in San Diego outside of Dogecoin.
Wild can be an understatement. Dogecoin is the sixth most important cryptocurrency today, an all-time high for what was originally conceived as a meta-joke about monetary value and the internet eight years ago. Its mascot is the Shiba Inu, a common breed of dog. The price of the token has increased from about 6 cents two weeks ago to over 40 cents, and its low price per coin has certainly contributed to its rise, allowing investors who may not be able to afford more expensive cryptos like Bitcoin or Ether to buy Dogecoins . Buying Dogecoins is a bet they could become a permanently viable currency – and an undeniable gamble given the frequent fluctuations in the value of crypto, including industry-leading Bitcoin.
As more and more people bet on Dogecoin, R / Dogecoin is also enjoying growing popularity as the Reddit forum becomes the newest virtual epicenter of a financial mania. It now has over 1.5 million members, a 25% increase in about a week, and is increasingly resembling R / WallStreetBets, the group on Reddit that played such an active role in GameStop mania in late January.
Back then, it was hard to know exactly how much GameStop trading was coming from R / WallStreetBets. And it is next to impossible to pinpoint exactly which Dogecoin trades are from R / Dogecoin, as they are mostly anonymous social media users who buy and sell digital tokens to disguise the identity of their owners.
Nonetheless, the Reddit communities and the assets seem to have intertwined relationships – self-enforcing feedback loops. As Dogecoin prices keep rising, the Reddit forum will generate more conversation and interest, leading to more investment in crypto … which then helps keep prices up and the cycle repeated.
“That has to happen – at least to a certain extent,” says Tanner Sims, a 22-year-old R / Dogecoin member. “A lot of people learn about Dogecoin there, and everyone is here together.”
Like many at R / Dogecoin, Sims is a relative newcomer to the group that exists as long as the currency is spinning. He found it back in July looking for potential crypto investments – Sims is helping manage his family’s hotel near Big Sur, Calif., And plans to return to school and study finance at Texas Tech this fall .
To start off last summer, “I had $ 20 to spare,” he says, “so I threw it in” and bought around 500 Dogecoins. “I’ve started to dig into Reddit and people’s minds more. Then I’ve spent a majority of my paychecks on it over the past few months. “And like many on R / Dogecoin, he had an unwavering belief. “I knew it would go up at some point.”
Sims and the rest of R / Dogecoin spent a lot of time thinking and discussing about Elon Musk. The second richest person in the world tweeted positive about Dogecoin almost a dozen times in the last four months and spoke out in favor of it when speaking on the new audio chat app Clubhouse: “Dogecoin was made as a joke to make fun of cryptocurrencies do, but fate loves irony. The most ironic result would be that Dogecoin will become the currency of the earth in the future. “R / Dogecoin viewed Musk’s interest as the highest form of validation possible. “Elon Musk’s support was a big deal,” says Sim, whose Dogecoin stake is around $ 16,000. “It gave me a lot of confidence.”
Unsurprisingly, when not talking about musk, the Reddit community is more obsessed with the recent price hike and guessing where the coin could go up. The recent level of 42 cents generated thunderous applause on the message board, also because someone referred to Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a science fiction series in which 42 is supposed to be the answer to everything in the universe. And partly because the Redditors had already declared April 20 or 4 to 20 as Doge Day, an attempt to co-opt the long-running subversive holiday devoted to the marijuana culture and weeds that, like cryptocurrency, will last for many years was long frowned upon by mainstream culture.
One of the most popular posts last month received 23,300 upvotes, the Reddit equivalent of Facebook likes, thanks to a personal short story and a corresponding GIF meme. They were the work of Toben Blalock (48) from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who six years ago used another Reddit forum to exchange his Xbox for 1.15 million Dogecoins. He currently has tokens worth nearly $ 200,000 after actively trading them since 2015. Told this story in the Post and contained a bit of self-deprecating humor: an animated video clip of a dog in an astronaut’s suit hovering around a space station, the words “I have no idea what I’m doing” under the weightless canine.
These days, Blalock worries that too many on R / Dogecoin really have no idea what they are doing as they pile into crypto with digital euphoria. “These coins are a great thing to play around with,” he says. “But a lot of people invest their savings. And I think that’s a terrible idea right now. “