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    Definitions 3 min read

    Dogecoin is a peer-to-peer, open-source cryptocurrency that’s commonly referred to as a “meme coin” because of its satirical nature. The Dogecoin logo features an illustration of a Shiba Inu dog that was popularized by the “doge” meme in 2013. Though the origin of Dogecoin was a joke, it is a legitimate cryptocurrency that can be used to purchase goods and services through cryptocurrency exchanges.

    Dogecoin’s history

    Dogecoin was created by software engineers from IBM and Adobe in 2013. It’s considered the first “meme coin” because it was created to poke fun at Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency to date. Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, the coin’s creators, wanted to create a form of cryptocurrency that would appeal to a broader audience than Bitcoin. 

    Dogecoin’s protocol was based on Litecoin and Luckycoin, which use scrypt technology in their algorithms instead of Bitcoin’s SHA-256 hash functions. Several meme coins have developed as derivatives of Dogecoin, but none have gained as much popularity.

    Also read: How Does Cryptocurrency Work?

    After a few years of steady growth, several TikTok creators created a campaign to get Dogecoin’s value to $1 in July 2020. It wasn’t until January 2021, though, that Dogecoin saw a significant increase (800%) in its value thanks to several Reddit users and encouragement from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The cryptocurrency then became the fifth highest valued cryptocurrency in April 2021.

    Can I spend Dogecoin?

    Like other cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin has legitimate monetary value and can be used to purchase goods and services. Though it’s not as ubiquitous as Bitcoin or other mainstream currencies, it has had significant traction in some Twitter and Reddit communities. On these platforms, users will negotiate and barter physical goods in exchange for Dogecoin. 

    To buy Dogecoin, you must first create an account with a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase or Kraken. Dogecoin is not available on all exchanges, so it’s important to confirm that DOGE is offered on a specific exchange before signing up. Once you’ve created an account and connected a payment method, you can purchase the amount of Dogecoin you desire and it will become available in your crypto wallet. 

    There are a few different actions you can take with your Dogecoin once it’s in your wallet. You can transfer it to another person by entering their destination address, sell it back to the exchange, or withdraw it from your crypto wallet on the exchange if you’d prefer to store it elsewhere. Alternatively, you can leave all or part of your Dogecoin in your exchange-based crypto wallet indefinitely.