Yes, Dogecoin. The internet joke turned semi-respectable currency. The mention of Dogecoin still draws contempt among many adopters of “serious” cryptocurrencies, and for good reason. Dogecoin began as a joke in December of last year, but it exploded as soon as it hit the market. Currently it is the fifth largest altcoin, and the combination of its rapid growth and vibrant user-base demands that the currency be taken seriously.

The users of Dogecoin are all too ready to spread the gospel, and because a single Doge is only worth a fraction of a penny, generosity abounds. New subscribers to the Dogecoin subreddit are generally met with “tips” of thousands of Doge. Most recently, Dogecoin users made headlines when an organized campaign  by the Dogecoin Foundation raised $30,000 (in the form of 27 million Doge) in donations to support the Jamaican Bobsled team’s Olympic bid. Other initiatives include donations to the Indian Olympic team and work with charities to help provide service dogs for children in need. All of these projects help Dogecoin force its way into the public.

Dogecoin runs on the scrypt algorithm, which makes it easily mined at home by anyone with a reasonably powerful video card. Most people can start filling their wallets with Doge using nothing but the computer they already have. In fact, at the moment Doge can even be mined with nothing but your CPU, although it’s unlikely you’ll make enough to justify the cost of power doing it that way. There are rumors of scrypt-mining ASICs coming out in the future, but the general consensus among the community is that the release of a scrypt viable ASIC would hurt Dogecoin. One of the more interesting notes is that a much larger number of coins will be released in the first year when compared to other cryptocurrencies. The goal, according to Dogecoin creator Jackson Palmer is to keep roughly 100 Billion Dogecoin in circulation. This is very different strategy than most other coins, which tie their inflation rate to that of Bitcoin. This might serve to place an upper limit on the value of Dogecoin, but its users stand behind their motto of “To the Moon!”

The combination of the strong community and the whimsical nature of the coin have helped it spread like wildfire among people who may have had little to no understanding of cryptocurrency in the past. The “joke” cryptocurrency is simple to get into precisely because of its how lighthearted it is, and its users are dedicated to making it “to the moon.” Dogecoin still has a long way to go before it makes it “to the moon,” but the work it has done to help bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream is already worth its weight in Doge.

Join us next week when we tell you how you too can be a Dogeillionaire in ten easy steps!