The Value of the Meme Economy: Joke Cryptocurrencies May be Funny, but They’re No Joke

After the recent growth of the cryptocurrency market, even skeptics have to admit that cryptos are here to stay. But while the current market cap leaders are racing to put out the best tech and attract the biggest investors, few of them have managed to make progress towards one very important value prospect:

Actual users.

While the “inherent” value of each coin is open to interpretation, one of the only real ways to measure value is the rate of adoption. Speculation can drive up prices in the short term, but in the long term, speculators can’t create actual value. Their job is to sell at the maximum point of profit. Consider a currency that had only 1 user to every 9 speculators. Assuming an even distribution of wealth, the moment the investor population notices a drop, they’re forced to sell, and the value of the currency will drop to the price the users are willing to pay.

But if a crypto can provide a solid value proposition to its users, it can weather the ups and downs of inflated investor interest.

And one unexpected coin has been quietly doing just that.

In December of 2013, Dogecoin was started as a light-hearted parody of the more popular Litecoin and Bitcoin. It quickly became the vogue joke coin of the internet. Reddit users would tip one another in doge when they liked each other’s comments. Dogecoin was used to raise money for multiple charities. The community grew rapidly, because people who were “in” on the joke were an already existing market segment. Adoption rates were really high.

Fast-forward to today, and people are still using it. While its market cap has grown considerably, it’s still dwarfed by the major cryptos. But in terms of users compared to market cap, it’s easily one of the top coins. And community members make no small point of investing in one another. The latest effort is a Dogecoin video contest, with an incredible 18 million Doge prize pool. The only entry requirement? Make a fun video that reflects Doge’s positive culture. The resulting entries have created an impressive PR campaign promoting Dogecoin. Take this cleverly edited video, set to Dick Dale’s Misirlou, showing Dogecoin’s trip “to the moon.”

The contest ends on February 19th, roughly coinciding with the start of the Chinese New Year. This year is the Chinese “Year of the Dog.” It may not be long before Dogecoin experiences a very large wave of investor interest.

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