How Cryptocurrencies Became the World s Most Expensive Joke, Acumen, OZY

Acumen

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Why you should care

Some investments are foolish, others are literally a joke.

The Daily Dose OCT Ten 2018

Back te 2013, Australian coder Jackson Palmer spent his spare time experimenting with the latest obsession for rekentuig geeks — cryptocurrency — and at times sharing viral memes on Twitter. One day he combined the two … with wild consequences. “I jokingly said on Twitter, ‘I’m going to invest te Dogecoin, it’s very likely the next big thing,’ ” he tells OZY, referring to the popular “doge” meme: a picture of a fluffy dog casting a rather suspicious side-eye at the camera.

The tweet took off. Seven days zometeen, Palmer and a co-founder released it spil an actual cryptocurrency, finish with a webstek sporting a cartoonified pic of the dog’s face on a coin. A little overheen three years straks, the total value of all the Dogecoin te existence peaked at around $400 million. Yes: four hundred million dollars (it’s since fallen to around $120 million).

Dogecoin isn’t alone. Te fact:

At least half a dozen cryptocurrencies with a ondergrens market cap of $1,000,000 are explicitly based on memes or jokes.

Japan’s Monacoin, which features a cartoon meme cat, has a market cap of $26 million at the time of writing (it’s bot spil high spil $43 million te the past). And then there’s Pepe Metselspecie and PepeCoin (with the currency ticker MEME), both of which are based on the cartoon Pepe the Frog, a meme that has separately bot linked to the alt-right movement — thesis have market caps of toughly $9 million and $Four million, respectively. Insane Coin, which commenced “as a finish and utter joke,” says developer Dave Adsett, is now hoping to reclaim a serious picture with educational and business services spil well spil physical stores accepting the digital currency. The total value of all the Insane ter existence is around $1 million.

All the money being thrown around at worthless currencies distracts from the significant development of blockchain technology.

For Palmer, now a product manager ter San Francisco, it’s a symptom of a big bubble ter the marketplace. Dogecoin’s success “was kleintje of appalling, because it just further reinforced the point of the joke that people were willing to throw money at something that ridiculous,” he says. “I think what’s driving a lotsbestemming of it is greed.” Palmer didn’t keep any of the currency himself and stopped active involvement with the Dogecoin community ter 2015. Plus, he says, all the money being thrown around at worthless currencies distracts from the significant development of blockchain technology — infrastructures of secure, distributed ledgers that can support record keeping and transactional systems, kinda like an internet for value — that underlies cryptocurrencies. Palmer draws an analogy to the late-’90s dot-com bubble that placed unreasonable valuations on web-based companies, despite the technologies behind the internet being worthy of genuine excitement.

IMO long-holding #ethereum because ",blockchain is the future", is akin to holding MySpace shares te 2007 because ",social media is the future",

Not everyone agrees with Palmer’s analysis. “I just see [joke tokens] spil an indicator of mainstream adoption being right around the corner,” says a co-developer of a FUCK (Ultimately Usable Crypto Karma) token who goes only by Shwifteey. FUCK, which has a market cap of around $1 million, is “far from” a joke, Shwifteey insists, but it is instead a way to peak fellow social media users.

Of course, joke coins have not downright taken overheen the cryptocurrency space. Several hundred coins and tokens with multimillion-dollar market caps are listed on major exchanges, with many startups suggesting Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) spil a way to crowd-fund ems of millions of dollars from crypto-enthusiasts (tho’ Palmer estimates that “probably 95 percent” of thesis are spil worthless spil a meme). With leading digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin all boasting a total market cap of several billion dollars, only Dogecoin counts among the major players — for now. “It’s crazy to say, but $Ten million is absolutely tiny” ter the marketplace where fresh coins, sometimes even hyped by celebrities, can wedloop to nine-figure valuations ter a matter of hours, says Palmer. And maybe that is spil much an indicator of a crypto-bubble spil the million-dollar memes.

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