You've likely only just wrapped your mind around the concept of Bitcoin (or have you?) but there's already a new player in town: Dogecoin.
The upstart cryptocurrency is the new pup in town, and its bite is proving just as big as its bark.
On Monday, Dogecoin led the dog-and-pony show (yes, the canine puns will continue) by coming to the rescue of the Jamaican bobsled team, which needed funds in order to travel to the Sochi Winter Olympics. Dogecoin threw the team a bone by raising $30,000.
But what is Dogecoin? How did an Internet meme (Doge, the lovable shiba inu) transform into the fluffy figurehead of a digital currency — and what is digital currency, anyway?
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Who better to explain it than Jackson Palmer, creator of Dogecoin?
Take us through Dogecoin's history a bit. How did Doge, an Internet meme, come to be the face of cryptocurrency?
Dogecoin started out as a simple tweet, which was me parodying the sheer number of altcoins (alternative cryptocurrencies) coming on the market. Shortly after I posted this, I took live dogecoin.com with a picture of the famous Doge meme photoshopped on a coin. Billy, my co-founder, got in touch with me a couple days later saying he'd turned it into a real thing and the rest is history.
What are the main differences between Bitcoin and Dogecoin? Which is worth more?
Dogecoin is more similar to Litecoin, another Bitcoin alternative. It boasts faster transaction times and a really passionate community, which sets it apart from all other cryptocurrencies out there.
How often does the value of Dogecoin fluctuate? How will its value be sustained?
The value has been growing over the past couple of weeks, based on the popularity of the currency online. It's being widely used for "tipping" on social media sites such as Reddit and Twitter, and people are actually using it to purchase goods and services, too. The number of Dogecoin transactions in any 24-hour period outnumbers those of all other cryptocurrencies combined.
What kind of demographic is going for Dogecoin? Who are the people using this crytocurrency?
It's the currency of the Internet, and people are using it for sending kudos to people sharing or creating great content. Other uses are for buying online games, and similar microtransactions.
How do people actually go about buying Dogecoin?
At the moment, the best way is to convert some U.S. dollars to Bitcoin and then use a service such as BTER.com or Cryptsy.com to transfer those Bitcoins into Dogecoin.
Dogecoin raised more than $30,000 for the Jamaican bobsled team. Can you take us through the process for how this actually turns into cash?
Our amazing community donated millions and millions of Dogecoin via the Dogecoin Foundation, which we then converted to Bitcoin using an online exchange. The fantastic folks at Crowdtilt are now helping us convert this to USD and to put the funds in the hands of the bobsled team.
How long do you predict Dogecoin will be a viable currency? Is it the currency of the future or is this a trend of our time?
I think it's the Internet currency of the future, as it's fast and fun. It's already taken the "tipping" world by storm, and as it spreads across other social media platforms I think Dogecoin will only get bigger and bigger.
Follow Cassandra Garrison on Twitter: @CassieAtMetro