Monday, January 20, 2014

Mining Some Dogecoin

Several years ago, a bunch of colleagues and I were forced to sit through a very long customer service seminar. At the end of the seminar, we were all given a pair of "Customer Service" tokens to give away to anyone whom we believed have provided us will excellent customer service. Instead of taking the task seriously, my colleagues and I began giving away the tokens for social things like picking up the tab at lunch or sneezing in the middle of a boring presentation. The challenge was to overwhelm someone with an allotment of coins. At some point, people outside of our department started getting tipped with our coins and got in on the joke themselves. Soon, people actually started to WANT the coins and began doing actual customer service actions to get them. What started was a joke somehow became somewhat serious.

That's sort of how I feel about Dogecoin which is currently the fastest growing crypto-currency. A cryptocurrency is a digital exchange medium whose implementation relies on the principles of cryptography to validate the transactions and generation of the currency itself. You've probably heard of the crypto currency called Bitcoin? Well, you can think of Dogecoin as Bitcoin for goofballs. It's a more social, more approachable crypto currency than Bitcoin. The strength in Dogecoin is in its marketing. Based upon some funny dog-inspired meme, Dogecoin has grown a community around it that isn't afraid to ask questions or be silly. By extention, Dogecoin pokes fun at the entire crypto currency and monetary system by showing that this joke currency actually has a lot of power behind it.

Once Bitcoin started taking off, I was way too far off of the bandwagon to get on for the ride. I watched from the sidelines as Bitcoin had its ups and downs in the market and I was so put-off by the elitist Bitcoin community, I just couldn't get started . When I stumbled upon Dogecoin (which I referred to it as Dodgecoin for about 48 hours) I found a community of helpful, generous, funny people who helped me get started, helped me set up mining (even though my equipment sucks) and even tipped me a bunch of Dogecoins to help me on my way.

From a strictly technical standpoint, Dogecoin doesn't offer anything that you can't already get from Bitcoin or any other alt-coins out there. The novelty of Dogecoin is in its community. It's currently very easy for anyone to mine and/or buy and there are so many Dogecoins out there that people are tipping each other hundreds, sometimes thousands of Dogecoins merely for making someone laugh or for providing useful information. It's a social currency and everyone is invited to the party.

I'd like to think that Dogecoin has the potential to reach the moon. But, if it doesn't, then the experience has taught me a lot about digital currencies and I've had some fun along the way. Those factors alone have made Dogecoin a worthy investment for me.

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