Dogecoin – Bitcoin’s goofy little brother – has just made history. A member of the Dogecoin community donated 14 million Dogecoins (worth about US$11,000 on the exchanges) to a charity with one single message on Twitter. That tweet, to an automated Twitter-bot, is the most money ever donated or sent directly via a tweet.
The Dogecoins were for Doge4Water, a charity set up to help people in Kenya get clean drinking water.
The Dogecoins will be converted to real money, and that money will be used to build new wells. The tweet, by an anonymous person who goes by @savethemhood, helped to push the Doge4Water to well past its 40 million Dogecoin (US$30,000) goal. The charity had hoped to reach it by March 22nd, which is World Water Day, and it met that target with a week to spare.
This isn’t the first time the Dogecoin community showed its charitable nature. Last month it raised enough money to help get the broke Jamaican Bobsled Team to the Sochi Winter Olympics. The generosity makes sense, as Dogecoin is positioned to be the “tipping currency” of the Internet.
For a crypto-currency that was started as something of a joke, Dogecoin is doing some good, and part of that is through the sheer number of Dogecoin users. By volume, it’s the most-traded crypto-currency in the world. Part of that is because it’s so easy and cheap to get into. A person can buy-in for as little as a dollar (US$1 is worth about 1300 Dogecoins at the time this post went live), and the tipping culture is rife within the community. For example, on the Dogecoin sub-reddit, users are encouraged to tip one another small amounts of Dogecoin for insightful or positive comments along with “upvotes” (the quasi-currency of Reddit).
The Dogecoin community has the aim of expanding that “tipping” culture to the rest of the internet by keeping the price of Dogecoin artificially low. Unlike Bitcoin, Dogecoin is not meant to be an investment currency, so much of the shiftiness that Bitcoin users have had to endure likely won’t make its way to the Dogecoin world.
Still, there’s always going to be some controversy with crypto-currencies, and besides being used as a force for good for bobsledders and Kenyan villagers, Dogecoin, with its catch phrases, such as “wow” and “such currency” and “so crypto”, could be a great way to explore what these new virtual currencies can and can’t do, all while maintaining a sense of humor.