Dogecoin is one of the most fun and baffling trends in crypto — and seems a bit of a joke to those on the outside. For those in the know, Dogecoin is an example of crypto’s dedication to the absurd rather than sticking to traditional financial systems. Billy Markus’ net worth comes from his investments in Dogecoin, being Dogecoin’s co-founder, and his career as a software engineer.
Dogecoin is probably older than you think — almost as old as Bitcoin. It was developed in 2013 by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, who originally developed Dogecoin as a joke, playing on other established cryptocurrencies of the time.
We dive into Dogecoin’s history and the path of its co-founder. We also look at Billy Markus’ net worth, and see what it takes to create an internet movement.
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Billy Markus is an American software engineer. Born in Oregon in 1983, he has spent much of his career working in computer development. Cryptocurrency development was a natural fit for the software engineer.
Before developing Dogecoin, Markus worked at the International Business Machines Corporation (IMB).
Markus and his friend, Jackson Palmer, developed Dogecoin in 2013. It began as a joke poking fun at the volatility of conventional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and the two decided that the joke would do well against the backdrop of serious cryptocurrencies.
Palmer and Markus worked together to get Dogecoin off the ground. Palmer bought the domain Dogecoin.com, added the coin’s iconic logo and a hilariously generic Comic Sans typeface, and then handed everything over to Markus to do the software engineering parts of the project.
Dogecoin was one of the very first meme coins in crypto. Meme coins are exactly what they sound like — crypto currency based on memes.
Meme coins are surprisingly controversial, with the government of Thailand banning them in 2021, and investigations into the promotion of meme currency Floki Inu by an ad agency in London being more serious examples.
Other than official scrutiny, crypto experts are also critical of the movement, citing that meme coins exist purely as a joke and demean crypto currencies as a whole. In an industry where the vast majority of people are already skeptical about crypto in general, their concern is understandable.
On the other hand, meme coin enthusiasts argue that meme coins make crypto less scary and more welcoming. Putting a familiar face onto crypto creates familiarity, rather than newcomers being confronted with Bitcoin numbers and stats about investments.
Doge is a meme featuring a shiba inu and surrounded by whimsical text saying things like “such wow”, “much concern”, “many fast”.
Dogecoin was created as a joke, and didn’t see much traction until the cryptocurrency bubble formed in 2016-2017, where it skyrocketed in value. When the bubble burst in 2018, it saw massive devaluation like the rest of the cryptocurrency. Its value recovered somewhat in 2020, but not to the levels it had seen in years past.
In the years since Dogecoins creation, there have been many other meme coins popping up — most notable of which include Nyancoin (based on nyancat), Shiba Inu, and versions of the original Dogecoin, like Dogedash and Dogelon Mars.
The value of meme coins periodically rises and falls, but the current boom can be traced back to the GameStop stock prices soaring thanks to a subreddit community inflating the store’s stocks. This was eventually halted, and the group felt as if they had been betrayed by the interests of rich people manipulating the stock market.
Angry at their situation, the group discovered Dogecoin. Not only was Dogecoin on the blockchain in a decentralized financial system — and so safe from manipulation — it was also based on a meme from the same internet culture. Feeling that Dogecoin was created in the same culture and represented the same values (unlike the stock market), this group adopted Dogecoin as their next project.
Dogecoin was further popularized by Elon Musk’s promotion of it on Twitter.
Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is extremely volatile, and the expense of it dissuades many who can’t afford to invest in it. Meme coins, on the other hand, don’t have the same restrictions that currencies like Bitcoin have. Dogecoin, for example, is an unlimited resource with billions of coins on the blockchain, while the amount of Bitcoin available on the blockchain halves periodically, creating digital scarcity.
This means that meme coins come at a fraction of the price of Bitcoin, and makes it more accessible to many more people, who often buy large amounts of coins at a time. There are also so many meme coin currencies — over 250 of them — because they’re also incredibly easy to produce, at a small fraction of the effort of other cryptocurrencies. This lends itself to meme culture, where new meme coins can be produced quickly to reflect new memes and internet trends.
As a meme coin, Dogecoin wasn’t taken seriously for a long time, and Markus actually abandoned the project only 7 months after developing the crypto currency. He reported that the space wasn’t welcoming to a joke that had gained so much popularity in the space. Instead, he shifted his priorities to social media in June 2014 where, ironically, his social media growth caused Dogecoin to skyrocket in popularity.
Billy Markus uses his online persona, Shibetoshi Nakamoto — a homage to Bitcoin’s founder Satoshi Nakamoto — on social media and community platforms, where he interacts with the community even in 2022. He reported that in 2015 he sold all of his Dogecoin due to financial difficulties.
Billy Markus’ net worth comes from a combination of his Dogecoin investments and achievements in the field of software engineering. After Elon Musk tweeted his support of Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency skyrocketed in value and popularity.
Because crypto is such a volatile space the value of the various cryptocurrencies fluctuates drastically… And Dogecoin is no different. Despite the recent crash in Q2 of 2022, Billy Markus’ net worth wasn’t impacted as badly as it could have, and his net worth is currently at 18 million dollars thanks to his other various investments and his professional career.
Billy Markus has been in the spotlight ever since he co-founded Dogecoin in 2013, and even 9 years later his impact in the community can be seen. Dogecoin triggered hundreds of similar meme coins that were widely criticized but also praised for their inclusivity and for making crypto a more friendly and accessible space.
Billy Markus found success in this space because he created something that was relatable for many while also being aware of crypto’s faults while developing his cryptocurrency.
His move to social media with a persona was also significant in driving traffic to Dogecoin, showing that communities formed on social media are an effective way to promote your projects in regards to crypto.
While there are now hundreds of meme coins now, let’s not forget the one that started them all. Meme coins might be a dime a dozen now, but back in 2013 when Dogecoin was first developed it was a brilliant idea that played on community anxieties about the space.
When developing your own projects in this space, whether it be cryptocurrency, software, or NFTs, it’s best to keep up to date with current trends to identify gaps you can fill. Dogecoin made light of anxieties, but it did so in a way that was innovative and fun.
Also remember that new ideas aren’t always well-received by everyone. Not everyone liked Dogecoin, and it was only really when Elon Musk and other celebrities began to publicly praise it that it gained popularity.
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