Developed to poke fun at Bitcoin alternatives, Dogecoin is having its day in the sun thanks to popular trading apps eToro and Gemini.
Often regarded as a joke cryptocurrency, Dogecoin had the last laugh on Tuesday as its value soared by almost half in 24 hours during European trading hours.
The value of Dogecoin tokens increased by 48 per cent at one point but dipped back to $0.52 (€0.43) as of 5pm CET - still an increase of 32 per cent on its value on Monday - amid a flurry of trading activity that also saw Ethereum hit an all-time high.
The surge follows a decision by online trading company eToro on Monday to add Dogecoin to its platform, making the cryptocurrency available to its 20 million registered users for the first time. As the price surged on Tuesday afternoon, another exchange, Gemini, announced that they too would begin listing the coin.
Although Dogecoin is now one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies on the market, trading platforms and exchanges such as Coinbase have resisted adding Dogecoin to their portfolios because of its extreme price volatility.
Dogecoin, inspired by the popular doge meme, was developed in 2013 by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, two software engineers who worked for IBM and Adobe respectively.
The cryptocurrency was initially intended to poke fun at the rise of alternatives to Bitcoin, or “altcoins,” but quickly amassed a dedicated following on social media.
Given its low cost and high supply, Dogecoin has become a practical and preferred method of microtipping (a means of virtually tipping using a digital wallet) for content on social networks like reddit and twitter.
Dogecoin has also managed to catch the eye of Elon Musk, the world’s second richest man, who has at times been instrumental in boosting the coin’s price by tweeting his support.
In one instance last week, the coin surged 20 per cent in price in 24 hrs to $0.32 (€0.27) following a tweet from Musk that simply said “The Dogefather SNL May 8,” a reference to his upcoming appearance as guest host on infamous satirical show, Saturday Night Live.
In February, the Tesla CEO even offered to buy out Dogecoin “whales,” investors who own large amounts of cryptos and can significantly impact the market with their trading activity.
According to Musk, they are preventing Dogecoin from becoming a mainstream currency.
“If major Dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support,” he tweeted on February 15. “Too much concentration is the only real issue imo. I will literally pay actual $ if they just void their accounts”.