Joke bitcoin alternative dogecoin surges in value but creator expects investors to ‘lose large sums of money’

Aatif Sulleyman

The price of a digital currency originally created as a joke has surged.

Dogecoin’s market capitalisation exceeded $2bn over the weekend, with its value driven by the huge growth in interest around bitcoin.

Its value has dipped slightly since then, but it is still worth well over $1.5bn.

At the time of publication, a single dogecoin is worth $0.015438, according to CoinMarketCap.

There are 112,676,542,843 in circulation, however, which have an overall value of $1,739,477,933. On Sunday, the overall value of the currency reached more than $2bn.

The creator of dogecoin, Jackson Palmer, believes it is “worrying” that most conversations around digital currencies focus on the investment potential rather than the underlying technology.

“I haven’t held a substantial amount of dogecoin since early-2015 so the market cap doesn’t mean a lot to me – it does however act as a barometer for crypto mania and speculation,” he said on Twitter.

“I have a lot of faith in the dogecoin core development team to keep the software stable and and secure, but I think it says a lot about the state of the cryptocurrency space in general that a currency with a dog on it which hasn’t released a software update in over 2 years has a $1B+ market cap.”

He also believes we’re in a bubble that will “inevitably” burst.

“I think it’s relatively safe to label the current market as a ‘bubble’, although it’s hard to predict how much it’ll inflate and for how long before it inevitably bursts,” he added.

“My one hope is that when that does happen and people lose large sums of money, the negativity in the market doesn’t stifle technological innovation or interest in digital currency from the mainstream.”

Dogecoin started as a parody named after an internet meme about a Shiba Inu dog.

“Dogecoin is an open source peer-to-peer digital currency, favored by Shiba Inus worldwide,” dogecoin’s website reads.

“’Doge’ is our fun, friendly mascot! The Shiba Inu is a Japanese breed of dog that was popularized as an online meme and represents dogecoin.”