If you’re still inclined to scoff at Dogecoin’s future as a payments tool, chew on this.
Substantially more U.S. consumers told PYMNTS that they know about Dogecoin — a so-called “memecoin” literally created as a joke — than ether, the No.2 cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $375 billion. That’s nearly 20 times Dogecoin’s $19 billion the market cap.
Asked about cryptocurrencies they had heard of but not purchased, nearly 37% of the respondents to PYMNTS 2022 U.S. Crypto Consumer study named Dogecoin, compared to 30% who said that about ether.
And before you say, “Oh, well, that’s obviously because more people actually bought ether,” don’t get too excited. While more people said they currently hold ether than dogecoin — about 7% to 6% — there were more former holder of DOGE than ETH.
That still left dogecoin solidly ahead of every other crypto, including top payments altcoins including litecoin, bitcoin cash and stellar — to say nothing of Circle’s USD Coin stablecoin and top Ethereum competitor Cardano.
This is despite the reality that as the native token of the main smart contract platform, Ethereum, ether is arguably the most important cryptocurrency in blockchain except as an investment. Bitcoin has that position, of course, but Ethereum underlies most uses of crypto as a non-payments tool, such as decentralized finance, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and supply chain management.
Dogecoin has also had some good pickup among U.S. consumers who have used cryptocurrency for payments, with 43% using it for online purchases and 32% for buying things in stores.
But it’s worth noting that this was near the numbers of at least a dozen cryptocurrencies that have already been used for purchases — admittedly a still-small but rapidly growing percentage of the U.S. consumers surveyed.
Dogecoin, on the other hand, has Tesla CEO SpaceX tweeting memes of the shiba inu dog that fronts DOGE tokens. (Don’t confuse that with the Dogecoin-competitor Shiba Inu, a blockchain whose “shiba inu” token will hereafter be called by its exchange symbol, SHIB, for clarity.)
Which could explain why fewer U.S. consumers had never heard of dogecoin than of ether: Would-be Twitter buyer Musk has 82.5 million followers on the social media platform.
And if you want to see how much power Musk’s memes have, check out the difference between his current Twitter following (around 82 million) and its size when the above-linked article ran in December.
Fake It Till You Make It
On April 15, AMC movie theater chain CEO Adam Aron tweeted out news that “exactly as promised,” the company’s U.S. mobile app now takes DOGE and SHIB, along with unspecified “other crypto currencies.”
Exactly as promised, the AMC mobile app for AMC’s U.S. theatres now accepts online payments using Doge Coin, Shiba Inu, and other crypto currencies — thanks to Bitpay. Also Apple Pay, Google Pay and Paypal. To do so, you first will need to update to the latest version of our app. pic.twitter.com/MMy7SIxYbl
— Adam Aron (@CEOAdam) April 15, 2022
Aron came into the crosshairs of the rabid dogecoin owner base, which kept the token alive until Musk’s market moving tweets brought it back into the public eye in the wake of the WallStreetBets subreddit championed AMC in its high-profile short-seller battle.
It had already added support for bitcoin, ether, litecoin and bitcoin cash in November.
AMC’s addition of dogecoin to its app came a day after Vlad Tenev, CEO of stock and crypto exchange Robinhood — which supports DOGE — wondered on Twitter, “Can #Doge truly be the future currency of the Internet and the people?”
Can #Doge truly be the future currency of the Internet and the people? As we added the ability to send/receive DOGE on Robinhood, I’ve been thinking about what that would take.
— VLAD (@vladtenev) April 14, 2022
Putting that last point in perspective, the 2013-era coin had not had an active foundation until it was reformed this year — with a Musk rep and Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin on the board.
In its own way even more impressive — well, intriguing anyway — is the prominence of SHIB, the token of the Shiba Inu blockchain, which was essentially created as a Dogecoin clone with some of the original’s deliberate failings.
(Dogecoin co-creator Jackson Palmer said in an interview that he and his partner in mischief in the blockchain’s hours-long creation and launch asked themselves “how do we make this as ridiculous as possible? So how do we make it as undesirable as a cryptocurrency so that it doesn’t become serious?”)
While the fairly new SHIB has been heard of by a lot fewer consumers, it’s tied for fourth place with litecoin in the survey’s list of currently held cryptocurrencies, and ahead of bitcoin cash and USDC stablecoin.
Among other things, SHIB was built smart contract-ready — Dogecoin was created years before Ethereum introduced the self-executing contracts — and using Ethereum-compatible tokens.
And the projects developers do have the marketing chops to catch hype waves beyond just Doge’s, with several NFT lines launched and a recently announced metaverse project in the works — and really anyone who’s anyone has one under development.