Dogecoin (DOGE) might look like a fun meme coin, particularly as its price has absolutely skyrocketed in 2021.
But behind the innocent Shiba Inu dog cartoon are some horrific stories. Those buying the cryptocurrency due to shilling and jokes from Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, most likely have no idea of DOGE's early days.
The early days
Introduced by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer in December 2013, Dogecoin's protocol followed Luckycoin and Litecoin (LTC) proof-of-work algorithm using Scrypt technology.
It all started back on Christmas day, 2013, when Dogewallet announced that its webpage had been compromised, causing users to send funds to the hacker's address. A total of $12,000 worth of users' coins lost was reimbursed by Dogecoin Foundation Board Member Ben Doernberg's efforts, including community-funded donations.
How many times have you heard about altcoins or startups focusing on social network micropayments using cryptocurrency? Inspired by the Bitcointip project, which had been going on for over a year, the Dogetipbot service was launched, enabling automatic DOGE tipping on Reddit, Twitch and Twitter.
Unfortunately, Dogetipbot's creator cashed out the entire stash in 2015, which later led to the service's bankruptcy in May 2017.
Much sponsorships, such exit scams
Adding to Dogecoin's unorthodox origins, there's the "Wolong" tale, an active pseudonym on IRC and Reddit trading groups back then. By taking advantage of the Jamaican's bobsled team sponsorship announcement, this trader supposedly coordinated whales to pump DOGE by 600% in Jan. 2014.
A well-documented piece attributed to this person circulates on the web, describing every move behind those coordinated pump efforts. More interestingly, the mentioned public and private discussion groups are eerily similar to the recent r/SatoshiBets actions behind the more recent 2021's Dogecoin 980% pump.
Lastly, in October 2014, the Moolah altcoin exchange announced it was shutting down and filing for bankruptcy protection, marking another strong price correction as seen in the chart above.
Among the investors who were victimized are Dan Wasyluk and his colleagues, losing a total of 750 BTC. Back then, not so many exchanges listed DOGE. Thus, Moolah did provide some vital infrastructure to the online community at the time.
To sum up, Moolah's founder "Alex Green," managed the campaign for a NASCAR driver sponsorship, in addition to financing numerous Dogecoin meetups and Twitter promotions.
Eventually, people found out that "Alex Green" was an alias used by Ryan Kennedy, who was sentenced to 11 years jail time for multiple crimes, including rape.
Despite its early dark days that were filled with pump and dump exit scams, however, Dogecoin appears to have found its niche in the cryptocurrency space and with a strong online community. Its Reddit subforum, for instance, has over one million subscribers today.
Therefore, Dogecoin's volatile beginnings will likely be forgotten. Nevertheless, DOGE certainly has a long history of people using it to pump and dump their bags way before Elon Musk likely even knew about his favorite meme-inspired cryptocurrency.
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