Wow — So profit: An introduction to Dogecoin

We have reached a new, super-meta-post-postmodern stage of development in digital currencies, and in the internet in general.

For those totally baffled by the above headline, you first need to get up to speed on Doge. Doge, explained here, is the internet’s meme du jour. Basically, it’s a photo of a dog with a scattered, quasi-intelligible inner monologue written in Comic Sans.

Memes, in the classical definition of the word, are ideas that spread virally to contagion at a society-wide level. On sites like Reddit and Tumblr and BuzzFeed, memes are more like running jokes, but the contagion effect is more or less the same.

You can double up memes — say, Nic Cage’s face on a Shiba Inu — to cross-pollinate two meme ideas. Or, you can take such a vessel of virality and superimpose it on a platform that allows for instant peer-to-peer interaction that itself grows stronger as it approaches contagion.

Thus, we have Dogecoin.

If your head hurts from all of this, that’s because, well, the internet.

Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, with mining and an imposed limit and all that. Miners work on the Scrypt algorithm, a la Litecoin, and there are a possible 100 billion Dogecoins that can be mined.

And God help us all, Dogecoins are actually being mined and traded for monetary value. That value is negligible — one Dogecoin is worth about 0.00023 USD — but this is happening all the same.

Expect the Doge meme to burn out soon. In the meantime, though, why not ride the wave during Bitcoin’s swoon (at the time of writing, Bitcoin has just dipped below 500 USD)?