[News] Dogecoin crypto hits the bigtime
Every dog has its day.
Dogecoin, launched in 2013, began life as an ironic take on cryptocurrencies. The idea? Turn the famous ‘doge’ Internet meme into a real cryptocurrency for laughs. With its tiny price-per-coin as part of the joke, the two inventors of Dogecoin, Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, must be laughing hard now as their crypto has morphed into a kind of ‘crypto-meme’ — and is worth big money.
But why now? You may well ask. The rise of Dogecoin on social media is largely due to a hilarious Twitter meme-off between Elon Musk, Snoop Dogg, and Gene Simmons (of band KISS fame). The celebrities might have been only joking, and no one really knows why Disney’s Lion King Simba is part of it, too, but their influence is clearly huge on Dogecoin fans.
In late 2020 and 2021, the celebrity tweets went viral, and a flurry of social media activity pushed the value of Dogecoin upwards. This combination of fan support and celebrity attention saw last year’s price of around half a cent boom to a record $0.68 on May 5 — an increase of over 14,000% in five months.
The subsequent rise in market value to $88 billion led to Dogecoin joining official listings in the big cryptocurrency marketplaces.
The success must partly be due to the weird intersection of Twitter personalities involved. First, you have Elon Musk, who has invested a huge amount in Dogecoin in recent months after his jokey tweets went viral. He’s hosting Saturday Night Live this week in the U.S., which many expect will raise the profile of Dogecoin further.
No one’s quite sure how Gene Simmons of KISS got caught in the Dogecoin hype. He is a dog lover and a prolific tweeter so maybe it was algorithms. At one point, he tweeted it was all a joke and he didn’t understand cryptocurrency. But in February this year, he admitted he’d “bought a big position” in Dogecoin.
Rapper Snoop Dogg, responsible for a tweet back to Musk featuring himself as the Doge, hasn’t said he’s invested in Dogecoin. Yet Snoop Dogg is a shrewd investor in technology start-ups. He recently made a tidy profit out of a telemedicine company when it went public at $1.6 billion. He’s also launching his own cryptocurrency, Snoop Dogg Coin — a move that seems inspired by the success of Dogecoin.
Since the invention of cryptocurrency in 2009, anyone can launch a cryptocurrency using blockchain technology. If you’d like to know more about cryptocurrency without too much tech-speak, the introduction to Bitcoin on our blog is a great read.
Just like so many ideas that come to life from a simple start, let’s remember, Dogecoin is inspired by a meme drawn from a peculiar shot of a rescue-dog, named Kabosu — which was posted on a personal blog in 2010.
In other news
- Apple stops trackers… in their tracks. Last week Apple released iOS version 14.5 for the iPhone. Among other things, this update introduced App Tracking Transparency (ATT). This feature allows you to choose whether or not to allow your apps to track your online activities using a unique IDFA, or ‘Ad ID’. (Apple released a second update, 14.5.1, this week to address a bug that kept the prompts from displaying.)
On their blog, Electronic Frontier Foundation called Apple’s new feature “a solid step in the right direction,” pointing out that Ad IDs have never benefited a phone user in the way a web cookie might remember items in your shopping cart. EFF said they “applaud Apple’s efforts to give users more visible and granular choices to turn it off, and in particular ATT’s new requirement that app developers must ask for explicit permission to engage in this kind of tracking.”
- School apps caught sharing data. Gizmodo reports that the nonprofit organization Me2B Alliance tested a variety of school apps (the kinds often recommended by school districts for scheduling, announcements, etc.) and discovered that over 60% of them share private data with third parties. This data could include a child’s location, their contact list, and even the Ad ID. This data in turn would be shared with Facebook and Google as well as ad networks, all of which would use the information for targeted advertising. What’s troubling is that this data is also shared with hundreds of other third parties with unknown agendas.
Apparently, this behavior is more common on Android devices than iPhones, and with Apple’s ATT, it’s anticipated that the gulf between operating systems and privacy will continue to grow.
- This is your brain being tracked. To round up our tracking trifecta, Gizmodo reports that scientists have now figured out how to track a person’s brain activity throughout the day — and wirelessly. As published in Nature Biotechnology, the idea behind the research is to track erratic brain activity and use that data in conjunction with a deep brain stimulation device to help treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or seizures. It’s unclear exactly what kind of data gets tracked in this instance — so far, science hasn’t reached a Minority Report level of monitoring people’s actual thoughts — but researchers are already examining potential ethical considerations and the need to protect patient privacy.
- Microsoft finally removing Adobe Flash player. Although Adobe put Flash out of its misery at the end of 2020, announcing that “beginning January 12, 2021, Adobe strongly recommends all users immediately uninstall Flash Player to help protect their systems,” it took Microsoft a bit longer to pull the plug. According to an official statement, Microsoft will remove the Flash player from the Windows 10 operating system (and versions of Windows 8) in a systems update in July 2021.
Tip of the week
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To help you protect your privacy, check out our blog article that addresses ways you can protect your privacy online. We also have a guide to protecting the security and privacy of your small business.