Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency invented by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, who decided to create a payment system that is instant, fun, and free from traditional banking fees. Dogecoin features the face of the Shiba Inu dog from the "Doge" meme as its logo and namesake. It was introduced on December 6, 2013, and quickly developed its own online community reaching the market capitalization of US $6.70 billion as on February 17, 2021.
In January 2021, Dogecoin went up over 800% in 24 hours as a result of attention from Reddit users, partially encouraged by Elon Musk and the GameStop short squeeze. In February 2021, Dogecoin hit its all-time high price following Twitter encouragement from Elon Musk, Snoop Dogg and Gene Simmons.
Originally created as a joke, Dogecoin was co-founded by IBM software engineer Billy Markus from Portland, Oregon and Adobe software engineer Jackson Palmer, who set out to create a peer-to-peer digital currency that could reach a broader demographic than Bitcoin. In addition, they wanted to distance it from the controversial history of other coins. Dogecoin was officially launched on December 6, 2013, and within the first 30 days, there were over a million visitors to Dogecoin.com.
Markus had designed Dogecoin's protocol based on existing cryptocurrencies, Luckycoin and Litecoin, which use scrypt technology in their proof-of-work algorithm. The use of scrypt means that miners cannot use SHA-256 bitcoin mining equipment, and instead must use dedicated FPGA and ASIC devices for mining which are known to be more complex to produce.
Initially, Dogecoin featured a randomized reward that is received for each mining block, however, in March 2014 this behaviour was later updated to a static block reward.
Dogecoin started its initial coin production schedule with 100 billion coins in circulation. By mid-2015 the 100 billionth Dogecoin had been mined with an additional 5 billion coins put into circulation every year thereafter. There is currently no implemented hard cap on the total supply of Dogecoins.