They use expressions like “such wow” and call each other “shibes”. Their preferred currency is fronted by a cute dog and wacky Comic Sans text, and their fervor has propelled it to a market capitalization of US$72 million.
Now fans of Dogecoin have an easy way to turn Canadian cash into the digital currency. On Saturday (February 15), the world’s first Dogecoin ATM went live in Vancouver, during the two-day CoinFest decentralized currency festival.
The following morning (February 16), the Georgia Straight headed down to Waves Coffee House (100-900 Howe Street) to check out the Dogecoin ATM. Essentially a Google Nexus 7 tablet and a bill validator mounted on a briefcase, the machine sat on a table, just a few feet away from the world’s first Bitcoin ATM.
“We want to get a Doge shell and stick this inside,” Gray said.
Using the ATM involves pressing “Doge” on the touchscreen, scanning a QR code containing your Dogecoin address, inserting cash, and hitting “To the moon”. Moments later, the dogecoins will arrive in your digital wallet. (Gray can help you set one up if needed.)
Unfortunately, it wasn’t working on Sunday morning, so this journalist wasn’t able to convert a few bucks into digital coins. Unlike the Bitcoin ATM, the Dogecoin machine doesn’t allow you to sell your coins for cash.
For the unfamiliar, Dogecoin is a new cryptocurrency based on Litecoin, which itself is a spin-off of Bitcoin. It was created in December 2013. Depending on who you talk to, Doge is pronounced “dough-g”, “doggy”, or “dodge”. Its mascot is the Shiba Inu dog from the Doge Internet meme.
According to CoinMarketCap.com, Dogecoin has the fifth largest market capitalization among cryptocurrencies, behind Bitcoin, Ripples, Litecoin, and Peercoin. At time of writing, one dogecoin (DOGE) was valued at US$0.0014.
Gray asserted that Dogecoin is unlike anything ever seen before in history. He’s not aware of any local businesses that accept the altcoin, but he’s considering going door to door in order to encourage stores to adopt it.
“The thing about Doge is that it’s not just a currency,” Gray said. “It’s more like a corporation, and anyone can market it and anyone can promote it.”
Gray added: “The thing is everyone has incentive to market Doge, because the price will go up. If you’re a stakeholder in the Doge company or corporation just by owning coins, then you’ll be making money. So, it’s giving people incentive to just take this absurd joke and throw it into the farthest reaches of the universe.”
Later on Sunday morning, Jackson Warren, cofounder of Bitcoiniacs and CoinTrader, told the Straight that he expects to be able to install next week a permanent Dogecoin ATM at Waves.
“We’ve been working on building these mini ATMs that do Bitcoin and Dogecoin for less than $1,000, but we’re getting the housing built right now,” Warren said during a break at the CoinFest currency conference, which took place at Simon Fraser University’s Segal Graduate School of Business.
According to Warren, the prototype ATM uses the DogeAPI exchange rate and charges no fees at this time.