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Wednesday Watercooler


Tonight’s music video is “Another Free Woman” by Blackie & The Rodeo Kings. This is another talented group I heard at SXSW’s Grammy Museum Rolling Stones tribute night.

A UK Commonwealth version of the dogecoin, wearing a crown

Dogecoin: An international success? Wow.

The digital currency dogecoin (previously on the watercooler: introducing dogecoin, stolen dogecoins, and dogecoins for Jamaican Bobsled team), which is based on a meme but actually functional has become popular for tipping others on Reddit and Twitter. From The Daily Dot:

At a meetup in Sydney, Australia, last month, Dogecoin creator Jackson Palmer laid out his vision for the meme-themed cryptocurrency.

‘The Internet is asking for a currency … you can send to somebody else without having to worry about it,’ Palmer explained, “and it’s more tangible than clicking a button and that person getting a notification that said I liked it.”

‘The fact that if I post a cool song my friend loves, we can go to the bar on Friday and say “I bought you a beer with that.” I don’t think you’ll be buying cars, yachts, houses with this stuff, but micro transactions based off social media. Damn. That’s where it’s at.’

To an extent, Palmer’s vision has already come true. There are often days where the volume of Dogecoin transactions outstrips that of Bitcoin. In fact, the volume of Dogecoin transactions is so large, that the value of all the Dogecoing traded in a 24-hour period is regularly greater than the value of every Dogecoin in existence, because many coins are being sent back and forth multiple times per day.

As Palmer indicated, the reason for this sky-high transaction rate is that Dogecoin aficionados are tipping each other online, often using automated bots on Reddit or Twitter that make sending someone a some coins as easy as typing a few simple words.

The article goes on to explain why dogecoin tipping on Facebook is slower to catch on, because of that social network’s friend system. But it also offers an intriguing notion — is there a place for microtransactions with the functionality of a ‘like’ button, but where each one represents a tiny amount of currency? It seems like digital currencies could succeed at creating a kind of system of microtransactional patronage that many companies like Paypal have dreamed of but sort of failed to create.

The long-term usefulness of any crypto-currency is still up for debate. But the latest charity stunt for dogecoin is donating tens of thousands of dollars to a clean water campaign:

On Friday mysterious Dogecoin enthusiast @savethemhood donated 14 million Dogecoins via Twitter to Doge4Water, a Dogecoin Foundation-powered wells for clean water in the Tana River area of Eastern Kenya. The campaign was also spearheaded by Eric Nakagawa, the creator of lolcat hub I Can Has Cheezburger.

That contribution pushed the total donations to 40 million, or about $33,000 at current exchange rates. @savethemhood’s donation has been called the largest dogecoin tip in the cyrptocurrency’s three month history.

In fact, a recent video and accompanying article on Motherboard suggests “Dogecoins first 100 days were better than Bitcoin’s first 1,000.

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Image by dilletantiquity released under a Creative Commons Share Alike license.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and