09 Jun 2021 #Dogecoin
In his recent appearance on the Lex Fridman podcast, Ethereum co-creator, Vitalik Buterin, revealed he profited more than $4 million from a $25,000 investment that he made into Dogecoin during 2016. But true to form, he gave it all away to charity. Dogecoin was created in December 2013 and sought to capitalize on the popularity of the then-popular Shiba Inu-inspired doge meme, with Vitalik describing DOGE as among the first “fun coins” launched into the burgeoning crypto asset ecosystem.
Although he was impressed by the community that had formed around DOGE, Vitalik joked about the lack of investment thesis informing his decision, stating: “At the beginning, people didn’t take it very seriously […] I just remembered thinking to myself, how am I going to explain to my mum that I just invested $25,000 into Dogecoin […] like the only interesting thing about this coin is a logo of a dog somewhere. But of course, that was one of the best investments I have ever made.”
Although Buterin stated that DOGE “did really well” over the following years, he recalled being caught off-guard by the speculative frenzy that resulted from Elon Musk’s fascination with the meme-coin. Musk’s interest in DOGE appeared to stem after a 2019 community vote that revealed the SpaceX founder to be the project’s most-desired hypothetical CEO in 2019 — four years after Dogecoin’s founder had abandoned the project.
Despite backing the project relatively early into its development, Buterin emphasized he did not anticipate that Dogecoin would capture the mainstream imagination and re-emerge as a leading crypto asset by capitalization: “DOGE becoming this big phenomenon, where there’s even a lot of people that have heard of DOGE that have not heard of Ethereum, is something that even I was not predicting.”
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