Fintech

Dogecoin's surge prompts online brokers to support trading

For firms like Robinhood and Webull, the coin born from jokey internet memes is serious business.

​A collectible souvenir represents the dogecoin cryptocurrency.

A collectible souvenir represents the dogecoin cryptocurrency.

Photo: Liu Junfeng/Visual China Group via Getty Images

The hottest cryptocurrency right now is a joke.

The coin, inspired by a meme about the inner dialogue of an easily astonished shiba inu, has skyrocketed in popularity thanks to Elon Musk and other celebrities promoting the token. Musk, who has frequently tweeted about dogecoin, is set to host "Saturday Night Live" this weekend and has suggested he'll feature the currency on air.

The impending pop-culture moment has only added to the cryptocurrency's momentum. The price of the token has soared more than a hundredfold this year. The rapid rise has attracted some of the same traders who swarmed meme stocks this year — and some of the same online brokerages they use, including Robinhood, Webull and eToro, are also trying to profit from the dogecoin phenomenon.

The dogecoin in circulation is now worth more than $70 billion, making it the fourth most-valuable crypto after bitcoin, ether and Binance coin, according to CoinMarketCap. On Tuesday alone, Dogecoin spiked nearly 50% in price.

Musk tweeted in December: "One word: Doge." The price of one dogecoin was $0.0045 then. It's now worth a hundred times that.

In January, dogecoin's price jumped further after chatter on the r/SatoshiStreetBets group on Reddit sought to turn it into the next GameStop. Other celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Gene Simmons also jumped in with support.

Trading memes

Some of the same dynamics that drove GameStop and other stocks have driven dogecoin: a social media-inspired rally that's not necessarily based on any underlying investment thesis. Dogecoin has been around for seven years, after all.

One reason dogecoin is taking off now, though, may be the increased ease of trading in the cryptocurrency. Robinhood added support for dogecoin trading in 2018. Webull started trading on April 20. EToro, which is in the process of going public through a SPAC deal, added dogecoin on Monday.

Coinbase allows users to hold dogecoin in their crypto wallets, but it doesn't support trading.

The surge of dogecoin interest was so strong that in April it crashed Robinhood's ability to handle crypto trades. Robinhood also had a "partial outage" in crypto trading Tuesday amid a dogecoin spike.

The coin, originally called Bells, was based on the Animal Crossing game. It later changed its name to dogecoin to ride the shiba inu dog meme, where a canine delivers side eye along with ungrammatical interjections like "much wow."

Even co-creator Billy Markus said the current surge "doesn't make sense," telling the Wall Street Journal that dogecoin's "design was absurd and it was meant to be absurd."

Dogecoin was based on the litecoin token. Joking aside, it's a real cryptocurrency that can be traded for other digital currencies, exchanged for dollars or other fiat currencies, or used for payment. Mark Cuban's Dallas Mavericks and the Oakland Athletics baseball team have announced that they accept dogecoin.

"Dogecoin is the loudest reminder of how people are investing today — a real mix of investing for returns and utility, versus investing as consumption and identity," said Monica Desai, a partner at Kleiner Perkins. "Crypto is in many ways an investment meme category, and dogecoin is the ultimate crypto meme."

"I think this is just an extension of the movements around [r/WallStreetBets] and alternatives like collectibles — like those there will be winners and losers but they represent a lasting cultural change," Desai said.

Gemini, a crypto exchange, started taking dogecoin deposits Tuesday and said it would add trading soon.

"Dogecoin continues bitcoin's tradition of giving the control of money back to the people," CEO Tyler Winklevoss wrote in a blog post about Gemini's embrace of dogecoin. "Yes, it's a meme coin, but all money is a meme."

Enterprise

How I decided to leave the US and pursue a tech career in Europe

Melissa Di Donato moved to Europe to broaden her technology experience with a different market perspective. She planned to stay two years. Seventeen years later, she remains in London as CEO of Suse.

“It was a hard go for me in the beginning. I was entering inside of a company that had been very traditional in a sense.”

Photo: Suse

Click banner image for more How I decided seriesA native New Yorker, Melissa Di Donato made a life-changing decision back in 2005 when she packed up for Europe to further her career in technology. Then with IBM, she made London her new home base.

Today, Di Donato is CEO of Germany’s Suse, now a 30-year-old, open-source enterprise software company that specializes in Linux operating systems, container management, storage, and edge computing. As the company’s first female leader, she has led Suse through the coronavirus pandemic, a 2021 IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and the acquisitions of Kubernetes management startup Rancher Labs and container security company NeuVector.

Keep Reading Show less
Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Sponsored Content

Great products are built on strong patents

Experts say robust intellectual property protection is essential to ensure the long-term R&D required to innovate and maintain America's technology leadership.

Every great tech product that you rely on each day, from the smartphone in your pocket to your music streaming service and navigational system in the car, shares one important thing: part of its innovative design is protected by intellectual property (IP) laws.

From 5G to artificial intelligence, IP protection offers a powerful incentive for researchers to create ground-breaking products, and governmental leaders say its protection is an essential part of maintaining US technology leadership. To quote Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo: "intellectual property protection is vital for American innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Keep Reading Show less
James Daly
James Daly has a deep knowledge of creating brand voice identity, including understanding various audiences and targeting messaging accordingly. He enjoys commissioning, editing, writing, and business development, particularly in launching new ventures and building passionate audiences. Daly has led teams large and small to multiple awards and quantifiable success through a strategy built on teamwork, passion, fact-checking, intelligence, analytics, and audience growth while meeting budget goals and production deadlines in fast-paced environments. Daly is the Editorial Director of 2030 Media and a contributor at Wired.
Enterprise

UiPath had a rocky few years. Rob Enslin wants to turn it around.

Protocol caught up with Enslin, named earlier this year as UiPath’s co-CEO, to discuss why he left Google Cloud, the untapped potential of robotic-process automation, and how he plans to lead alongside founder Daniel Dines.

Rob Enslin, UiPath's co-CEO, chats with Protocol about the company's future.

Photo: UiPath

UiPath has had a shaky history.

The company, which helps companies automate business processes, went public in 2021 at a valuation of more than $30 billion, but now the company’s market capitalization is only around $7 billion. To add insult to injury, UiPath laid off 5% of its staff in June and then lowered its full-year guidance for fiscal year 2023 just months later, tanking its stock by 15%.

Keep Reading Show less
Aisha Counts

Aisha Counts (@aishacounts) is a reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software. Formerly, she was a management consultant for EY. She's based in Los Angeles and can be reached at acounts@protocol.com.

Workplace

Figma CPO: We can do more with Adobe

Yuhki Yamashita thinks Figma might tackle video or 3D objects someday.

Figman CPO Yuhki Yamashita told Protocol about Adobe's acquisition of the company.

Photo: Figma

Figma CPO Yuhki Yamashita’s first design gig was at The Harvard Crimson, waiting for writers to file their stories so he could lay them out in Adobe InDesign. Given his interest in computer science, pursuing UX design became the clear move. He worked on Outlook at Microsoft, YouTube at Google, and user experience at Uber, where he was a very early user of Figma. In 2019, he became a VP of product at Figma; this past June, he became CPO.

“Design has been really near and dear to my heart, which is why when this opportunity came along to join Figma and rethink design, it was such an obvious opportunity,” Yamashita said.

Keep Reading Show less
Lizzy Lawrence

Lizzy Lawrence ( @LizzyLaw_) is a reporter at Protocol, covering tools and productivity in the workplace. She's a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied sociology and international studies. She served as editor in chief of The Michigan Daily, her school's independent newspaper. She's based in D.C., and can be reached at llawrence@protocol.com.

Climate

Microsoft lays out its climate advocacy goals

The tech giant has staked out exactly what kind of policies it will support to decarbonize the world and clean up the grid.

Microsoft published two briefs explaining what new climate policies it will advocate for.

Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

The tech industry has no shortage of climate goals, but they’ll be very hard to achieve without the help of sound public policy.

Microsoft published two new briefs on Sept. 22 explaining what policies it will advocate for in the realm of reducing carbon and cleaning up the grid. With policymakers in the U.S. and around the world beginning to weigh more stringent climate policies (or in the U.S.’s case, any serious climate policies at all), the briefs will offer a measuring stick for whether Microsoft is living up to its ideals.

Keep Reading Show less
Brian Kahn

Brian ( @blkahn) is Protocol's climate editor. Previously, he was the managing editor and founding senior writer at Earther, Gizmodo's climate site, where he covered everything from the weather to Big Oil's influence on politics. He also reported for Climate Central and the Wall Street Journal. In the even more distant past, he led sleigh rides to visit a herd of 7,000 elk and boat tours on the deepest lake in the U.S.

Latest Stories
Bulletins