Dogecoin (DOGE)

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For those of you not in on the joke, please go here first. If it still doesn't make sense, that's all right, too. Dogecoin is probably the only digital currency to start off as a joke; for example, those who know the industry realize the 100 billion coin mintage cap is ridiculously high. Actually, though, it's estimated that close to 15% of that amount has been mined already, thanks to the Scrypt algorithm that makes it easier for individual miners to process blocks of transaction data. The currency was introduced as a “proof of concept” more than it was as a serious attempt at carving a niche in the alternative currency community. Although it was introduced as a half-joke, Dogecoin has proven to be quite popular with investors, partially because of its low price and affordability, and partially because it's a cryptocurrency that isn't afraid to have a sense of humor. It's a pretty new cryptocurrency, but its almost immediate popularity has a lot of folks in the industry taking it seriously.

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The “doge” Internet meme goes back as far as 2005, but Dogecoin was publicly introduced by programmer Billy Markus and marketer Jackson Palmer on December 6, 2013. The currency is maintained in a dogehouse somewhere in the western United States.