Dogecoin, the 139-day-old cryptocurrency, held its first conference in San Francisco Friday where hundreds of the currency’s devotees turned out to show their support and, of course, “tip” anyone with a QR code handy.
Dogecoin founder Jackson Palmer gave the keynote during which he discussed the currency’s unexpected journey from joke to reality and the future of the cryptocurrency that in just over four months has already become the most widely traded virtual currency in the world.
Palmer, who was involved in other cryptocurrency communities at the time, officially launched dogecoin in December of 2013. The currency was quickly embraced by the Reddit community who has collectively given out $150,000 in dogecoin “tips” to other Reddit users, Palmer said.
During his keynote, the dogecoin founder said that the viability of digital currencies shouldn’t depend on its value in U.S. dollars. (Currently, 1 dogecoin is about $0.0005, according to BitInfoCharts.)
“Unfortunately, a lot of communities around cryptocurrency, that’s all they care about,” he said. “I don’t wake up every day and wonder about what my paycheck is. You shouldn’t wake up every day and worry about what Bitcoin is in U.S. dollars or what Dogecoin is in U.S. dollars.”
He said the eventual success of the currency will depend on its widespread adoption by both consumers and businesses.
“The key to our success is to build merchant and user redemption,” he said. “We need to encourage more small businesses and big businesses to start adopting dogecoin as a form of payment. We need to build demand for people that want to pay using dogecoin.”
Palmer also talked at length about dogecoin’s community and the charitable reputation the currency’s users have already earned.
The Dogecoin Foundation, a nonprofit organization created by the currency’s founders, has already raised more than a $100,000 for charities, Palmer said, including an initiative that raised $30,000 (about 20 million dogecoin) to provide service dogs to children with disabilities.
Reddit’s r/dogecoin community also helped raise funds to send Jamaica’s bobsled team to the Sochi Winter Olympics and, more recently, raised $55,000 (roughly 67 million dogecoin) to sponsor an underdog Nascar driver at Talladega.
Much dogecoin pic.twitter.com/7HiMY8VXMb
— Doge (@DogeTheDog) April 6, 2014
“We need to keep up the fun community spirit we have, we need to never lose sight of the fact that there’s a dog on our coin,” Palmer told the crowd of more than 400 who attended the event, which was organized by Follow The Coin.