Over the past year well over a hundred new cryptocurrencies have formed, each vying for a place alongside Bitcoin. Yet none have done so with the speed and ferocity that we’ve seen over the last few days from the unexpected newcomer Dogecoin. While part of its meteoric rise may have been due to a comedic push by 4chan, there is now little denying Dogecoin has found a niche with cryptocurrency enthusiasts. In the wake of an otherwise tumultuous week for cryptocurrencies, the lightheartedness of the Dogecoin community is both entertaining and uplifting. As such I’ve put together a guide on getting started with Dogecoin.
An Overview Of Dogecoin
Dogecoin (abbreviated DOGE) is a digital peer-to-peer currency similar to Bitcoin. Much like other cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin works through a decentralized network of Dogecoin users connected via the internet and all running the Dogecoin client, Dogecoin-qt. Similar to many other cryptocurrencies Dogecoin will have a limited supply. However, it differs considerably in that this supply is limited to 100 Billion DOGE, a much larger number than the 21 million for Bitcoin or 84 million for Litecoin.
The root for Dogecoin’s name lies with a popular internet meme, DOGE. There have been other cryptocurrencies based in comedy before, such as BBQcoin, which despite all odds is still around. Dogecoin went live on December 8th, 2013 and was met with much enthusiasm and support.
Similar to Litecoin, Dogecoin uses the Scrypt mining algorithm as its proof of work. Thus mining programs intended for Litecoin should work just as well with Dogecoin. However, Dogecoin differs considerably in the size of its mining reward. Where cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are designed to have a constant reward of 50 Bitcoin approximately every 10 minutes, halving every 4 years (i.e. 25, 12.5, etc.), Dogecoin differs. With Dogecoin blocks are designed to be discovered every 60 seconds with a breakdown as follows:
Block 1-100,000 – 0 – 1,000,000 Dogecoin Reward
Block 100,001-200,000 – 0 – 500,000 Dogecoin Reward
Block 200,001-300,000 – 0 – 250,000 Dogecoin Reward
Block 300,001-400,000 – 0 – 125,000 Dogecoin Reward
Block 400,001-500,000 – 0 – 62,500 Dogecoin Reward
Block 500,001-600,000 – 0 – 31,250 Dogecoin Reward
Block 600,000+ – 0 – 10,000 Dogecoin Reward
Of note is that the Dogecoin client also comes with a mining program installed, meant for CPU mining. I’ll be working on a Dogecoin mining guide shortly and hope to get it published soon, but in the meantime you could follow our guide on GPU mining Litecoin. Just point your miner at a Dogecoin pool instead of a Litecoin pool. At the time of this writing, Dustcoin.com is showing a 900% profitability in mining Dogecoin versus Litecoin. How long that lasts is anyone’s guess. I also put together a Dogecoin Digging Calculator recently if you’d like to see how much Dogecoin you can earn with your current hash rate.
Update: Check out our Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Digging Dogecoin With A CPU for a primer on mining/digging Dogecoin.
Setting Up The Dogecoin Client
In order to use Dogecoin you’ll need to setup and run the Dogecoin client, Dogecoin-qt. You can get to the download links through the Dogecoin website or through this Bitcointalk thread. At the time of this writing the links on the Dogecoin website weren’t working for me, so I’ve included working links I’ve found for Windows v1.2 and Mac OS X v1.1 below.
Dogecoin-QT Windows [Download]
Dogecoin-QT Mac OS X [Download]
Once you’ve downloaded the Dogecoin-qt .zip file, locate it, right click and select ‘extract all’. Navigate to the folder you extracted and find the file named ‘dogecoin-qt’, double click to open Dogecoin-qt.
If you’re used to the Litecoin or Bitcoin clients you might find that Dogecoin-qt has a few variations. Where the buttons Overview, Send, Receive, Transactions, and Addresses are normally located you’ll find their Dogecoin counterparts Wow, Pls Send, Much Receive, Many History, Very Address, and Dig. Like early versions of Bitcoin, the Dogecoin client comes with a built in CPU mining program, the button labeled Dig. When you first load the client you should also see a message Synchronizing With The Network near the bottom left of the screen.
Securing Your Wallet
Once you get your Dogecoin wallet set up you’ll want to secure it. Regardless of the value of Dogecoin, you want to keep them nice and safe on your hard drive. To do so navigate to Settings->Encrypt Wallet. Once there you’ll be prompted to enter a passphrase of 10 or more random characters or eight or more words. Make sure to either pick something you can remember or to write down and store your code somewhere. If you do lose this password it is very difficult and often impossible to recover your coins.
Before introducing you to the Dogecoin communities, it should be noted that they seem to have formed their own hybrid language, so wow, very crypto. While some cryptocurrency subreddits were busy this week posting suicide hotlines, the subreddit /r/Dogecoin became what is currently one of the most hilarious places on the internet. But you don’t have to venture to reddit to get your laughs, Dogecoin has its own forum, blog, facebook, twitter, website, wiki… need I go on?
Normally when I do these guides I hand out a bunch of free coins to new users, but seeing as I don’t have any yet I can’t quite do that. However, I do plan on acquiring some shortly and there are a lot of generous Dogecoin users out there at the moment. If you’d like you are welcome to post a Dogecoin address alongside comments below and perhaps some generous user will shoot a few your way. There’s also been a subreddit setup to aid Dogecoin beggers, if that’s what you’re into.
Other than that several cryptocurrency exchanges have started to offer trading of Dogecoin with a myriad of other currencies.
I would note that I’ve heard mixed reviews of these exchanges and don’t use them myself, so use at your own risk! You can also buy and trade in Dogecoin on the Dogecoin market subreddit /r/dogemarket.
Update: There are also a number of Dogecoin faucets that regularly handout Dogecoin:
With Dogecoin the price isn’t the focus, the fun is. With a lot of money having moved into the cryptocurrency markets lately it is easy to get sidetracked and let greed lead. Taking a break with something as comical, and at the same time serious, as Dogecoin is a needed respite. If you’re new to cryptocurrencies and are looking for a place to learn about them and have fun, then Dogecoin is your answer. With that said, in regards to the price, it has risen quite fast. Given the comical nature I wouldn’t advise putting your life savings in the coin. Rather get your hands on some DOGE and play around, have fun, don’t get too serious.
Feel free to share this anywhere as well, the more new shibes the better!