- Black man films ‘Crosswalk Cathy’ yelling racist slurs at him Tuesday 6:47 PM
- Guerrilla artists turn John Oliver billboard ad into right-wing meme Tuesday 4:20 PM
- Netflix lines up unnecessarily good cast for ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ Tuesday 3:48 PM
- Netflix drops trailer for Mötley Crüe biopic ‘The Dirt’—and the cast is wild Tuesday 3:41 PM
- QAnon’s repetitive posts are alienating even his most ardent supporters Tuesday 3:36 PM
- Noah Cyrus cries on Instagram after Lil Xan’s baby announcement Tuesday 2:26 PM
- The ‘Well yes, but actually no’ meme is here to help you explain things Tuesday 12:07 PM
- Judge orders Roger Stone to appear in court after his Instagram post Tuesday 11:24 AM
- I worked with the migrant caravan—and Trump is the cause of his national emergency Tuesday 11:09 AM
- How to watch Liverpool vs. Bayern Munich online for free Tuesday 11:08 AM
- ‘Patriot Act’ volume 2 proves Hasan Minhaj is the next big star of the news-comedy genre Tuesday 11:01 AM
- ‘Friends From College’ canceled after 2 seasons at Netflix Tuesday 10:53 AM
- Allow your wallet to be your spirit guide during this rad anime sale Tuesday 10:43 AM
- Man stages fake DUI trial to propose to girlfriend, and people are asking why Tuesday 10:40 AM
- Bernie Sanders’ website full of 404s on launch day Tuesday 10:23 AM
For starters, real-life Shiba Inus came.
“Such soft,” the 20-something in front of me said to his friend as he petted a real-life Shiba Inu. He didn’t say it enthusiastically, really, but kind of in a monotone, like an afterthought. As if anybody actually talked that way normally.
This was, however, the one place they do. I was at the first-ever Dogecoin party, held Friday evening at the Bitcoin Center in downtown New York City, right by Wall Street. It very well may have been the first-ever party based on the Doge meme, an Internet joke we thought was dying as 2013 wound down, then reinvigorated as the loveable alternative to Bitcoin.
Either way, I’ve never seen so many real-life Shiba Inu dogs. Or heard so much use of the word “wow” dropped into casual conversation. Or witnessed so many people dressed in Doge-themed clothes.
I don’t get invited to a lot of Bitcoin parties, but surely those aren’t so unpretentious, so intentionally silly. As a peer-to-peer virtual currency, Dogecoin doesn’t function much differently than Bitcoin, but it’s still cheap, and its practical uses are limited. So it’s mostly just given away: to charities, as tips to people online, or to send various bobsledders to fulfill their Olympic dreams.
Naturally, that mix of generosity and goofiness is what I found at the party. Organizer Ben Doernberg made it rain with free Dogecoin wallets, while music (I think it was Future’s “Gone to the Moon“) played. There was a costume party so competitive that the astronauts featured above didn’t even win.
And, of course, NYC Shiba Rescue, a local nonprofit, brought a few Shibas to parade around and had a QR code for people to donate their dogecoins.
David Depasquale, who often sketches for Dogecoin tips as wolfinsheeps on Reddit‘s r/dogecoin, set up a stand to sell handmade sketches for 1,000 dogecoins. That’s not worth a lot: about $1.10. But that’s not really the point of Doge. I asked him what he does with his dogecoins. He shrugged. “Mostly I just tip it back to other people,” he said.
Finally, I got the urge to make my first real-life Dogecoin purchase. I made my way to the cupcake table: 2,000 doge ($2.20) each.
A lanky teenager, dressed as Jake from Adventure Time, seemingly giddy with excitement, saw me fiddling with my first payment. “Isn’t this great?” he asked. “I already got a shirt and a drawing, just for Doge.”
It was. I already had the dough loaded on my phone through the official Dogecoin app, so I just scanned his QR code, typed in 2,000, and ate.
The cupcake wasn’t anything to write home about, but that wasn’t the point. The point, I think, was that I had just made a very small transaction, and that I did so easily and without U.S. currency—from an older guy who, for some reason, was wearing a squid costume. While an animal rescue group a few feet away raked in donations from a silly, but still functional, kind of money.
Photos by Kevin Collier
A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.