Since its 2013 launch, Dogecoin has become the crypto industry's leading meme coin. Though investors and supporters understand the coin doesn't have functionality, they've trooped in the arena.
With an adoring fanbase and legions of committed investors, the Dogecoin Foundation is now shooting to enhance functionality.
Staking Coming Soon
Recently, Dogecoin has been focusing on staking. A day before Christmas, Dogecoin Foundation published a Dogecoin Trailmap - a lineup of products and functions they hope to bring to the meme coin.
As part of the trailmap, the Foundation confirmed it is working with Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin on a "uniquely Doge proposal" for proof-of-stake (PoS). The proposal aims to build a community staking PoS version, allowing members of the Dogecoin community to stake the coin and contribute to growth.
Dogecoin Foundation explained that, in exchange for staking and supporting the Dogecoin network, investors can receive additional DOGE tokens and airdrops.
The Community Staking version of PoS "will allow everyone, not just the big players, to participate in a way that rewards them for their contribution to running the network, and at the same time gives back to the whole community through charitable causes," the trailmap explains.
Buterin himself is a member of the Dogecoin Foundation. The billionaire developer came on board when the Foundation reconstituted back in July. Other members include Dogecoin co-founder Billy Markus and Dogecoin developer Max Keller. Neuralink chief executive Jared Birchall is also on the Foundation, representing the interests of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Staking will be a massive undertaking for Dogecoin. With its fanbase pushing to take the asset to $1, more and more crypto enthusiasts want a piece of Dogecoin. Activated staking is sure to generate additional interest.
At the end of the day, it's all about making sure the DOGE you hold becomes useful. Staking is a great way to accomplish that.
Dogecoin for Payments?
The possible introduction of staking is just one sign that Dogecoin's proponents want functionality. Musk himself is talking a lot of game for the coin, especially regarding payments.
In an interview as TIME Magazine's Person of the Year for 2021, Musk compared Dogecoin to Bitcoin for payments, throwing his weight behind the former. The billionaire suggested that even though DOGE was created as a joke, it has massive potential for payments. For one, DOGE handles way more transactions per second than Bitcoin.
Musk also criticized Bitcoin for being overly volatile, suggesting it can't serve as a store of value. For this reason, most investors prefer to hold Bitcoin than use it for payments. With a low transaction volume capacity and a high cost per transaction, Bitcoin isn't necessarily suited for the current payments system.
On the other hand, Dogecoin is "slightly inflationary," making it attractive for those looking to spend instead of hoarding DOGE as a store of value.
Musk went even further, tweeting that Tesla's official merch will accept DOGE for payments. It is worth remembering that the company stopped accepting Bitcoin for payments earlier in 2021, pointing out concerns over the asset's environmental impact.
Interestingly, none of these announcements have helped Dogecoin from a price perspective. The asset jumped by 25 percent the day after Musk made the merch announcement, but those gains were soundly erased as the market navigates a downturn.
Time for Dogecoin to Change
Regardless of the current price optics, Dogecoin functionality will benefit the entire crypto community. Meme coins are an essential part of the industry but tend to act as ammunition for crypto detractors who might not necessarily like or believe in them.
A cryptocurrency should have a purpose, and making Dogecoin more functional might be the juice needed for other meme coin developers to create useful coins.
In the growing crypto market, investors are seeking serious projects. Dogecoin has made it thus far off memes and its online community, but some functionality will only boost relevance.