Elon Musk and Mark Cuban, two of Dogecoin's most famous fans, have been publicly pushing the idea that the meme token is becoming a legitimate utility for payments.
Musk has been talking to Dogecoin developers—as he tweeted and as Decrypt reported in depth—about how to make the coin faster for everyday payments. Dogecoin developer Ross Nicoll told Decrypt that Musk's aim is to make Dogecoin easy enough to use for a cup of coffee.
Cuban, meanwhile, said earlier this month at the Ethereal Virtual Summit powered by Decrypt that Dogecoin is "becoming more of a utility in terms of as a currency." Cuban added that he's been "talking to BitPay a lot" and that the cryptocurrency payments provider was in the process of onboarding more vendors to accept the coin. "People are popping up all the time to be retailers or merchants for Dogecoin," he said.
The premise sounds absurd to many, since Dogecoin was created in 2013 purely as a joke, and its GitHub code page was stagnant for years. But BitPay data backs up Cuban's big talk about DOGE catching on for payments.
BitPay, which enables merchants to accept cryptocurrency as payment, tells Decrypt that Dogecoin is now its fourth-most popular cryptocurrency for payments (after Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum) and has ballooned to 12.6% of its transaction volume. Just two months ago, in March, DOGE made up merely 3.3% of volume, and was 7.8% of volume in April.
"Very quickly it’s become a material coin for us," says BitPay CMO Bill Zielke. "Because it has climbed in our network as fast as it has, there is utility there. And the fact that merchants are seeing thousands of transactions in Dogecoin, I would say it has utility. It also has an advantage Bitcoin or Ethereum doesn’t necessarily have at this time: Dogecoin has low fees. And when you combine a strong community with low fees, that’s a great recipe. I expect it to continue to grow, and that utility will get greater."
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