Dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus recently joined Benzinga’s “Moon or Bust” to share his story of creating Dogecoin, how he’s involved today and what he thinks of Elon Musk.
Markus got into cryptocurrency due to Bitcoin but quickly pivoted to other easier-to-mine coins like Litecoin and Litecoin clones. He said it took a long time to mine a small amount of Bitcoin in a week (0.04) and made his room really hot.
Markus gave himself a weekend project to create his own coin, which became Bell’s. He was obsessed with Nintendo Co. game “Animal Crossing” at the time.
Markus stumbled upon a site called dogecoin.com where Dogecoin co-creator Jackson Palmer made a joke coin but hadn’t created a physical coin yet. The site said if you want to make the coin to contact him.
Markus contacted Palmer and before even hearing back went to work on creating the meme coin we know today.
The project took only a couple of hours to make as Doge was a fork from Bell’s. The most time-consuming part was perfecting the Comic Sans font, Markus said.
Markus doesn’t have many regrets about the timeline of creating Dogecoin and how everything went down.
“I don’t think I would do anything different,” Markus said. “Dogecoin became what it is because of all the choices Jackson and I made.”
There is one thing that Markus would have changed to the Dogecoin story: “The only thing I personally would’ve changed is to not sell in 2015.”
The famous story is that Markus sold his Dogecoin and bought a Honda Civic, a myth that Markus dispelled on the show.
“I didn’t buy a Honda Civic, quote was made enough selling all crypto to buy a used Honda Civic.”
Markus ended up paying rent with his Dogecoin and crypto sales as his savings were low at the time.
Markus said years ago he wouldn’t buy cryptocurrency again as he spent too much time looking at the price fluctuations.
“I have Ethereum from selling NFTs and I have Dogecoin that’s been tipped to me,” he said.
Markus also owns various other coins that have been tipped to him by fans. He admits he did buy a little bit of Dogecoin when it dipped back to $0.17 earlier this year thinking that it would likely go back up.
Markus on Elon Musk
The Tesla Inc. CEO has been one of the public figures most supportive of Dogecoin and is also rumored to have held talks with the current Dogecoin team that no longer includes Markus.
“I know he’s been in contact with the devs,” Markus said, noting he believes Musk is engaged but not working on the project.
Markus is pleased Musk finds Dogecoin amusing and shares in some of the ideas laid out by the Tesla CEO on what’s to come for Dogecoin: “He laid out what he wants to see, wants it to be faster, cheaper to send around, easier to use.”
Musk doesn’t seem to care about Dogecoin not having a cap, leaving room for an infinite supply, Markus added.
Negatives of Crypto
Markus left the Dogecoin team years ago after negative experiences, recalling a “sociopath” taking over the community and scamming a lot of people.
Markus was subject to death threats and lawsuit threats from people losing money on Dogecoin, which made the project non-beneficial to him.
“It felt like there was so much attacking and negativity towards me,” he said.
Palmer recently spoke out on the negatives in the cryptocurrency market. Markus said he and Palmer saw a lot of bad and a lot of greed in people while active on the project: “I totally understand where he’s coming from.”
Markus and Palmer still talk “a little bit.”
Markus had the same reaction many first-timers to the world of non-fungible tokens likely had: “This is dumb.”
Markus saw some value in creating some joke NFTs and quickly was able to sell them for extra income.
“There’s apparently demand for things I make,” he said.
With proceeds from NFTs, Markus is able to help his mom with her house payment and still live comfortably. One of the things most upsetting to Markus was selling his cryptocurrency before it ballooned in value and then seeing his mom struggle.
By Chris Katje
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