Today was a normal day. I saw that some of my domain names were about to expire, so I went on Namecheap, clicked “Top-up funds”, and within a few minutes had transferred enough dogecoin to pay for my domain renewals. It always makes me smile when I see the burst of colourful phrases in Comic Sans fly across the screen telling me that my payment went through.
What, not everyone pays for domain names with dogecoin? OK, maybe I am weird after all.
Cryptocurrency has been on my radar for a long time, but I have struggled to make sense of it. I don’t mean that I don’t understand what the blockchain, decentralisation, etc. are—I mean, what is the point of cryptocurrency? Ostensibly its purpose is to buy things—at least that’s usually what currency is for. But the flagship cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, seems to have turned into a sort of digital gold—people buy it and then just sit on it, their only intention wrapped in a hope that it will one day grow in value so they can cash it out. Search for YouTube videos on crypto, and most of what you find are tips for “investing” in it, which in reality is speculation, since no one knows what the future holds for all these coins. And all the coins! It seems like everyone and their (Shiba Inu) dog is creating a new cryptocurrency, and to what purpose? To facilitate the exchange of goods and services? I don’t think so—they’re just hoping to get people to jump on their bandwagon to make their coin’s value go up.
Now please don’t misunderstand me—I am actually a fan of cryptocurrency. When I got married last year I bought 0.2 bitcents as a wedding present to myself and my wife, and I plan to hang onto it for the time being and see what it does. At the moment it’s lost a bit of value, but maybe it will grow by the time we reach our 50th anniversary.
Around the same time, I also bought $90 USD worth of dogecoins (1,400 at the time). Dogecoin caught my attention because it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and at the time I thought it looked promising to become an actual currency for everyday purchases. (Update: People have treated it just like all the others, hoping it will go to the moon!)
Fast-forward to 2022. I have not sat on my dogecoins, rather, I have been regularly spending them on one thing—domain name renewals. Whether it was up or down, whenever my domain names came up for renewal, I spent a bit of my dogecoin treasure on them. In total I have renewed 13 domain names with my $90 of dogecoin, which would have cost $187 if I had paid for them in fiat currency. Of course, that was over the span of 2021 during which dogecoin really took off before coming back down again, but I’d say it worked out quite well for me. And I still have 60 dogecoins left before I stock up on some more!
So what’s the point here? I don’t know. I think cryptocurrency is interesting, but because of its volatility I wouldn’t advise anyone to spend more on it than they can afford to lose. My hope for crypto is that it will really become a common medium of exchange, and not just something people try to make money off of by hoarding it. But we shall see.