Dogecoin was launched as a joke by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer in 2013. It was the world's first "memecoin," intended to ridicule the wild speculation in cryptocurrency markets and the flood of altcoins that had little or no value.
Now, after being endorsed by the likes of Snoop Dogg, Gene Simmons, and Elon Musk, it has become one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies, with a market cap of over $10 billion.
Palmer, who denounced the industry and left the crypto community in 2015, isn't thrilled about this.
In a recent interview with Australian e-magazine Crikey, he said that he wishes it was "the end of crypto” and that “people are doing nothing but making money off doing nothing.”
'Inherently Right-wing, Hyper-capitalistic Tech'
Palmer believes that the digital asset industry is "almost purpose built" to extract wealth from uninformed investors by making them pump funds into assets they do not fully understand.
His podcast about the problem with crypto, called 'Griftonomics,' was meant to go live last year but, anticipating backlash, he put his thoughts in a Twitter thread last year.
"After years of studying it, I believe that cryptocurrency is an inherently right wing, hyper-capitalistic technology built primarily to amplify the wealth of its proponents through a combination of tax avoidance, diminished regulatory oversight and artificially enforced scarcity," he wrote.
Palmer said that cryptocurrency industry isn't really decentralised. It is controlled by "a powerful cartel of wealthy figures" who have slowly incorporated "many of the same institutions tied to the existing centralized financial system they supposedly set out to replace."
"The cryptocurrency industry leverages a network of shady business connections, bought influencers and pay-for-play media outlets to perpetuate a cult-like “get rich quick” funnel designed to extract new money from the financially desperate and naive," wrote Palmer.
'I Thought Things Would Implode More Quickly'
Palmer believes that the crypto industry is beginning to implode, but not quickly enough.
"Increasingly, in the past six months, I’ve seen a continued perseverance. You see these big people with big money getting involved and that means it’s not slowing down," he told Crikey.
"I still see heaps of money being funnelled in by crypto promoters. They’re waiting for a fresh batch of fools to come in. This happens in cycles. You wait for a while for the collective memory of the world to forget about how much of a scam it is."Jackson Palmer to Crikey
Palmer, however, sees a silver lining.
"There was a drought of scepticism over the past few years. But between now and then, due to people losing money, there’s been an awakening. They’re realising 'well, this is actually bullshit'. They’re seeing the cracks in the paint," he said in the interview.
He said there’s eventually going to be a crash, but it will disproportionately affect minorities and those at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum.
On Elon Musk and Twitter
Palmer said he considers Elon Musk, one of Dogecoins most vocal proponents, a "grifter" – someone who swindles people out of money.
"He’s a grifter, he sells a vision in hopes that he can one day deliver what he’s promising, but he doesn’t know that. He’s just really good at pretending he knows. That’s very evident with the Tesla full-self-driving promise."Jackson Palmer to Crikey
Musk's tweets, on more than one occasion, have driven Dogecoin through the roof. This becomes less interesting and more concerning when coupled with the fact that he Dogecoin is part of his crypto portfolio, along with Bitcoin and Ether.
Musk has even added the coin as a payment method for Tesla merchandise, and plans to introduce it for SpaceX soon.
Palmer said he thinks that the world loves grifters because they fantasise about becoming billionaires one day.
"When he talks to other users on Twitter, they’re like, “Wow, Elon is talking to me! Maybe I can be a friend of his, or even become a billionaire myself,” Palmer added.
The Dogecoin co-creator also raised doubts about Musk's acquisition of Twitter and his recent decision to support the Republican Party.
"I think the good news is that a large number of people do see through his shit, including a lot of people who have the rug pulled over their eyes," he remarked.
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)