Crypto Craze: People snatch up Dogecoin

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 5:40 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -It’s a craze that people have been seriously cashing in on—Dogecoin. It’s a type of cryptocurrency and has taken off in the last several months.

“I missed the train on bitcoin, (and) I figured lets buy some dogecoin, you never know,” said Matt Salami, Tucsonan who invested in Dogecoin.

Salami bought about $1,600 worth of Dogecoin last year, when it was worth just fractions of pennies. Now, Dogecoin is likely to hit a value of a dollar by Saturday. Salami’s $1,600 investment is now worth around $36,000. It is a huge increase for a cryptocurrency that got started as a meme.

“My investment doubled and tripled and quadrupled,” he said. “It’s not a joke anymore.”

Not everyone is hopping on the train. Wei Chen, an assistant professor at UArizona, said investors in cryptocurrencies can fall victim to scams. While Dogecoin has been very profitable as of late, it has also been volatile. The other “gold standards” of crypto like Bitcoin, he said, are a safer bet.

“It’s less of a concern because their liquidity is so high, there are a lot of parties investing in this space,” said Chen. “For Dogecoin, I would be very cautious about it.”

Alex Dischinger, who hosts the Tucson Bitcoin Podcast, said he’d be cautious too. During a typical boom bust cycle—mainstay crypto is likely to do just that—stay.

“The alt coins tend to get hit extremely, extremely hard,” said Dischinger.

Dischinger said the larger problem could be a broken financial system all around. More people are able to invest in Dogecoin versus Bitcoin, or even the stock market, because it is cheaper, but these more volatile gambles could mean people with less, lose more.

Chen and Dischinger said there are benefits to cryptocurrencies. Anyone can participate in crypto—regardless of age, religion, country or government. People can maintain their wealth in the onset of a financial crisis in their country, or people fleeing their country can retrieve crypto once safe. Chen said the large amount of people around the globe who can participate in cryptocurrency makes for a lot of innovation, space for governments to participate and scams. What is happening with Dogecoin might be a phenomenon—only time will tell, but one thing that is likely, cryptocurrency could change the markets globally.

“I think for sure it’s going to change the financial landscape,” said Chen.

Several retailers and businesses accept Dogecoin. The Dallas Mavericks have started accepting Dogecoin, so have the Oakland A’s and even donations to the University of Arizona can be made in Dogecoin. Other places also accept it.

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