Dogecoin may have started out as a joke, but the leading meme coin could be gaining a lot more utility with the launch of Dogechain—sort of.
As Dogecoin’s price pumps today—up 11% over the past 24 hours—much of the chatter around it right now regards a so-called “layer-2 for Dogecoin” called Dogechain, which is billed as enabling the creation of DeFi protocols, NFT collectibles, and decentralized apps (dapps) and games.
However, Dogechain isn’t a true layer-2 network in that it’s not built on top of Dogecoin. Instead, it’s a separate network based on Polygon Edge, which is custom blockchain software from Polygon, the most popular Ethereum sidechain. And it’s compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which means that it can run apps and games built for Ethereum.
It’s not an “official” Dogecoin project, however. The Dogecoin Foundation retweeted a message today stating that it is not involved in Dogechain, nor are the coin’s original founders, Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus. They clarified that it’s also not related to a Dogecoin blockchain explorer that shares the name.
Dogecoin (DOGE) holders can bridge their holding over to Dogechain to receive Wrapped Dogecoin (wDOGE) in return and then use that on the new platform to interact with DeFi apps, as well as potential future NFT marketplaces, dapps, and games.
Already, Dogechain is up and running, letting users transfer over DOGE and interact with decentralized exchanges (DEXs) to buy new tokens minted on the chain. Dogecoin can also be used to pay gasfees on transactions on Dogechain, per the official website, which has the same goofy, meme-y vibes that are common among the Dogecoin community.
Claims in paid media that Dogecoin launched a "Dogechain" test network are false. Neither @Dogecoin/@dogecoin_devs, nor @BillyM2k, @ummjackson or others associated with @DogecoinFdn are in any way affiliated with the token.
— ⬢ Jens Wiechers ⬡ 🇺🇦 (he/they) (@jwiechers) August 16, 2022
According to DEX Screener, some $21 million worth of tokens have been transacted on Dogechain over the last 24 hours, with DogeSwap leading the charge with $16 million worth. The top tokens include Doge Eat Doge (OMNOM), DogeShrek, Bourbon, and PinkyDoge (PINKY).
Per a tweet today, the Dogechain team claims that users have already created more than 58,000 wallets since the network launched five days ago, along with more than 480,000 total transactions.
The Dogechain website makes a number of longer-term promises about its planned future airdrop of native DC tokens for Dogecoin holders. Even people who hold Dogecoin on crypto and stock trading app Robinhood will be able to receive free DC tokens when they withdraw their DOGE from the app, the website claims.
Whether or not those promises are ultimately kept remains to be seen, however. And with the declarations that Dogecoin’s creators and core developers aren’t involved, there’s understandable caution among social media users about Dogechain.
Some have likened it to BNB Chain (formerly Binance Smart Chain, or BSC), where it’s easy to launch new tokens and pump-and-dump schemes are common. Roc Zacharias, a co-founder of Polygon DEX QuickSwap who describes himself as a core contributor to Dogechain, tweeted as much. “It’s literally the Wild West on Dogechain,” he added.
On the other hand, some are excited about the ability to play around with apps and tokens on a Dogecoin-themed chain, and speculate on tokens with silly names.
“Bridging to Dogechain, likely going to lose it all. Wish me luck,” tweeted a crypto investor who goes by the pseudonym Bagsy. Soon after, they added: “Haven't bought this many shitcoins in a long, long time.”
“[Obviously] lots of wild speculation and shitcoins, but sorta like the first big festival after being locked down for two [years],” added crypto investor Roger AVAX on Twitter. “[Probably] bad for you, but it's a lot of fun.”
Interestingly, rival Ethereum-based token Shiba Inu (SHIB)—based on the same dog as the original Doge meme—is set to launch its own layer-2 scaling network called Shibarium.