Dogecoin is known for their strong community presence. But did you know that the community even gets involved with start-ups centered around the cryptocurrency that was developed in homage to the Shiba Inu dog? DogePal, a system to help people pay each other in Doge, has been contributed to by many in the Dogecoin community.
We talk to Tom who started the project. Tom talks about how he initially got involved in Dogecoin, why he started DogePal, and how the community contributed to it. Future plans for DogePal and what we can expect going forward are also discussed.
The interview with Tom went as follows:
Could you introduce yourself and tell us why you started the DogePal company?
Hi, I’m Tom. I first started posting in the Reddit Dogecoin Community around Spring 2014. Since then, I’ve worked with a few community projects: dogecoinmultisig.org, Dogecoin Socks For The Homeless, and a couple of other things, and now there is this DogePal L.L.C.
I met an old friend who was working on his own project, and I really liked his project. The initial plan for DogePal was to create a login system with decentralized Dogecoin monetization built into the system and deploy this tech into my partner’s website as the working prototype. After deployment, DogePal would then be deployed onto other websites. The big plan was for the login/decentralized monetization system to begin deploying horizontally into websites in different industries, as new services continued to be added to DogePal vertically.
In the meantime, another Dogecoin Community member, u/the_future_now, joined up and created a social media presence for DogePal on Twitter and Discord, and dietzypietzy created a Facebook presence. An artist, u/DimiFW, designed the logo and “Dogecoin is accepted here” sticker, and u/computer__genius worked the backend of the DogePal Reddit community. Other folks joined in and offered their help, providing bug reports and enhancement ideas. And now DogePal is up and running as its own entity with a user base of several hundred people, and it has several directions it can grow in.
Can you tell us what DogePal is all about in a few sentences?
DogePal is currently a system that allows people to pay each other in Dogecoin, using email addresses. So, assuming you had access to the internet, you could be on an Android or iPhone at a farmer’s market, and a cup of coffee is 100 doge, and to buy the coffee you send it to the vendor’s email address. The vendor has their DogePal running on their iPad or phone, and they get notification of the payment within about 20 seconds.
It does more than that, but that’s the basics.
Could you tell us about the anonymous tipping feature?
There’s a “be anonymous” checkbox on the send screen, checking it means that the DogePal user who sends the Dogecoin does not reveal their email address to the recipient. The recipient receives an email notification from DogePal which states that an anonymous user has tipped them some doge. DogePal is an on-chain service so there will still be a record of the tip as a transaction in the blockchain. There’s another feature that sort of combines with ‘be anonymous,’ where a Dogecoin Address is randomly selected from the DogePal database, and the user can tip to it.
Why did you choose to build this platform and its features around Dogecoin and not another cryptocurrency?
I’m a big Dogecoin fan. One of the reasons I am a believer in Dogecoin is that its fixed rate of production of 10,000 coins per minute is simple to understand, both at this moment and into the long term.
I also like the spirit of dogecoin, and especially its community. Perhaps the community embraces traits that could be expected from being associated with a dog-on-a-coin: Loyalty, kindness, there for you. And absurdity. The community-driven absurdity aspect of dogecoin, in concert with the Dogecoin Network’s inexpensive point of entry and usage costs, allow technological and psychological envelopes to be pushed, and experimental technologies implemented, much more so than with other coins, many of which must adhere to an air of civility.
While there are all types of characters in the Dogecoin Community, pretty much everyone there has a fondness for the Doge of Dogecoin. I count myself in that group.
Do you have any interesting partnerships lined up?
The original website project with my business partner, Jess, is still on. This website will be an informational website that aims to improve transparency for consumers in the meat and dairy industries.
Reddit user u/ChateauLafite1827 does some great graphic design work and has worked on several Dogecoin projects in the past. We’re working together to create a new look for DogePal.
I also get to work with u/just_an_dev. It was just_an_dev who formed a team within the Dogecoin Community and created sodogetip. Sodogetip saved the day for the Dogecoin Community after the primary Reddit tipping bot at the time, which was dogetipbot, went kaput, and sodogetip is still running strong.
A new release is coming out soon, this will include dual-factor-authentication as well as a news feed to provide the user with DogePal-specific news along with their account’s history.
An API to provide interaction with the Discord community is in the works. An arbitrated multi-signature service would be useful in the online marketplace, possibly to folks in the r/dogemarket community on Reddit. Perhaps we can combine ordering and payment into one functionality, in the mom-and-pop arena, so, for example, the vendor is notified when dogecoin is sent to the vendor’s DogePal address, and the information is queued onto a video screen.
For new features, there’s a lot on the to-do list.
Dogecoin’s price has outperformed many other cryptocurrencies recently, why do you think that is?
You might be aware of the Dogecoin Community refrain: 1D=1D. “One Doge equals One Doge.” This motto initially didn’t have much weight to it, but over time it has sort of taken on a life of its own. To me, it says that Dogecoin isn’t all that concerned with conversion to other currencies. Dogecoin is existing on its own terms, making the conversion to other currencies a somewhat secondary topic. This ‘autonomy’ of Dogecoin might have something to do with it.
Also, I think it might be that, in USD terms, the daily supply of 14.4 million Dogecoins per day is not that much at all, especially when you compare it to the daily supply of other coins such as Bitcoin and Ether. It doesn’t take a whole lot of demand to increase the Dogecoin price or satisfy the current Dogecoin price level.
What has been your biggest challenge so far working on DogePal?
Tastefully and effectively making money from this decentralized project.
The advertising model, when completed, should provide a small stream of income for any website that uses it.
Arbitration or facilitation of multi signatures for commerce implies that a service fee could be taken by the arbitrator.
We’re making stickers that say “DogePal: Dogecoin is Accepted here,” and maybe we’re selling tee-shirts, soon, coffee mugs, other merch. The team of great people from the Dogecoin Community that are working with this project deserve a share of however DogePal is monetized. So that’s all TBD.
Where do you see the DogePal project being in 5 years?
Haha. Wow. Good Question. It looks like DogePal is going to be a services company, but maybe in 5 years we will have sold a million stickers. Hopefully we will have encountered some big scaling issues that have been resolved by then.
The direction of DogePal is largely driven by user input in the DogePal Reddit and Discord communities. There is an overall mandate to keep DogePal as de-centralized as possible. As mentioned before, we’re pushing to get DogePal production-ready in various marketplace scenarios, such as the farmer’s market, mom and pop business, and the coffee shop. We’re looking to run some tests in these areas of business.
The Dogecoin Network is fast and cheap, with a large friendly community behind it.