The cryptocurrency world hasn’t heard much from “Dogefather” Jackson Palmer in the past couple of years. As he revealed to Bitsonline in this interview, though, the Dogecoin founder has never been far from the scene.
Jackson Palmer and a Brief History of Dogecoin
Palmer was a popular figure back in 2013-14 after Dogecoin, which he initially released as a fun joke, turned into a very real economy with a market cap worth $92 million USD in February 2014.
Like bitcoin at that time, the initial novelty wore off and DOGE went into a 2-3 year price slump. People who took their crypto business very seriously called its goofy logo, comic sans and shiba-inu memes a fad.
For a while, things were good. Dogecoin got more mainstream media coverage than most altcoins, even Bitcoin at some points. Its community raised funds for the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team and sponsored NASCAR driver Josh Wise.
The currency even had its own “Mt. Gox moment” when a shady character known mostly as Alex Green (and sometimes as Ryan Kennedy) virtually hijacked the community, promising to build a lucrative ecosystem. After raising hopes, Green and his company Moolah acquired the exchange MintPal and almost immediately absconded with $2 to $4 million in user funds.
Disillusioned in the aftermath, Palmer first took a leave of absence from Dogecoin in 2014 — and then in April 2015 announced he was backing away from cryptocurrency altogether, calling its culture “toxic”.
Palmer and DOGE Are Back! But Not Quite Together
What a difference three years makes. DOGE is now back, rewarding its devoted holders with a 1700 percent price surge since January 2017 and current market cap of almost $330 million.
On 20th May, Palmer quietly announced he was getting back into crypto, albeit in a small way:
Could it eventually see the return of the Dogefather? Or has everyone moved on?
Bitsonline tracked Palmer down to hear more about his plans, what he learned from Dogecoin and his thoughts on the cryptocurrency community in general.
Interview With the Dogefather
JS: What do you spend most of your time on these days?
JP: I’ve always had a day job at Adobe while working on crypto projects (including Dogecoin) so dedicate the majority of my time to that. From a side project perspective, I’ve recently been spending a lot of time on real applications for decentralization such as social networking or knowledge sharing. I’ve also just recently started up a video series for crypto beginners. You can watch the first episode here:
JS: What’s your involvement, if any, with the cryptocurrency world?
JP: I’m still quite involved more generally in crypto, mostly as a spectator but offering my advice to new innovators in the space. Growing Dogecoin over the years I learned a lot about community building in this space and how to ensure your project doesn’t devolve into simply a pump and dump — a fate that a lot of projects suffer these days, especially the ICOs. I also run a weekly “Decentralized Fridays” event here in S.F. to bring the crypto enthusiast community together more regularly.
JS: What made you decide to “leave”?
JP: Back when I took a leave of absence from the crypto scene, the Dogecoin community had just been rocked by quite a large series of hacks and scam, namely one company called Moolah that stole a lot of user funds. The company still had a lot of supporters who didn’t take well to my criticism of them, which led to a lot of toxicity and just negative energy whenever I tried to participate… often when money is involved people don’t take a healthy dose of skepticism well. Thankfully the Dogecoin community recovered over the years and the people still passionate are friendly and welcoming.
JS: Do you follow the Dogecoin community?
JP: I do! I’ve been involved a little bit these past few months and am in regular talks with the core dev team, pushing them to try and restart active development (the last release was back in 2015 I believe). There are new, exciting technologies such as Segregated Witness that Litecoin just activated which I think would help foster a bunch of innovation in the developer community of Dogecoin also jumped on board.
JS: What was the most important lesson you learned from your Dogecoin experience?
JP: To never allow money drive you down a path of greed or corruption. I’ve seen many naive, previously trustworthy people do really stupid things all because they got caught up in a cycle of greed and ego, or in the name of trying to get rich quick. I think it’s super important to make sure what you’re doing is fun and not a stressful, anxiety-ridden ride. We’re building cool tech and that should be exciting and fun.
JS: Do you have any opinion on the current Bitcoin scaling debate — especially the way the debate is being conducted?
JP: I have concerns with all forms of centralization around decision making in crypto, and that affects not only Bitcoin but also Ethereum. PoW mining has introduced severe centralization in mining within Bitcoin and that’s a big part of the problem we’re facing in evolving the technology. Individuals will always have an agenda aligned with their best interests, so I think it’s important to strive to maintain distributed consensus among the majority rather than what we’re seeing today.
Ethereum faces the same problem in that many put the core devs on a pedestal and will trust anything they say… I think that’s really dangerous and everyone should try to learn as much as possible about how the technology works, plus inject a healthy dose of skepticism into their participation in the ecosystem.
Could the Dogecoin community ever rekindle its old fun spirit? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via Twitter, DogeCon SF