Dogecoin users on Reddit sponsor Indian athlete

Written by Alex J. Fierro

Let's file this story under both heartwarming and totally bizarre.

The MUCH GENEROUS of Reddit's /r/dogecoin community have helped raise enough money to sponsor an Olympic luge contender from India's trip.

Alright, so this a bit of a bizarre story, but it's got a terrific happy ending. Let's start with the situation with the olympics in India. As you may know, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Indian Olympic Association last year for major violations of its charter, including electing leaders with criminal charges. India had a certain time to respond to the allegations and rectify the situation, but failed to do so. So India can't compete this year in the Winter Olympics. Perhaps it's because India isn't really known for its winter olympians. They only have 3 athletes this year. But this leaves the 3 athletes in a horrible situation. They can still compete as independent athletes, but they can’t carry the Indian flag or wear their country’s insignia. The Indian government agreed to help the athletes offset the traveling costs of the olympics. But funding came up short leaving one of the olympians, a luger named Shiva Keshavan, unsure if he can make the trip.


Indian Luge Expert, Shiva Keshavan
Indian Luge Expert, Shiva Keshavan


After Shiva's story was featured in the Washington Post, many people rose up to help Shiva cover the additional costs to send him to the Olympics and make his dreams come true. One of the groups that helped was the Reddit community known as /r/dogecoin. Alright, here's where the story gets a bit weird. What exactly is a "dogecoin", you ask? Dogecoin is what's known as a cryptocurrency. In really, really basic terms, a cryptocurrency is almost like a credit system. It exists purely online. You collect a certain amount of virtual tokens and you hold them in your encrypted virtual wallet. Via the internet, you can transfer the coins securely and anonymously to other wallets. The one crpytocurrency that took off and became mainstream is known as Bitcoin. Due to the popularity of Bitcoin demand started to build for it, but because the currency is self-controlling, only a certain amount can exist at any time. Limited supply of Bitcoin caused huge demand and shot up the price. Markets exist to allow owners to convert Bitcoin to USD.


Huge Stack of Bitcoins
Remember, bitcoins aren't actually coins...

The popularity of Bitcoin spawned a ton of clones that were based off the same ideas. One of the clones was a comedic parody of coins called "dogecoin". "Doge" is a slang term for dog that realtes to a Shiba Inu surrounded by internal monologue captions. Yeah, it's strange, yet oddly hilarious.


Shiba Inu Doge Meme
An example of a "doge" meme.

But, what started as a tongue-in-cheek parody of online currency quickly evolved to a phenomenon. People started hearing about the parody currency and wanted some as a goof. Then more people wanted it. Soon, there wasn't enough to go around which raised the "real world" prices. Now it's actually kind of has real cash value. (In that you can actually find people willing to pay "real money" to get "dogecoins") Sure, it's not as valuable as Bitcoin is because the high demand isn't there yet, but hey, it's doing pretty well.

The community behind Dogecoin congregates on a Reddit subforum called /r/dogecoin. Yes, it's styled and designed around the doge meme that spawned it. After hearing about the Indian athlete's plea for help in the Washington Post, the subforum's moderator (known as Shibe), posted a link to the story and rallied the community to pitch in their dogecoins to raise money.


Reddit Dogecoin
Current Homepage of /r/dogecoin

In only a few days, the Dogecoin community raised $6,149 USD worth of Dogecoins. The money (the real money, the USD conversion) is now being sent to help defray the costs of Shiva's trip to the Olympics!

It's really the most heartwarming story of the year about a great community revolving around a cryptocurrency based on a viral image of Shiba Inu with an internal monologue.