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There's no doubt that 2021 has been the Year of the Cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is being heralded as an inflation hedge on a par with gold and ether is rapidly becoming the cryptocurrency of choice for decentralized finance, play-to-earn games, digital collectors' items, known as non-fungible tokens, and likely soon, the metaverse.
But it's not either of these two cryptocurrencies that have captured the public's imagination.
Dogecoin, which was founded by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmers in 2013 as a joke, has been the most searched-for cryptocurrency in the largest number of states so far this year, according to research by The Advisor Coach, a financial advisor. The coin, which is based on an internet meme of a Japanese Shiba Inu dog, was the most-googled in 23 states, including Florida, Illinois and Michigan.
This year, it shot to prominence, thanks in large part to the Twitter-based cheerleading of Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, who is a known crypto enthusiast that holds dogecoin, bitcoin and ether. Musk even went so far as saying in May this year that he might accept dogecoin as payment for his company's electric vehicles.
By that point, dogecoin was already beloved among the army of Reddit retail traders, who had pushed the coin up to around $0.07, from closer to $0.007 at the start of the year and Musk's payment remark sent the price to a record $0.70. It's since eased to around $0.24, but it's still one of the crypto stars of 2021, with a gain of nearly 5,000% so far.
"The rise in interest can be partially attributed to the endorsement of Elon Musk who stated earlier in the year that Tesla would accept dogecoin as a form of payment," The Advisor Coach note said.
Crypto traders' adoration of Musk extends well beyond what coins he holds and has given rise to dogecoin spinoffs. The Tesla boss even owns a Shiba Inu. There's now a shiba inu coin, and even a floki inu, named after Musk's real-life pup, Floki.
By contrast, bitcoin, the biggest and original cryptocurrency, was the most-searched for in just 10 states, including Connecticut, Alaska and Mississippi, ranking it second in the list. Bitcoin has led the surge in appetite for and adoption of cryptocurrencies. The total market value of crypto assets is hovering at close to $3 trillion, having risen from around $500 billion a year earlier, according to CoinGecko.
Ether came in third place, being the most searched in eight states, while shiba inu landed in fourth place. Interestingly, shiba inu was the most-searched for cryptocurrency in New York, home to Wall Street and the country's most powerful financial institutions.
The Advisor Coach