Cointelegraph talked to the creator of Dogecoin, Jackson Palmer, about Bitcoin forks, the crypto community, education, and plans for 2018.
Known to the crypto community as the creator of Dogecoin, Jackson Palmer, product manager at Adobe by profession and coder by passion, told Cointelegraph how he sees the future of the cryptocurrency, started as a parody and broke the $1 bln market cap in the beginning of 2018, shared his thoughts on the cryptocurrency community, and disclosed some plans for the future.
Being the one behind the idea of Dogecoin when it launched in 2013, however, Jackson made explicit his dislike for some parts of its community and culture in the following years. He started stepping back from the project in late 2014.
Cointelegraph: Looking back at the whole thing, can you tell if it was ultimately worth it?
Jackson Palmer: I started stepping back from Dogecoin and the community after a scammer, who I and others had been trying to call out as dangerous for a while, finally ran away with a lot of money from the community. Anyone who dared to raise suspicion of this character prior to that point would face a lot of criticism and negative energy online, myself included - so I'd already kind of been shouted out of the community in some sense.
This really taught me the power of greed and how many people are willing to see movements like cryptocurrency through rose-tinted goggles so long as they're making money. Self-reflection and skepticism is at a low during these periods of mania. After our suspicions were unfortunately proven correct, I honestly just didn't have a strong incentive to return to the fractured community in a meaningful way given everything I'd witnessed, so I stepped away entirely and handed over the keys to the Github repo etc.
Assessing whether it was "worth it" is hard... I think Dogecoin represents a good case study and hope it is utilized as a learning experience to reflect on for anyone in or newly entering the cryptocurrency space. If simply its existence or its story can help bring some more rational, fact-based thought to the hype-fueled crypto industry then I think that's worth it.
CT: Despite not participating in the project directly anymore, do you still see a future for Dogecoin?
JP: I think we're rapidly racing towards an over saturation of cryptocurrencies, crypto-assets and tokens, to the point that their value and inherent utility inversely approaches zero. 2018 is shaping up to be the "year of the fork" and with each fork of the original Bitcoin code I feel like every other crypto-token is slightly dissolved.
Even if just from a consumer perspective, it's very confusing. Dogecoin is ultimately just another fork of the Bitcoin source code, which changed up the variables slightly. From a purely technological standpoint, anyone could fork that and "improve" it tomorrow by further tweaking the variables - so I think its "future" is the same as every other distributed ledger out there... pretty uncertain, easily disrupted and definitely not in a unique advantageous position to succeed.
CT: Any idea what the current core devs are working on?
JP: The devs are working on a new release that essentially brings the code base up to date with the Bitcoin code base, which Dogecoin has always ultimately been derived from. This release includes mostly under-the-hood performance and security improvements, which are important given the last major release was back in 2015.
As for Jackson himself, he is currently working as group product manager at Adobe and recently launched a YouTube channel where he uploads educational videos on cryptocurrencies and related topics.
“My YouTube channel is mostly a passion-project to try and share the learnings I've personally accrued over the years. With 2017 bringing back a resurgence in interest in cryptocurrency I was facing a lot of questions everyday from friends and strangers alike. Rather than repeat those conversations over and over, I've found it useful to record my thoughts and share them publicly in video format.
In the process, we've built a fun community of people who are passionate about the technology behind cryptocurrency and I really enjoy their shared objective thinking and skepticism about all of these projects. The channel has brought people together in pursuit of education, and I'm really proud of that. Shout out to my subscribers and amazing supporters on Patreon!”
Jackson keeps following the crypto community and comments important events in his Twitter. Commenting about the way crypto industry has been developing in recent years Jackson mentioned how sad he was about the way it’s moving right now. “Sadly, I think many of the negative traits that were present in the space back in 2013 have only been amplified in the 2017-18 cryptocurrency community. The bulk of recent interest in the technology was not driven by its ability to solve real-world problems or provide actual utility to users - rather it was purely driven by the pursuit of making a quick buck. Obviously that's not sustainable, but we've seen literally thousands of projects spun up to try and exploit the attention that greed has brought in.”
Several times Jackson even expressed his dislike how much the crypto community loves easy money - the spirit that seems to be stronger than ever these days.
“I think it's critical that distributed ledgers and Blockchain technology move from being a novel technical solution in search of a problem to actually providing value back to society, outside of making a few early adopters rich.
This is going to require a large cultural shift in the community, a weeding out of blatant scams and a refocusing of development away from complex, shiny objects to simple, practical solutions to actual problems. The long-lasting, meaningful technologies in this world are those which better humanity, not those which put a few lucky kids in Lamborghinis.”
CT: And here comes the goofy question: are you a dog or a cat person?
JP: Dogs, definitely. Cats really seem to dislike me for some reason.
Jackson Palmer, along with other opinion leaders of the crypto industry, will be attending Global Blockchain Forum, which will take place in Santa Clara, US, on April 2-3, 2018. Cointelegraph will participate in the event as a media partner.