Decoding Dogecoin: Is the Meme Coin Worth a Serious Investor's Time?

Investors keep waiting for the next major Dogecoin rally. Will it ever arrive?

In the crypto market, there’s arguably no more polarizing topic than meme coins. Quite simply, you either love them or hate them. Some view them as a fun get-rich-quick opportunity, while others view them as speculative investments with no real-world value.

That’s true even for meme coins with multibillion-dollar market caps, such as Dogecoin (DOGE -6.87%). This dog-themed meme coin has been around since 2013, and now has a market cap north of $17 billion. So does Dogecoin deserve a spot in your portfolio or not?

Dogecoin is no longer the top dog

Until Shiba Inu (SHIB -5.19%) launched in August 2020, Dogecoin reigned supreme as the top dog of the meme coin universe. When people talked about meme coins, they were talking about Dogecoin. Dogecoin built up a tremendous amount of public goodwill during that period, and during the last crypto bull market rally, it even attracted the support of billionaire Elon Musk.

Mascot dog for Dogecoin.

Image source: Getty Images.

But Dogecoin is no longer the top dog. There are thousands of meme coins to choose from. There are meme coins for celebrities, meme coins for presidential candidates, and meme coins for just about any type of animal you could imagine. Even if you want to invest in a “classic” dog-themed meme coin, you have plenty of choices.

Dogecoin’s best days are behind it

Simply having more choices when it comes to meme coins wouldn’t be such a big deal if Dogecoin were still delivering stellar performance. But the sad fact is that Dogecoin’s best days are behind it. In its entire 10-year history, it has never once traded higher than $1. Aside from a brief spectacular run in 2020-2021, Dogecoin has disappointed investors, over and over again.

Just look at this chart of Dogecoin’s performance over the past five years. The price of Dogecoin peaked in May 2021, when Elon Musk famously appeared on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. In one of his comedy skits, the so-called “Dogefather” jokingly admitted that the meme coin was nothing more than “a hustle,” and the price of Dogecoin has never recovered.

Granted, there are signs now and then that Dogecoin might be making a comeback. But just consider Dogecoin’s performance this year, amid a new meme coin rally in the crypto market. Dogecoin is up 32%, but Shiba Inu is up 60%. Pepe (PEPE -12.72%) — a frog-themed meme coin — is up 692%. And dogwifhat (WIF -11.29%) — another dog-themed meme coin — is up a blistering 1,171%.

All of these meme coin competitors have market caps of $2 billion or higher, so it’s not so easy to dismiss them. Yes, they have silly mascots and silly names. But if your sole goal is to “get rich quick,” they are probably better options than Dogecoin right now.

Is there a serious reason to invest in Dogecoin?

When it comes to meme coins, just be careful about chasing performance. It can be tempting to invest in a meme coin that’s soaring in value. But meme coins can go to zero overnight, and should not be part of a long-term portfolio. If you intend to invest in meme coins, you need to be prepared to lose everything. Just think of all the Dogecoin investors who bought in at the market top of $0.74, only to be stuck with an investment that’s currently worth just $0.11.

That being said, there is one scenario in which Dogecoin might be worth a serious investor’s time: if Elon Musk ever decides to go all-in on Dogecoin at his companies. For example, in March, there were hints that he might be thinking about making Dogecoin a payment option for Tesla electric cars. And, early last year, speculation started that Elon Musk could be ready to make Dogecoin a payment option on the X social media platform.

But, as is so often the case with meme coins, the buzz and speculation are so much more entertaining than the everyday reality. Until something changes dramatically with Dogecoin, you are better off looking elsewhere for a crypto investment opportunity.

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