Fanning Money: The Cultural Economy and Participatory Politics of Dogecoin
This article explores the cultural economy of Dogecoin. Specifically, it seeks to understand how a decentralized network of participants cultivates a shared financial imaginary around a blockchain-based asset. First, this article will describe Dogecoin as a convergence of blockchain technology and social media. Centrally, it raises the question: How does the Internet of information shape the use cases and discourse around the emerging Internet of value? Furthermore, how does the basic technical structure of Dogecoin influence the cultural economy that has formed around it? Next, I extend Mitchel Y. Abolafia’s framework for the study of markets as culture to accommodate the unique cultural economies of Web3 digital asset markets. This augmented framework accounts for components of the fannish, participatory cultures that animate these unique markets, namely their gift, moral, and political economies. Dogecoin represents a uniquely constructed economic imaginary cocreated by a decentralized network of users and led by a small subset of influential figures. These users define the values and local rationalities for participating in Dogecoin’s symbiotic network of information and value.