On Thursday cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase started listing Dogecoin, the original meme-based asset, on its Pro platform. The exchange will try to surge interest in the cryptocurrency by a $1.2 million giveaway.
Coinbase retail users can now sell, buy and store Dogecoin on the exchange, the company said in a blog post. To boost up interest Coinbase is running a $1.2 million Dogecoin giveaway promotion.
Investors who opt in and purchase $100 worth of Dogecoin will be eligible for the promotion.
Coinbase Pro is the exchange’s professional-level trading platform for active traders. Coinbase is the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, with 56 million verified users and $223 billion in assets across its platform. Historically, when the exchange lists a new asset, its price tends to jump on the first trading day (like an IPO pop). This is a well-known phenomenon referred to as The Coinbase Effect. Pre-listing announcements alone have had a similar effect on asset prices.
A single Dogecoin (DOGE) was worth $0.40 as of Thursday afternoon. The novelty token’s price has surged more than 6,000% so far this year. The coin’s current market capitalization is more than $52 billion, making it one of the most valuable tokens in the world.
Dogecoin is based on the 2013 Internet meme doge and was created in jest in the same year when Bitcoin’s enthusiastic but niche community began to strengthen around its pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is arguably the most prominent backer of Dogecoin. The billionaire tweeted a meme suggesting Dogecoin’s takeover was “inevitable” following Coinbase’s announcement of a planned listing.
The listing process is likely to be thorough and rigorous, especially now that Coinbase is a public company. Its decision to list Dogecoin could be seen as a litmus test for other individual assets, particularly as newcomers to cryptocurrency and different metrics – like tweets by big business figures – have emerged.
“What we’re seeing with social media is the ability of a small piece of the overall mosaic move markets,” former SEC chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday when asked about Musk’s tweets.
“As just a person who looks at markets that does concern me,” he said. “What makes up a good investment is never just that one piece of the mosaic. Taking one of those pieces and amplifying it without updating the rest of the picture – that’s not something that should be encouraged.”