Dogecoin May Be Awakening Yet Again
Dogecoin, which we previously called The Most Honest Sh*tcoin due primarily to its transparent nature and lack of any premine or VC allocation, has languished this year. But the Doge appears to be awakening. At the time of writing, the original ‘dog money’ is trading at more than a $13bn market capitalization, putting it among the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies and making it the stand-alone leader in the growing arena of dog-themed meme coins. While the price of DOGE has been underwhelming compared to the gains seen across other ecosystems, as the original meme coin, it continues to boast a vibrant community, and onchain data suggests growing activity and a path ahead towards further gains. The rise of Doginals brings a new facet to dog money utility and the upcoming launch of the DOGE-1 satellite stands to send Doge to the moon (literally). With Bitcoin continuing its year-long ascent and looking towards further catalysts, Dogecoin looks poised to follow in its footsteps over the medium term.
At $13.2b market cap, Dogecoin is currently worth almost two times as much as Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and almost as much as Nissan.
DOGE is up around 77% from its bear market lows around $0.053 in June 2022 but is still down 86% from peak bull highs around $0.68. The extended 91% drawdown in DOGE price has happened on two other occasions preceding huge rallies over the life of the satirical currency.
Doginals, or DRC-20 tokens (Bitcoin BRC-20 equivalent tokens), on Dogecoin have seen an inflow of activity. The top 10 DRC-20s by market cap capture nearly $70m in value and have tens of thousands of holders. Cumulatively, the top 10 Doginals by market cap have done 108m DOGE in volume across Doggy.Market and drc-20.org since they first launched on-chain between March and May 2023.
Based on price metrics and statistical indicators, the price of DOGE is at a healthy level and could be preparing for a bounce. Using past trends in price, coupled with expanding onchain activity and use cases, DOGE could be preparing for another leg up.
Doge Price and Market Overview
The last time we covered DOGE it was as valuable as Lloyds Banking Group, twice as much as Standard Chartered, and almost three times as much as Credit Suisse. At $13.2b market cap, Dogecoin is currently worth almost two times as much as Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and almost as much as Nissan.
DOGE is up around 77% from its bear market lows of $0.053 in June 2022 but is still down 86% from peak bull highs around $0.68. The extended 91% drawdown in DOGE price has happened on two other occasions before face melting rallies in the cryptocurrency’s lifetime. The last two bear markets DOGE saw 1,192 days and 1,117 days (1,155 days on average) of depressive price action more than 85% below previous all-time highs. Today, DOGE has been in a bear market for 938 days, which is 217 days from the historical average bear market length. DOGE also saw mid-cycle lulls in each of the last two bull runs. The 2017 dip produced a 23.79x run from the bottom to the early 2018 top; and the 2021 dip lead to a 14.35x run to November 2021 all-time high.
Compared to its previous cycles, DOGE is underperforming. From the 2015 low, it took DOGE 977 days to climb 20,136% to reach its bull market highs. From the 2020 low, it took only 423 days to jump 45,863% to its current all-time high. Today, DOGE has been trending higher off the 2022 lows for 541 days but is only up 77.31%. This compares to ~150% by this point in its 2015 to 2018 run.
On a relative basis, DOGE has underperformed much of the top 15 cryptocurrencies by circulating market cap, including BTC, ETH, LINK, and ADA. Bitcoin has overperformed most of this basket feeding off of ETF anticipation and macro tailwinds. Solana outpaced everything with 556% YTD gains.
DOGE’s relative underperformance to this point can be attributed to the lack of mass retail entrance into crypto that is historically triggered by the mania and excitement of new all-time highs in the broader market. The memecoin has historically risen shortly after BTC makes all-time highs and follows a similar upward path and timing as altcoins broadly. This was especially true of the 2020 cycle when retail had heavy influence on the crypto market at large. Even though the crypto market has seen strong growth in recent months and throughout 2023, the altcoin market cap is still 54% below its previous all-time high around $1.59 trillion and BTC is still around 40% below its previous all-time high of $69k.
This is also evident in the spot exchange volume of DOGE. The breakout to new highs has yet to occur, which has historically happened as the market at large breaks out to new highs. Spot exchange volume hit its third highest day of the year on November 18 and has sustained around this level.
Much Transactions, Big Blocks Wow
Even though DOGE price has been relatively underwhelming, onchain metrics have been reaching some of the healthiest levels in multiple years and, in some cases, reaching new highs. Active user counts, new accounts, transfer volume, and user behavior metrics are all trending positively. Unconventional data points like block size also exhibit new catalysts to DOGE that didn’t exist in past cycles.
Despite being well below previous highs, the 30-day and 90-day moving averages of Doge onchain volume has been grinding higher over the two to three months.
Perhaps the most interesting on-chain metric is Dogecoin’s daily transaction count and block size. In May 2023, the network saw a massive increase in daily transactions that pushed the network’s cumulative transaction count up 64% in less than 50 days. This behavior was reignited on November 8 as daily transaction counts increased 26 times.
Median block size on Dogecoin has followed a similar trend to that of daily transaction counts, exploding nearly 100x over previous highs to 750 kilobytes (kb) in May 2023 and rebounded to a median size in excess of 610kb / block on November 8, 2023.
These trends have been fueled by the advent of DRC-20 tokens on Dogecoin. A similar phenomenon was observed on Bitcoin earlier in 2023 when the first inscriptions were minted on the chain. In the 11 months that followed, Bitcoin daily transaction counts and average block size both moved to all-time highs and have remained elevated, which has benefitted miner revenue, the overall economic health of the network, and ignited a massive wave of interest in the network. Dogecoin has yet to see consistency in these metrics like Bitcoin has, though, which can be attributed to the lack of awareness around what is happening with Dogecoin onchain and the infancy of the supporting infrastructure (wallets, marketplaces, etc.). Nonetheless, the emergence of “Doginals” has never existed before, which has potential to spark demand for DOGE and use of the chain.
It is also important to note that the DRC-20 standard functions similarly to the minting and transfer of fungible tokens via the Ordinals protocol on Bitcoin. It is widely known that this token is inefficient and inflates metrics like transaction count and block size.
Doginals Go Up
Doginals, or DRC-20 tokens (Bitcoin BRC-20 equivalent tokens), on Dogecoin have seen an inflow of activity. The top 10 DRC-20s by market cap are cumulatively valued at nearly $100m and are owned by tens of thousands of holders. Ticker dogi is the top Doginal by market cap with $70m in value as of December 12, 2023. In the last three weeks, several Doginals saw their supplies fully minted, underscoring that there is at least some notable demand for these digital collectibles and fungible tokens.
Top Doginals by market cap have also seen strong trading volumes. Cumulatively, the top 10 Doginals by market cap have done 108m DOGE in volume across Doggy.Market and drc-20.org since they first launched on-chain between March 2023 and May 2023. At the current market price of DOGE that equates to about $10m in Doginal volume across the two marketplaces.
NFTs, while not new to Dogecoin, have also gained some traction. Some of the top collections have a combined market cap around $1.6m and have done 10m DOGE in volume.
Wallets used to facilitate the trading of DRC-20s and NFTs have seen a fair number of downloads from the Chrome Store. Unielon has more than 10,000 users, and the Doge Labs wallet has more than 30,000 users.
Dogecoin Users and Their Behavior
Dogecoin has seen a massive influx of new and active users. Non-zero balance address count has grown by 282k address (5%) over the 30 days and the number of active users has gone vertical. The growing number of sending addresses should be emphasized, as these are addresses that are physically executing actions on the network. This cohort of addresses is up 43.5k addresses (127%) over the last month using the 30-day moving average and is back to December 2021 / January 2022 levels. This is a positive sign of renewed and rapidly growing interest in DOGE and what is possible on-chain.
There is an interesting dynamic unfolding among Dogecoin users: new users are coming in and spending coins while longer term DOGE holders are hodl’ing and bearing down. This is apparent when pairing the user data from above, the Spent Outputs Profit Ratio (SOPR), and Coin Blocks Destroyed with DOGE Hodl Waves.
The SOPR is a measure of profitability and losses taken over some amount of time as users spend their coins on-chain. It highlights the extent of realized profit or losses for all coins as they transacted with in aggregate across the network.
SOPR values less than 1 show spent coins are being moved at a loss, or the price at which they are moving today is lower than the price they were last moved at.
SOPR values greater than 1 show spent coins are being moved in profit, or the price at which they are moving today is higher than the price they were last moved at.
SOPR values equal 1 show spent coins are being moved at break even, or the price at which they are moving today is about equal to the price they were last moved at.
DOGE SOPR has consistently been around .99 and 1 as new user, active user, and transaction counts have been climbing. This suggests new users are coming on-chain and rapidly spending their newly acquired coins (not giving their coins a chance to gain or lose value), as indicated by the neutral SOPR value. This is also apparent in the daily transaction count of the network and suggests increasing use of DOGE, such as to buy and sell Doginals, rather than purely HODLing.
Confirming this, DOGE Block Days Destroyed, or the summed age of spent coins each day measured in Dogecoin blocks, is historically low. A low Block Days Destroyed value indicates the coins spent onchain daily are young and haven’t been held for many blocks. The opposite is true of high values. For reference, Dogecoin is designed to produce a new block every 60 seconds (86,400 blocks per day), though, like Bitcoin the actual block interval varies.
Dogecoin has averaged 50.9b daily Coin Blocks destroyed over the last 30 days. This compares to a lifetime daily average of 84.4b blocks and a 1-year daily average of 82.2b blocks, suggesting that the elevated coin usage is coming from very recently moved coins, not from long HODL’d coins.
HODL Waves show a big picture view of the age distribution of supply. This analysis provides a view into changes to this age distribution arising from holding and spending activity. The chart below highlights the age distribution of DOGE’s entire supply from 1 second old to coins never spent.
HODL Waves for coins aged six months and older are important as they highlight the share of supply that is held by “long term holders.” A growing share of coins aged six months or older contributes to supply illiquidity that can create outsized moves in price. It also shows users have increasing growing conviction in the future of the coin.
As of December 12, 2023 more than 63% of all DOGE in existence haven’t moved in at least six months. It is on par with levels seen in May / June 2022 as the market was more bearish and around January 2021 before the bull market as the crypto bear market began. Mounting illiquidity coupled with the spike in interest and activity on Dogecoin creates the perfect storm for a rally.
Assessing DOGE Price and Activity
Based on price metrics and statistical indicators, the price of DOGE is at a healthy level and could be preparing to bounce.
DOGE market price is trending the highest over its realized price since November 2022. Realized price is the average price coins were last move on-chain in aggregate. Market price crossing over realized price has historically led to bullish impulses in the price of DOGE. The move has also marked the end of bear markets and transition to bull markets.
The Market Value to Realized Value (MVRV) Ratio measures the relativity of a cryptocurrency’s price to its realized price. It is calculated as Market Price / Realized price. It better visualizes how moves in market value above realized value have been historically bullish for the cryptocurrency.
Periods when MVRV is below 1 have historically been the best periods to accumulate, while increasing MVRV values have historically been the best periods to distribute. Breaks above a value of 1 have historically marked bullish impulses and transitions to bull markets. DOGE’s MVRV ratio crossed above 1 on November 17 and has continued to hold around this level.
Alternatively, the MVRV-Z Score can be used to evaluate when DOGE is overvalued or undervalued based on the deviation between the ratio of its market price and realized price, or trends in its MVRV ratio. This metric offers a stronger signal as it compensates for the fact that some assets trade at consistent discounts or premiums to their realized price. The variation below leverages a four-year rolling average of the MVRV ratio to adjust for the evolving nature of how crypto assets trade from cycle to cycle.
DOGE’s MVRV Z-Score made a break over 0 which has historically signaled bullish impulses. MVRV Z-Score crosses above 0 after trending in negative territory suggests the tides are flipping bullish for DOGE after two years of bearish price action. A move over 0 in DOGE’s MVRV Z-Score has only happened on two other occasions in the last three years. In November 2020 it marked the beginning of the coin’s epic run to $0.68; and in October 2022 it happened around a run from $0.059 to $0.14.
Moreover, the Network Value to Transactions Ratio (NVT) is a metric that uses the relationship between on-chain transfer volume and market cap to gauge when an asset is overpriced or underpriced. It is calculated as Market Cap / On-chain Transfer Volume.
A high or increasing NVT Ratio suggests the market is pricing DOGE at a premium, as market cap growth outpaces activity on-chain and network value settlement. High NVT Ratio values have historically lined up with market tops and periods of overvaluation.
A low or decreasing NVT Ratio suggests the market is pricing DOGE at a discount, as on-chain activity and network value settlement is growing faster than market cap. Low NVT Ratio values have historically lined up with market bottoms and periods where its advantageous to accumulate. Right now, this is what we are seeing with Doge: a slightly up to stagnant market cap and rapidly expanding on-chain activity and value settlement.
As indicated in previous sections, the Doginals driven activity has pushed on-chain volume and transaction counts higher with little increase in DOGE price. This has pushed DOGE’s NVT ratio below levels most recently seen when DOGE was trading around its bear market low at $0.059. In the weeks that followed DOGE price shot up more than 2x to $0.142. This is a bullish indicator that suggests DOGE market cap can climb from here.
Don't Forget the Fundamentals
Improving fundamentals within Dogecoin should not be overlooked. The network’s hash rate has been pushing up to all-time highs at 875 TH/s. This shows there is growing interest in mining DOGE and supporting the network. Dogecoin is merge-mined with LTC, which allows it to derive its security from Litecoin’s miner base. Virtually all Litecoin miners are currently mining DOGE as well, as indicated by the similarities in each of the network’s hash power. With hash around all-time highs, it has never been more competitive to mine DOGE.
Up to the last bull cycle, revenue from merge-mining DOGE served as a small supplemental source of income for Litecoin miners. Today, however, revenue from mining DOGE is nearly 4.5 times greater than that of LTC and has generated at least 1.5x more revenue since DOGE’s bull market peak at the end of 2021. This provides miners with incentive to continue mining DOGE and securing the network, allowing it to operate more smoothly and securely.
Dogecoin currently generates around $1m per day in revenue for miners. Daily revenue peaked at $9.6m in May 2021.
Mixing Fire and Rocket Fuel
Between Doginals, NFTs, expanding miner revenue, and healthy price indicators, it is clear DOGE is rising yet again. Some rocket fuel will be dumped on these flames in January 2024.
In collaboration with SpaceX, whose CEO Elon Musk is a longtime Dogecoin supporter, Geometric Energy Corporation is planning to launch a satellite into orbit around the moon (“DOGE-1”) on January 12, 2024. DOGE-1 is a CubeSat mission and will be launched atop one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets. The mission was paid for entirely with DOGE, making it the first commercial lunar payload to be funded by any cryptocurrency.
The DOGE-1 CubeSat is a lightweight satellite equipped with sensors and cameras to capture images and data of the lunar surface. It is meant to improve our understanding of lunar geology and the environment. DOGE-1 is also capable of broadcasting advertisements, logos, and images (NFTs) from its screen. The screen images will be captured by installed cameras and streamed to Earth where people can view them.
The launch of DOGE-1 was initially announced by Geometric Energy Corporation and Elon Musk in 2021 as a rideshare on the Nova-C/IM-1 mission (a joint mission between Intuitive Machines and NASA). Repeated delays from SpaceX have pushed the launch date back from 2022 to January 2024. Approval received from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in late November confirms the satellite is ready to enter orbit.
In literal context, Doge will be going to the moon in a couple weeks’ time.
DOGE has been underperforming most of the top cryptocurrencies by market cap. This has overshadowed the activity taking place onchain, which across many metrics is constructive and indicative of increasing usage. Looking into the future, there are a couple points to consider around DOGE:
The memecoin has historically risen shortly after BTC makes all-time highs and follows a similar upward path and timing as altcoins broadly. This is consistent with increased participation from retail players in the market as Bitcoin enters price discovery.
The advent of Doginals has ushered in an increase in value settlement on Dogecoin that has outpaced growth in market cap. This has pushed the ratio between onchain value settlement and the value of DOGE to levels last seen 20 months ago. Onchain activity will have to correct or market cap will have to rise to bring the ratio back on trend.
DOGE supply is growing increasingly older in aggregate as new users are pouring in. This is spurring demand for DOGE as the illiquidity of its supply is growing. This can create outsized movements in the price of DOGE.
The forthcoming DOGE rocket is likely to generate significant enthusiasm in the Dogecoin community.
Disclosure Regarding Coin Ownership:
Galaxy (including its affiliates): YES