Coinbase, the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange that went public this week with a direct listing of its shares on Nasdaq, is missing out on the latest frenzy whipping up gasps and chortles in digital-asset markets: a ferocious rally in dogecoin (DOGE) that has pushed returns on the doggy-faced meme token to more than 6,000% year-to-date.
And it’s not just the price inducing the saliva. DOGE, a digital token that was launched as a joke in 2013, has boasted an astonishingly high daily trading volume, exceeding even that of ether (ETH), the native token of the popular Ethereum blockchain and the second-biggest overall after bitcoin (BTC).
Coinbase (stock ticker COIN) has not given any hints that it would list dogecoin. “Although DOGE is not available to trade, you can add it to your watchlist, read news, and more with a Coinbase account,” according to a page on the exchange’s website. Press officials with the company didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.
New shareholders of Coinbase might wonder, however, about the competitive disadvantage given that some of the exchange’s biggest global rivals have listed DOGE and appear to be lapping up the sudden spike in trading.
According to the website CoinGecko, most of the trading volume in dogecoin in the past 24 hours has come from the big exchanges Binance, OKEx and Huobi.
“OKEx listed DOGE back in 2019, after determining that there was robust public demand for the asset, despite the fact that it’s a ‘meme coin,’” an OKEx press representative told CoinDesk. “DOGE is one of the oldest crypto assets out there and has a strong community supporting it.”
A Binance representative declined to comment on why the exchange listed DOGE.
“We really feel the passion from fans of blockchain and cryptocurrency towards dogecoin,” Huobi co-founder Du Jun told CoinDesk, in a comment forwarded by a press representative via the messaging app WeChat. “Dogecoin has evolved from a pure meme token to a very special pop culture phenomenon.”
The representative added a statement of caution, however, that dogecoin has historically held little appeal as a promising blockchain project.
“We also want to warn our users that the project behind dogecoin almost has had zero technology breakthroughs, and the DOGE holders are highly concentrated,” Du said. “The top 10 dogecoin addresses hold about 41.35% of all circulating dogecoin. This means that a small number of the dogecoin investors have power over prices and investors should be cautious as they get into dogecoin.”
Some DOGE lovers have asked whether the token might get an even bigger price pump if it gets listed on Coinbase. Analysts for the cryptocurrency data firm Messari recently wrote that tokens experience an average 91% return in their first five days after a listing on the U.S. exchange.
“WHAT IF coinbase were to add #dogecoin on 4/20???” the Twitter user @yaybitcoin wrote Friday.
This isn’t the first time posters across social media have questioned Coinbase’s seeming unwillingness to make dogecoin trading available.
Dogecoin has also received endorsement from entrepreneurs like billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks, which recently announced it would accept the token as payment for game tickets and merchandise.
As of press time, dogecoin was trading at $0.33, more than doubling in the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk 20.
It’s now the sixth most valuable cryptocurrency in the world, passing cardano (ADA), polkadot (DOT), and uniswap (UNI), per Messari data.
Dogecoin’s market capitalization, at roughly $43 billion, is on part with that of the giant U.K. bank Barclays, which traces its history back to the 18th century.