International payment platform GoCoin has today announced plans to support dogecoin.
The move means merchants using the platform will soon be able to accept payments in the canine currency, in addition to GoCoin's existing currencies, bitcoin and litecoin.
“We’ve been carefully prioritizing the latest altcoins, and dogecoin really stands out as a viable currency due, in large part, to the strength of its community,” said GoCoin founder and CEO Steve Beauregard.
“By integrating dogecoin into our platform, GoCoin is one step closer to giving merchants the ability to accept any digital currency and increase sales with new shoppers.”
"We expect to be live with dogecoin with the next few weeks," he added.
GoCoin, which is based in Singapore, started rolling out merchant payments in bitcoin late in 2013, expanding to include litecoin in January of this year.
The payment platform helps merchants from around the globe accept cryptocurrency payments on their websites by providing options at checkout. Several methods can be employed, from a full app payments systems to hosted forms or buttons.
Merchants pay a 1% fee to start with, which drops to 0% after transactions have passed $2,500 US$ per month.
The company says its "proprietary back-end systems optimize coin exchange for cash, eliminating volatility and security risk".
Dogecoin has become famous for being a joke coin featuring a shiba inu dog on its logo, that – to everyone's surprise – has actually started accruing value since its inception in December 2013.
However, its relatively low price against the US dollar (1 dogecoin = $0.0008618 at the time of publishing), means it has been less a domain for serious investors; instead developing a community of supporters that enjoy using the currency for tipping and more altruistic purposes.
The dogecoin community is known for its slightly off-the-wall fundraising campaigns, such as raising $30,000 to help the Jamaican bobsleigh team get to the Sochi Winter Olympics. More recently, the Dogecoin Foundation has kicked off a campaign to raise $50,000 for new water wells in a drought-hit region of Kenya.
Said Kevin Beauregard, GoCoin's VP of engineering:
"We love the ethos of the dogecoin community and our merchants are ready to accept it alongside bitcoin and litecoin.”
The fact that the cryptocurrency is being accepted by more businesses indicates that it is increasingly been seen as a viable coin for standard commercial transactions.
However, while the fledgling currency has proved a surprise hit, it has been plagued with problems.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks have posed severe problems for mining pools, which have suffered lost mining time and stolen coins.
In the case of Dogepool.pw, at least 15 million coins were taken from the pool’s master wallet, and TeamDoge was struck numerous times by hackers who assaulted the stratum software that is used to coordinate the collective computing power of all the miners.
Furthermore, 'multipools' – mining groups that use their hashing power to mine whichever coin is most profitable at a given moment – have been targeting a flaw in the currency to cherry-pick blocks with large rewards, which were found to be pre-calculable.
Multipool visits have also caused sudden surges in the hash-rate, which increased the difficulty of mining for solo miners, and also left them with the crumbs of the mining rewards.
In news announced today, however, the altcoin's developers have announced version 1.6 of the dogecoin wallet client (to be found here). This mandatory update introduces changes designed to avoid the problems arising from marauding multipools.
This is a mandatory update as it involves a hard fork of the network. Users should make sure they are running 1.6 to ensure that they're on the correct block chain and not at risk of losing their DOGE.
Most notably, block rewards (which had been random) will be a flat 250,000 DOGE to prevent cherry-picking, and a new DigiShield difficulty algorithm will allow the mining difficulty to adjust almost instantly after a multipool visit.
While the update won't solve all of dogecoin's issues, it will go some way towards making life easier for the small-scale miners in this doge-eat-doge world.