Dogecoin (DOGE -4.53%) has captured the attention of the investing world, though it's had a little help from some well-known billionaires. Elon Musk has referred to Dogecoin as "the people's crypto" and tweeted that SpaceX would put a literal Dogecoin on the moon. Mark Cuban told Forbes that Dogecoin was "the best entertainment for your buck" and noted that he purchased a few dollars' worth of Dogecoin for his son.
This kind of publicity, along with a frenzied following on Reddit, has sent Dogecoin's value soaring. At Friday morning's prices, it's up more than 300% over the past month -- and in the last year, it has surged more than 10,000%.
But for all the hype, what can you actually do with Dogecoin? Let's take a look.
Things you can do with Dogecoin
If you're looking for things to do with Dogecoin, you'll first need a place to buy the currency. This is the easy part. Binance and Kraken -- two of the top-ranked crypto exchanges, according to CoinMarketCap -- both support Dogecoin, as do many others.
After you have tokens, you might want to spend them. This is where things get a little more difficult, but it's still possible.
Last year, Mastercard partnered with BitPay to launch a prepaid crypto card. In order to use the card, you'll first to fund a BitPay Wallet with a supported cryptocurrency. Once this is done, you can use the BitPay Card to spend the balance anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Notably, the company added support for Dogecoin this March. In other words, consumers can now use the Shiba Inu-inspired currency to make purchases online or in stores.
But wait, there's more. BitPay recently added support for Apple Wallet, meaning consumers can store their BitPay Card in their iPhone and fund Apple Pay purchases with crypto. In other words, if you want to use your smartphone to make Dogecoin-funded purchases, now you can.
There's a downside to the BitPay Card, though. It's only available in the United States. Other crypto payment cards exist for consumers in Europe or Asia -- for instance, the Mastercard-backed Wirex Card and Visa -backed Binance Card -- but neither of these support Dogecoin.
Things you can't do with Dogecoin
Coinbase is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, and it became the first major crypto business to go public earlier this month. Notably, Coinbase has achieved market-leading scale, storing over 11% of all crypto assets in existence on its platform. However, it doesn't offer support for Dogecoin. That may seem trivial, but it actually matters a great deal.
Coinbase has a more stringent vetting processing than many exchanges. Users can only invest in 53 different cryptocurrencies and store roughly 90 crypto assets on the platform. For reference, that's less than 1% of the 7,500 crypto assets that exist today. Dogecoin's absence underscores management's lack of confidence in its long-term potential. And given Coinbase's scale, that's a serious problem.
Likewise, fintech PayPal has partnered with crypto brokerage Paxos to bring support for digital currencies to the PayPal and Venmo mobile apps. More important, PayPal recently launched Checkout with Crypto, allowing consumers to fund purchases with cryptocurrency. Eventually, the company plans to support this service for all of its 29 million merchants. That's a big deal: PayPal's support of crypto payments is a momentous step toward mainstream adoption.
But once again, Dogecoin didn't make the cut. Currently, PayPal's platform supports just four digital currencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.
Last but not least, Square's Cash App is even more exclusive -- it only supports Bitcoin. That's not surprising, though. In 2018, Jack Dorsey expressed his belief that Bitcoin could be the world's single currency by 2030.
A final word
Despite surging popularity, Dogecoin still lacks mainstream utility. That could change in the future, especially if it remains in the spotlight. But there's no guarantee that will happen.
Investors should also note that, despite Musk's penchant for making puns, he has clarified his Dogecoin comments as jokes. Likewise, Cuban has expressed his belief that Dogecoin has no intrinsic value. So if you want to buy a few tokens for fun, just know you're basically buying a lottery ticket. If you're actually looking to invest in cryptocurrency, there are better ways to do so.