Dogecoin Millionaire Wants to Bring Back Culture of Giving With New Game

Gary Lachance has a knack for getting people to help him out. One of the co-inventors of the Decentralized Dance Party (DDP) – a roving celebration powered by a radio transmitter, hundreds of boomboxes and thousands of dancers – he never struggled to find people willing to chip in for gas money or batteries to keep the radios going. DDP has been a money-losing operation since it kicked off in 2009. But Lachance isn’t fazed for his next throwdown.

On Saturday, he’s launching a blockchain-based game that rewards players with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and dogecoin (DOGE, -4.31%). The beta release of Million Doge Disco combines elements of augmented reality (AR) games, like Pokemon Go, and the DDP, letting people encounter and dance with digital characters called “Dogeagotchi” in the real world that also live on a blockchain as an NFT.

To get this party started, Lachance is donating more than 1 million DOGE (worth about $260,000) to seed in-game giveaways and help fund development – though much of the work was volunteered. “That’s like the majority of my DOGE; I will not be a millionaire once I give that away,” Lachance said. (Asked for evidence, he took off his sunglasses and said you can’t “prove how much crypto you don’t have.”)

Dogecoin has had a fetching year. The cryptocurrency created in 2013 to be “as ridiculous as possible” has chased bitcoin (BTC, -3.48%) to become one of the most recognizable and noteworthy assets in the sector with a $32 billion market cap and devoted fanbase. Lachance was one of dogecoin’s early supporters, drawn by the community’s friendly and generous disposition. “We’re like, finally there’s like a funny, silly version of Bitcoin that’s good,” he said.

Although created as a joke, DOGE found legitimate utility as an internet-native currency. An ever-increasing token supply encouraged spending and a giving economy sprouted up. Redditors randomly gave doge to others. Holders famously paid the Jamaican bobsled team’s way to the Olympics. Lachance, who organized a Camp Dogecoin at the Burning Man festival and a DogeCon in Vancouver, British Columbia, gave out thousands of shiba inu stickers (and dogecoins) to strangers.