Founded in 2013 by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, Dogecoin was initially invented as a “joke currency” based on the “Doge” meme featuring a Shiba Inu dog — today the crypto’s market movements are no longer a laughing matter.

What began as a lighthearted attempt to lampoon the cryptocurrency industry is no longer a laughing matter. Dogecoin (DOGE) has now flipped Uniswap and Litecoin to become the 8th largest cryptocurrency by market cap earlier today.

This year alone, the “joke” cryptocurrency has surged from less than a cent to hit a price of around US$0.25 today with a 24-hour trading volume of US$34.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

The explanation for its price surging today by 86% is hard to pin-point, but the hype machine of celebs endorsing the project on social media has historically appeared to be the driving force.

As the price of Dogecoin has surged, a few outlets have adopted the cryptocurrency as a form of payment. The Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently reported that his basketball team’s store had sold more than 122,000 DOGE worth of merchandise since it first began accepting the coin in March. By today’s value, that equates to around $30,500. Cuban has also declared that he will continue to HODL the coin and will “never sell.” 

On April 13, a popular nightclub in Miami — E11EVEN MIAMI — announced it would also be accepting DOGE as payment.

See related article: GameStop copycat rally pumps up Dogecoin, Ripple XRP and other cryptos

“With the tremendous growth & relevancy of Cryptocurrency coupled with Mayor Francis Suarez leading the charge for Miami’s tech boom, we felt it made sense to introduce Cryptocurrency as an option to our guests to pay for their night out,” said Dennis DeGori, Creator/CEO of E11EVEN MIAMI. “E11EVEN is dedicated to always staying ahead of the curve, and we believe Cryptocurrency is here to stay.”

With the unavoidable mainstream media attention on Coinbase’s COIN stock flotation on the Nasdaq this week and both the price of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) reaching new all-time highs — today’s surge could possibly be attributed to increased public interest. 

“There are many different reasons that people are buying it, and it’s more or less gone mainstream at this point,” said Billy Markus, an IBM engineer and a co-creator of Dogecoin. “It’s one of the most volatile assets you can make a bet on, but people right now have a lot of reasons to make that bet, and that is being reflected in the market.”

Dogecoin is a favorite of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk who’s tweets have consistently moved the markets and caused the DOGE token’s price to surge.

“I think the market has been trying to figure out what the intrinsic value of all cryptocurrency is over the last 12 years,” Markus said. “It hasn’t settled on one yet.”