Gary Lachance has a knack for getting people to help. As a co-inventor of the Decentralized Dance Party (DDP) – a roving celebration powered by a radio station, hundreds of boomboxes, and thousands of dancers – he never struggled to find people willing to buy gas money or batteries, go to the radios. DDP has lost money since it started in 2009. But Lachance is unimpressed by his next fall.
On Saturday he will launch a blockchain-based game that will reward players with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and Dogecoin. The beta version of Million Doge Disco combines elements of augmented reality (AR) games like Pokemon Go and DDP and lets people in the real world encounter and digital characters called “Dogeagotchi”, who also live as NFTs on a blockchain dance with them.
To get that party started, Lachance is donating over 1 million DOGE (worth about $ 260,000) to kickstart in-game giveaways and fund development – though much of the work was done voluntarily. “It’s like most of my DOGE; I’m not going to be a millionaire if I give this away, ”Lachance said. (When asked for evidence, he took off his sunglasses and said you couldn’t “prove how much crypto you don’t have”.)
Dogecoin has had a great year. Created in 2013 to be “as ridiculous as possible,” the cryptocurrency chased Bitcoin into one of the most recognizable and notable assets in the industry, with a market cap of $ 32 billion and a devoted following. Lachance was one of Dogecoin early supporters, drawn by the friendly and generous nature of the community. “We think there is finally a fun, silly version of Bitcoin that is good,” he said.
Though created as a hoax, DOGE found legitimate use as an internet-based currency. An ever-growing token supply spurred spending and a sagging economy grew. Redditors happened to give doges to others. As is well known, the owners paid the Jamaican bobsleigh team the way to the Olympic Games. Lachance, who organized a Camp Dogecoin at the Burning Man Festival and a DogeCon in Vancouver, British Columbia, distributed thousands of Shiba-Inu stickers (and Dogecoins) to strangers.
This kind of generosity and lightheartedness is no longer as common in cryptocurrencies as it used to be.
Part of Lachance’s motivation for Doge Disco is to “reinvigorate the culture of gift giving.” He hopes that players will be inspired to fund the giveaways once his supply runs out. Another goal is to build a “party layer” on top of reality, “which enables everyone, everywhere, to step immediately into a parallel dimension full of sound, light and a positive atmosphere”, according to the project’s website. Players can be given a daily dose of “dogely wisdom”.
It may sound like Lachance is living in an alternate plane beyond the metaverse, but the project is real enough. It is based on the blockchain and AR development platform BLOCKv with connections to Ethereum Layer 2 Polygon and the Dogecoin blockchain. The in-game DOGE are tokenized, although players can get real coins from a custodian “with just one click,” Lachance said.
Kyle Kemper, the half-brother of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is a co-founder. More than 1,000 people have signed up for the waiting list, Lachance said. A Zoom party kicks off on Saturday that Lachance hopes will hit the streets.
“We’ll only find out over time,” said Lachance, setting out “dogely wisdom.” He said he planned to die a DOGE millionaire and leave his wallet buried with him. But after the massive ups and downs in the price of the cryptocurrency, he realized the opportunity to spread joy. “There is a chance that all of the money will just go away. But that’s the best I can think of: just distributing it around the globe. ”
“At some point everything will come back,” he says.