Can Hoge Become “Heir to Doge”?

Less than three months ago, Hoge Finance changed the game by becoming the first meme coin with deflationary reflection mechanics. Since then, it has been overshadowed by “safe” copycats. Can it regain the crown to become the face of DeFi?

By Hogefather, aka Jesse Rogers

The first question you might have is why should anyone take a meme coin seriously as an investment? Before we get to that, I have two questions for you.

  1. Do you know of anyone who puts a sports team’s mascot up in place of their profile picture on social media?
  2. Do you know of anyone who has a local utility company’s logo up in the same way as their profile picture?

Keep your answers to these questions in the back of your mind throughout the discussion in this article. We’re going to come back to them.

Use Case

In the corner of the internet where I spend most of my time, the two biggest words thrown around are “use case”. What can a cryptocurrency actually do? What’s its “value proposition”? Most of the reputable people in crypto seem obsessed with these questions and are convinced this is the best way to determine a project’s long-term value.

I don’t completely disagree with the intuition, but I do think looking at functional utility alone is a grossly incomplete perspective.

Before I make my case, I’ll steelman my opposition with the strongest available argument against my position that I know of, expressed by one of the most authoritative and respected voices in crypto: Charles Hoskinson, Founder of Cardano (ADA) and Co-Founder of Ethereum (ETH).

To summarize, Mr. Hoskinson is worried that the rise and inevitable fall of Doge (and presumably anything else in that vein) will discredit the whole industry and bring a damaging kind of government scrutiny to crypto. The freedom to innovate could be stifled under the weight of draconian regulations drafted to prevent there from ever being another mockery like it.

While Hoskinson isn’t completely wrong about the dangers, I do think they’re quite overblown.

In fairness to him, Hoskinson doesn’t sound like he wants meme projects to collapse and for people to lose money. But I think there’s a lot of people who do. They want to vindicate their bruised egos after having missed out. I encounter a lot of resentment and negativity online.

Much to the annoyance of these folks, even though coins that pumped hard such as Doge or Hoge have retraced from their all-time-highs (ATH) they have not gone to zero. They may even pump again soon.

Why? Here’s the truth. Most average people just don’t have the time, wherewithal, and interest to read a 44-page white paper and compare it against dozens of other “legitimate” projects before they make their investment decision.

Instead, we’d rather crack open a beer, laugh at a good joke, and hop on Robinhood to throw $100 worth of “investment money” at a dog meme. The money would have just gone towards lotto tickets and weed anyway, if not for Doge. “If it goes up, then great. If not, then whatever.” That’s the mentality.

I’m not saying it’s pretty. I’m just saying it’s true. This is what the rest of the world that isn’t in Mensa is actually like. There’s got to be at least 500 million of us around the world who are just like what I described, and if each of us throws $100 into a crypto, that’s $50 billion. That’s precisely why ADA and Doge are neck and neck on the top charts regardless of how far superior the next-generation Proof of Stake (PoS) technology is.

What Mickey Mouse did for the Disney Brand, Hoge will do for Ethereum and DeFi

Will it always be that way for Doge? Well, I actually agree with Charles Hoskinson that the answer is “no”. That’s why I don’t have any of my own money invested into Doge. Much like Bitcoin, I think its momentum is strong enough to keep its price growing, maybe for decades. But I don’t think it will grow as fast as competitors like the HOGE token.

I think the old dog badly needs to be replaced by an updated successor with far greater capabilities. I believe Hoge Finance is still best positioned to live up to its name and become that heir. This article outlines why.

Resistance is Futile

It isn’t necessarily obvious to everyone yet just how far ahead the next-gen PoS tech actually is. Ethereum is currently huffing and puffing on high gas fees as it struggles to move out of the power-intensive Proof of Work (PoW) model and transform into ETH 2.0. Once it does, then the same transaction that costs you $80 worth of ETH right now will be resolved for less than a penny.

Before that happens, there is a brief period of vulnerability for the #1 altcoin. “Ethereum Killer” competitors like Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT), and Binance (BNB) see an opening, circling like vultures. But so far it looks as if they just don’t have the Decentralized App (dApp) ecosystems, network effects, and years of capital accumulation necessary to defeat Ethereum. For now, the “King of the Alts” holds a tenuous grip on its ranking, maintaining more than a 3x lead over its next largest rival.

Truth be told, it may already be too late for the “Ethereum Killers”. The clouds are already beginning to part for Ethereum. ETH layer 2 projects like Polygon are starting to provide scalability solutions and get adoption. A sleeping giant slowly starts to awaken.

If Ethereum’s advantages are significant enough to keep it afloat even now, in its moment of greatest weakness, then exactly what do you think is going to happen for Ethereum once the upgrades are complete?

Soon, Bitcoin will seem like a Model T, and Doge will be a Model T with furry seats. But Ethereum? Ethereum will be more like a Borg cube. Resistance is futile. If you’re a main-net competitor that hasn’t been able to leapfrog Ethereum by the time of the ETH 2.0 upgrade, then may the odds ever be in your favor, Mon Capitan.

Oh, and by the way, who runs on Ethereum’s blockchain as an ERC-20 token that’s natively linked to every other project in the network? You guessed it. HOGE.

The Once and Future King of DeFi

I’ve already laid out the case in previous articles that banks are the Blockbuster of money, while Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is Netflix.

I’m not going to go deep into what DeFi is for this article, but a brief explanation of Decentralized Finance for the uninitiated can be found here.

Okay then. So let’s assume you’re already sold on the virtues of DeFi. Now let’s talk about Hoge specifically. Do you remember those questions I asked at the outset?

  1. Do you know of anyone who puts a sports team’s mascot up in place of their profile picture on social media?
  2. Do you know of anyone who has a local utility company’s logo up in the same way as their profile picture?

You know the answers, don’t you? No one puts up the logo of their water or sewage company as their profile picture, regardless of how essential indoor plumbing is to their lives. But you know plenty of people with a mascot of some kind (maybe even Doge or Hoge) as their profile picture, don’t you? Our identities get wrapped up in mascots, mass movements, and symbols, not in practical use cases. If you want someone to become an evangelistic zealot to help you get adoption for your brand, then you had better get yourself a frontman like Mr. Met or Phillie Phanatic!

I’m going to spend the rest of our time together reinforcing the three reasons why I claim that Hoge specifically is the brand that will popularize the new technology of DeFi in same the way that Mickey Mouse popularized the new technology of motion pictures.

Reason 1 — The Community

In 2021, I firmly believe the biggest problem to be solved in crypto is marketing, not engineering. There are already techniques to get transaction costs down to almost zero. What we need is widespread adoption by the general public. That means going viral. The best tool for that job is a meme coin.

For a movement to be successful, you need a small but dedicated core group of believers. The Hoge Finance community absolutely has that. There’s an inviting atmosphere provided by Hoge at the entrance of the Ethereum network with people who are glad to help newbies with questions.

The welcoming culture of Hoge attracts creative people who have talent but don’t necessarily have a following yet. Hoge offers a built-in audience. Imagine the advantage for an unknown artist of being able to utilize an existing brand as if it is your own, and gain access to 48,000+ people who are guaranteed to automatically love what you’re doing. Here are some samples of great work being done by Hoge artists.

In order to spread an idea and grow the movement, not only do we need people who are energetic and talented but we have to communicate to doubters in a persuasive way. We have to make skeptics want to join us. That’s why I’ve been working to embed sales skills including Tactical Empathy right away into the DNA of the Hoge project. I tell people that when they face resistance, don’t get defensive or keep pushing but instead say “you know what, I’m sorry I’m probably not explaining this very well but if you want to know more about it you can always look it up. Let’s talk about something else.” By teaching these basic communication strategies to Hoge Nation, not only do we improve their lives in a meaningful way right from the start, but we equip them to spread the word about Hoge effectively and respectfully, thus benefiting all of us and the brand.

I found immediate support for the idea of ubiquitously promoting negotiation skills from none other than Hogeman himself, one of the key figures in the project who has worked tirelessly for months without pay to get Hoge to where it is. As the Head of Technology for the newly formed Hoge Finance legal entity, Hogeman recently doxxed himself and came out as the atmospheric research scientist Dr. Joseph Niehaus.

In addition to rewriting the whitepaper, I’ve been hosting a podcast to help keep the community up to speed with what’s going on. My co-host Shane Cook and I will be inviting all the team members that dox themselves onto our weekly show for interviews. Below are some conversations Shane and I have had as well as our first conversation with another doxxed dev team member, Joe Rocko III who creates the infographics and educational videos. We talk about what it’s going to take to get Hoge onto an American exchange, and a realistic timetable for when that will happen.

If the long-form discussions are just a bit too long, you can catch the highlight reel by Crypto Camel.

Reason 2 — Use Case

As I said from the start, I don’t think people like Charles Hoskinson are wrong to expect a use case. There really does have to be a reason people want to hold a coin if you expect them to hold a coin. Rarity helps, as every coin collector knows, but we’re not trying to be a boutique curiosity, we’re trying to change the world here.

So how will we intend to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) minted with Hoge and purchased in Hoge to change the world?

The accomplished Italian curator, critic, and artist Francesco Bonami is honoring Hoge as the platform for his first NFT. Likewise is he is the first to receive the honor of accessing Hoge’s new minting capability.

In other words, Hoge Finance is already bridging the gap between the previously distinct worlds of fine art, technology, and meme culture. Visionaries like Bonami lead the way for a new generation of artists.

Creators of the future will be able to mint their work using Hoge and there are many advantages to doing so. Smart contracts validate the authenticity from the start and bypass a need for middlemen. The deterministic functionality of blockchain technology and decentralized exchanges can potentially make fine art purchases as automatic, instantaneous, and reliable as buying a soda from a vending machine. Instead of only being paid for the original work one time, both artists and Hoge Finance will automatically be able to get a royalty as defined at the origination of the NFT.

Purchasers of Hoge NFTs can be granted the right within our proprietary systems to use that artwork on T-Shirts, hats, and mugs sold by Hoge affiliated merchants to the Hoge community at large. Ecommerce affiliates will give a discount for using HOGE tokens, naturally, so end users will have a reason to spend HOGE.

Some of the biggest purchasers of Hoge-related artwork and merchandise are likely to be gamers. Esports is a fast-growing industry, with 14.5% year-over-year increases expected in the foreseeable future. It is projected to have a market size of nearly $1 trillion by 2024. Hoge Finance will be aggressively positioning itself at the forefront of that movement.

Remember how this all links together with sports mascots? This isn’t just a metaphor. The Hoge brand will have both a GameLabs development team that produces professional-quality Hoge games, and it will also host competitions where fees and payouts are denominated in HOGE tokens. We can also use the Hoge mascot to court prospective partners. Imagine gifting DeFi enthusiast Mark Cuban an NFT of Hoge wearing a Mavericks jersey. How would he not love that?

As the first point of contact average people have with the Ethereum network, Hoge will become the natural store of value native to ETH’s chain. This has major implications for its value in the long run, particularly when it passively generates more tokens for holders every time there’s a transaction. All else being equal, unless you plan to immediately utilize the functionality of a particular token for a particular purpose, then why hold anything other than Hoge? Its built-in deflationary and redistributive tokenomics are designed to both drive up the price over time and passively provide more tokens to holders. Hoge Finance becomes crypto-analogous to what a dividend-bearing stock is in a traditional portfolio.

As a store of value on the Ethereum network, it can also be used as a source of collateral for loans on platforms like AAVE. Instead of selling your HOGE, if you need to raise money then you’ll be able to continue holding it and borrow something like USDC against it. This lets you maintain the ownership of the appreciating asset while avoiding a taxable event. You are merely borrowing, not selling (but consult with a crypto-specializing tax professional to help you).

After hearing this, some might argue that the incentives for holding Hoge are so strong that no one will ever wish to spend them to buy anything, and volume will die down. Every use case for spending the tokens admittedly exists in the context of a 2% tax (automatic redistribution+burn). Hoge was originally intended to be “Doge for Holders” prior to my pitching it as “Heir to Doge”. Many also like to use the acronym “Holding Only Gets Easier”. But hold it for what? Things understandably start to look like a pyramid scheme to skeptics if you can’t or realistically wouldn’t transact using the tokens.

If you think you can make a profit from owning an NFT meme that allows you to sell that image on T-shirts, then maybe you’ll spend your HOGE to buy that NFT, right? If you think you can win 1,000,000 HOGE as an esports competitor, then you might be willing to pay the 1,000 HOGE entry fee, right?

Besides, whatever use case best takes hold as the coin and community evolve, there will always be people willing to do short-term speculation, buying if they think it will rise and selling if they think it will fall. Unlike some other deflationary tokens, Hoge’s 2% tax is not overly punitive. It only has a significant impact in the long run. The tokenomics tilt the advantage ever so subtly in the favor of holders without choking out speculation or discouraging transactions. Gamblers and whales who have no lasting stake can still manipulate the price all they want just like with any other token. But with Hoge, we who are in it for the long run can HODL and withstand the storms, secure in the knowledge that they can’t shake us loose. At the end of the wild ride, whales and speculators will only have added redistribution tokens to our wallets.

Ultimately, the structural advantage of being the welcoming mascot of the 1st-place Ethereum network and getting to partner and integrate with every other DeFi project on it will prove extreme. Buying Hoge is a long-term bet that it is better to be on Ethereum and get listed on American exchanges than it is to enjoy the fleeting advantages gained from building on one of the chains that will only ever remain a runner-up to Ethereum. “The tortious beats the hare”, as the saying goes.

When the tide goes out and the excitement dies down, high-tax coins on smaller chains will struggle to find legitimate use cases for their tokens. No one will want to spend 10% to obtain a coin and then another 10% to spend it using the harshly taxed “safe” coins. But only 2% tax? Sure, at a minimum people will indeed spend HOGE tokens in the esports niche, to get merchandise discounts, and to buy NFT art, even if HOGE isn’t a popular means of exchange in most parts of daily life. No one is claiming that HOGE will replace cash. Not every coin should be trying to do that. That isn’t our role in the DeFi ecosystem.

Reason 3 — Trust

“Wait… ‘trust’? But this is a brand new meme poo-coin, what fool would trust it?” I can hear the doubters already.

Here’s the truth. Every step of the way, the Hoge Finance team, which emerged from the community itself, has kept faith with the greater Hoge community. One of the major milestones was the completion of a Certik audit.

Moreover, with the help of the crypto legal expert Dr. Hance, Hoge has also created a legal entity in France, a foundation located in Switzerland, and is working on a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) to represent user interests and keep the community in control over the project. Just like they said they would.

A few elite projects will surely be able to replicate these steps and create a hybrid governance structure that is the best of both worlds (digital and traditional), but not very many. It’s one thing to copy our open-source code to launch a new meme coin. It’s quite another thing to set up the durable legal infrastructure to protect the brand and build a vibrant community of tens of thousands of fans and volunteers to support that coin. And even when other deflationary meme coins eventually also do this months or years from now, they will never be the first to do it.

Right now, the entire world is serviced by exchanges that carry Hoge except for the United States. But because of the work that’s been done behind the scenes, this will change in a matter of months, not years. When HOGE is available to buy on its first American exchange, trust (and therefore value) will go through the roof.

A Personal Note From HogeFather

I bought as much HOGE as I could near its all-time high, and am still down from my initial investment. I don’t regret that decision.

Instead of buying the dip as much as I wanted to, I spent a few thousand dollars having my dog Tucker’s eye removed to end the pain and protect him from the tumor. I don’t regret that decision either.

Hoge Finance isn’t about getting rich tomorrow, and it isn’t about getting everything perfect to make as much money as possible. It’s about building something together and putting the world as it should be.

My daughter, my firstborn, my Piper, will be born in about a month. When that happens I cannot be as active as I am now. It will fall to you, dear reader, to do what you can to carry the torch. To step up and take a leap of faith in yourself to do things that you always dreamed you could, but never dared to try until now.

“The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.” — Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Consider this your invitation to start a podcast, to pick up a paintbrush, to enter a competition, or to learn how to make your pen mightier than a sword. A great place to start in getting involved is by giving feedback in the comments because this article is, more or less, going to be what’s in the whitepaper. It is written with a more informal tone, but this is what we’re about. Since we’re a community coin, we need community input. Do you agree with what’s here? Disagree? Are there important elements I’ve left out? Let me know.

The last thought I want to leave you with is that I imagine the strong, stoic Hoge mascot as missing an eye behind those cool sunglasses. He knows pain. He knows challenges. He knows what it is to be ridiculed. And most of all, he knows that there’s absolutely nothing in this world that will stop him from his objectives.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed Hoge is king.

I have become Hogefather. Soon to be dad. Amateur author. Crypto enthusiast.

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