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Dogecoin raises $30,000 for Jamaican bobsleigh team

In the ultimate Internet fairytale, the founders of the meme-based crypto-currency have helped send a two-man bobsleigh team to Sochi 2014.

Meet the Shiba Inu mascot of Dogecoin.
Meet the Shiba Inu mascot of Dogecoin.

Such rhythm! So rhyme! Wow -- it's bobsled time. In the ultimate Internet fairytale, the founders of amusing meme-based crypto-currency Dogecoin have raised nearly enough money for a two-man bobsleigh team from Jamaica to go to the Winter Olympics.

After the story of Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon qualifying for Sochi 2014 went viral online -- thanks to the Internet's collective nostalgia for 1993's "Cool Runnings" -- it became clear Jamaica's first trip to the Winter Games since 2002 might founder for want of funds.

"We need about $40,000 for travel and also to buy new runners for the sled because we can't go to an Olympics with only one set," Watts told the BBC.

The Dogecoin Foundation, founders of the shiba-inu fronted online currency, quickly started, a tip jar for the Caribbean ice racers. It had all the ingredients for a whirlwind of virality -- a funny pet-related meme, bitcoin, nostalgia, money-raising, and lovable '80s funny man John Candy.

More than 26 million Dogecoins, worth $30,000, were donated in just a couple of hours, with enthusiastic fans buying so much of the currency that it massively inflated its value. Other online fundraisers for the team have nearly matched that total.

Jamaica's Olympic team has also raised money for the bobsledders. Team Jamaica

"We noticed the value of Dogecoin had more than doubled since we'd last checked," Dogecoin founder Liam Butler told The Guardian, "so we raced back to my house to ensure we could get the best price for the donations in a form the team could actually use.

"As much as we have faith in Dogecoin to become the community currency of the Internet, we still understand that the team need to buy their airfares in a fiat currency," Butler said.

The comic-sans currency made the news last week when it emerged that it accounted for more transaction volume than all other cryptocurrencies combined, although this was largely due to each coin's tiny value. It was also the subject of a hack last month, with $16,000 worth going missing.