On Christmas Day, someone hacked into two of the largest Dogecoin wallet sites and stole 30 million units of the digital currency.
It was a huge blow to a community that prides itself on its lack of rapaciousness. Dogecoin is mostly used to "tip" people on the Internet for performing favors or good deeds. At least two animal shelter groups, one in Florid and one in Spain, also accept the currency.
That same generosity has now produced an incredible attempt to restore faith in Dogecoin's integrity by raising money to compensate people who'd lost funds.
Launched Friday by techie Ben Doernberg, "the 12 days of Dogemas," which is being run out of reddit, has already raised more than 5 million Dogecoins, worth about $2,200. Contributions have come from around the world, and there's a mining pool that's sending 1% of their haul to the effort. In an email, Doernberg says he hopes to raise at least 15 million.
"The effort has been successful because respect, support and love is baked into the DNA of dogecoin," Doernberg said. "The doge meme is all about over-the-top positivity and optimism, and dogecoin was started in pursuit of fun and laughter, not greed. A few minutes spent on r/dogecoin will show that there isn't a more welcoming, friendly community anywhere on the Internet."
Dogecoin co-founder Billy Markus told us in an email he was amazed by the project.
"I've NEVER seen something like this before in cryptocurrency. Usually when something gets hacked the common response is for everyone to call the people who got hacked 'idiots'. To me, this is incredible."
Dogecoin's market cap has been cut in half since reaching a high of more than $14 million on December 19.
More From Business Insider