What is ‘dablon’, the fictitious currency sending TikTok into a frenzy?

Posted on December 7, 2022 at 5:41 pmUpdated December 7, 2022 at 5:53 p.m

The television is covered with “breaking news” posters: at the end of November, a new currency, the “dabloon” (or doublen, referring to the pirate currency of Spanish origin), appeared in the media. “Dablon” is not a currency like the others, but a fictitious one. That doesn’t stop its users from panicking about the hyperinflation that threatens the virtual stock market and its associated underground economy. These are the components of the latest trend that is exciting Tiktok, which has become ‘Dabloon Town’ in no time.

Dabloon, a fake digital currency born from an internet meme, has just sensationally entered the repertoire of internet hype that informs our times and the way we think about the economy. But what exactly?

When a cultural meme spawns a fictional “economy”.

TikTok’s dablons were born from a cat meme posted on Instagram in early 2021 with the caption “4 duplicate cats”. Meanwhile, the photo spreads until it catches the attention of tiktokers who capture the digital image to imagine dabloons, a fake currency that quickly becomes a fictional medium of exchange online.

Users of the platform quickly got involved in the game. Viral videos and memes have proliferated around Dablons, such as this series of photos suggesting users use their Dablons to buy hamburgers or stew. The “price” shown is the original meme reference: 4 duplicates.

People gathered around this fictional economy know each other through a set of catchphrases reminiscent of a massively multiplayer online game (“Hello traveler”), as well as hashtags (#dabloons, #dablooncat, #dabloonmarket). Spontaneously, Tiktokers then begin to replicate the performance of real currency applied to online exchanges. It is possible to “earn” daublons and exchange them for various digital goods. To earn doubloons, simply watch a video that includes the phrase “Hello Traveler” and then declare yourself the owner of the fictional currency.

Market boom and hyperinflation

The hashtag #dabloons has 1.2 billion views, #dablooncurrency 9.8 million, and #dabloonstocks, which tracks market fluctuations, 7.6 million. The TikTok platform is fast becoming a huge casino. In early December, the fictitious economy of the doubloon began, and speculation about the “value” of the doubloon became widespread.

But this digital marketplace is not governed by any of the rules that traditionally apply to exchanges. ‘Dabloon Town’ has no private or public account registry, nor any trusted third party to facilitate exchanges. Users try their best to maintain their virtual accounts. Some try Excel spreadsheets or records to keep a list of receipts and expenses. But navigation quickly becomes difficult.

The enthusiasm is such that the fictitious course of dablo is causing panic. Dabloon’s “money creation” is exponential, and some fans of the fictitious currency are beginning to lament the uncontrolled rise in prices. One of the fictional stories of ‘Dabloon Town’ opens with this phenomenon of hyperinflation. Users suggest taking strong measures such as limiting the money supply.

The market boom around doubloons and their circulation also arouses the greed of some malicious people. Thus, witnesses of “thefts” of doubloons are increasing. Fans also lament the creation of “black markets” where unofficial doubloons are sold. A proposal is in circulation: to regulate this market more strongly by applying rules similar to those governing IRL (real-life) companies. Some suggest electing a president and creating a double police force. The proposals, which have angered some users, worry that this digital utopia will fully enter into a form of legal “normalization”. They claim complete independence and an almost anti-capitalist spirit of rebellion. The world of dabloons must remain unmanageable.

A mirror of the tension of society and the real economy

It is interesting to see this fictional digital currency phenomenon unfold at a time when inflation is really affecting the economy and the crypto-asset industry is experiencing a series of scandals that could threaten its future. .

Dablon’s fictional economy appears to mirror real-world controversies, staging conflicts over the cause-and-effect relationship of inflation to the issue of market regulation. This close dance with reality also shows the need for economic events, including the return of money.

The question then arises as to the future of the fictitious doubloon economy. Will this phenomenon remain synonymous with a strong but temporary boom, or will this web trend give birth to a real project for a robust “digital currency”? Some users have decided to create a cryptocurrency whose circulation is still extremely limited.

Séverin, a 27-year-old Swiss computer science doctor, is more nuanced. Although he challenges this phenomenon he considers “funny”yet he only sees one “An excuse to create quick content to feed the TikTok algorithm”based on constant production by users.

One thing’s for sure, the doubloon economy has already gotten a lot of ink flowing in the real world and the virtual world.

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