Think GameStop is wild? Meet Dogecoin, the meme-inspired digital currency that began as a joke and is now worth billions
College student Ronny Maali with logo image of the Dogecoin on his cell phone, outside his home in Orland Park, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. - Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS

CHICAGO – For a minute there, it looked like Ronny Maali had struck it rich — relatively speaking. The accounting student from Orland Park, Illinois, last year bought more than 1,000 Dogecoins, a digital currency that was created as a joke. Maali thought it was pretty funny too: With each Dogecoin trading for well under a penny, his investment cost him only $2.50, less than the price of a Big Mac. But last week, as social media-inspired speculation lifted the stock prices of widely belittled companies like GameStop and BlackBerry to dazzling heights, Dogecoin went along for the ride: In 24 hou...