Dogecoin (DOGE) has had an interesting few months. The popular cryptocurrency, originally designed as a joke, has started to get serious. It re-formed the Dogecoin Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to protect the brand and give strategic direction. It’s also working on a series of technical upgrades, and even plans to hire full-time staff.

But interestingly, that’s not why billionaire investor and cryptocurrency enthusiast Mark Cuban just bought more DOGE.

Cuban upped his Dogecoin investment because it’s fun

The Dallas Mavericks owner is no stranger to Dogecoin dabbling. He bought DOGE for his son in January because he views it as a fun and educational way to learn about investing.

But he’s never viewed it as a serious addition to his portfolio. In a recent interview with Fox Business, Cuban stressed, “I’ve never told anybody it’s a great investment.” He did tell the show that he’d bought a bit more for fun, increasing his Dogecoin holdings from $500 to $1,500.

That’s small change for the man who told Delphi Digital back in March that he might spend $50,000 on an early-stage coin if he thinks it’s a decent idea. At that point, he said he held only around 10 tokens.

People are paying with DOGE

Cuban draws a clear distinction between, for example, Bitcoin (BTC) and Dogecoin. He told Fox, “Not a lot of people pay in Bitcoin because it’s really an appreciable asset.” He explained that people see it as a store of value, and they want to wait for the price to increase.

In contrast, he says a lot of Mavericks fans are buying tickets and merchandise with Dogecoin. “We sell thousands and thousands of dollars per month in the off-season, and once the season starts I expect that to happen per week in Dogecoin.” The reason? Cuban says Dogecoin’s easy to spend and it doesn’t appreciate so much that people want to hold it forever. He tweeted in August that it’s “the people’s way to pay.”

Cuban’s still a big smart contract fan

Mark Cuban has long been a big fan of Ethereum’s (ETH) smart contract capabilities. He believes they could provide fertile ground for a lot of business applications. Smart contracts are tiny pieces of code that live on the blockchain, and Cuban says they could have a significant impact, first on the financial industry and then on other industries.

The Shark Tank star says smart contract developments are similar to the early days of the internet, when we moved from analog to digital. It opens the door to a host of new possibilities. For example, Cuban said, “I’m investing in things like decentralized insurance applications, decentralized ways to distribute NFTs, which allow for things like 3-D printing files, textbooks — so many different applications.”

Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum are all available from top cryptocurrency apps and exchanges. But don’t blindly follow Cuban’s lead: Do your own research and make sure your crypto investments fit with your overall investment strategy. And, don’t buy crypto with money you can’t afford to lose.

There are hundreds of platforms around the world that are waiting to give you access to thousands of cryptocurrencies. And to find the one that’s right for you, you’ll need to decide what features matter most to you.

To help you get started, our independent experts have sifted through the options to bring you some of our best cryptocurrency exchanges for 2021. Check out the list here and get started on your crypto journey, today.

Emma Newbery owns Bitcoin and Ethereum. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bitcoin.

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