What are doubloons? Why TikTok has been taken over by an imaginary cat meme ‘currency’

Have you been seeing the word ‘dabloons’, or doubloons, a lot lately, and are confused as to what is going on?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

A new trend is taking over TikTok and it has left some people a little bit in the dark.

Here’s everything you need to know about the ‘dabloon’ movement.

What are ‘dabloons’?

You might better know the word doubloons from the history pages (or pirate movies). They are gold coins dating back to 16th century Spain and were used as currency for hundreds of years.

In its modern incarnation, the reference originated with a meme (or course) from 2021, featuring a cat holding out a paw and the phrase “four dabloons”. Each toe was worth one ‘dabloon’. Website Know Your Meme says this post actually originated on Instagram but has become just as popular on TikTok.

Unsurprisingly, the trend has now evolved. “Dabloons” now refers to an imaginary currency doing the rounds on TikTok, which started in November 2022.

It is a fictional currency used to trade fictional items. A bit of fun. It does not really exist, so don’t get it mixed up with crypto currencies like Bitcoin.

How does this work?

It is basically all one big game: people accrue ‘dabloons’ by just counting up how many times they have seen dabloons online. Literally, if you see dabloons, you get dabloons, and each meme is worth four dabloons.

People are concocting this dabloon economy in extreme detail. You can get into dabloon debt, dabloon theft, some are tracing dabloon inflation, and there are even claims of a dabloon IRS (the American Inland Revenue Service).

Dabloon shops have popped up, such as @dabloongrocerystore, offering items as innocuous as eggs and flour. You may come across videos featuring cats declaring “hello traveller” as though you are a weary adventurer making your way around the internet. They will then offer you a variety of items with prices in dabloons, which you can choose at your leisure.

You have to keep track of your own dabloon spending, which some people are doing using excel spreadsheets.

TikTok user @britedragon explained it as everyone playing the game Neopets, and everyone just plays along with it.

Some people started to give away infinite dabloons, but this has started to play havoc with the economy.

The hashtag dabloons has been viewed 520 million times on TikTok at the time of writing.

Singer Loren Gray, who has 54.5 million followers on TikTok and is also following the trend, posted a video saying: “I don’t know how many dabloons I have anymore. Every other TikTok I see, ‘Here’s a dabloon checkpoint, here’s 100 dabloons. Oh no, the dabloon economy is crashing.’”

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