The Dabloon economy takes place on TikTok. It is a loosely structured, collective role-playing game in which users collect the fictional currency „dabloons,“ linguistically based on the 16th century Spanish coin „doubloon,“ and exchange them for fictional items such as weapons, soup, or a giant shark with a horse’s head.
What are dabloons on TikTok? Explanation, definition, meaning
You can win Dabloons by simply watching a video where you get a Dabloon. You will then come across other videos – most of them contain an image of a cat welcoming you with the words „Hello, traveler“ and then showing you its stock of goods, which you can buy for a certain number of dabloons.
There is no database that tracks how many you have or what you buy, nor is there an official website that creates or regulates such videos. You can also simply claim that you have ten billion dabloons in your supposed bank account, but other than the whimsy of deciding to cheat, there are no tangible benefits. But really, you are only cheating yourself.
Avid British Dabloons collector Beth Woodward says the reason for buying and giving Dabloons as gifts is because every adult misses being five years old and playing with their friends.
Origin of Dabloons on TikTok
According to the website Know Your Meme, the origin of the dabloon trend goes back to two photos shared on Instagram by the account catz.jpeg, showing cat paws with the simple caption „four dabloons“.
This nonsensical humor seemed to please the account’s hundreds of thousands of followers and was shared constantly over the next few months.
In October 2022, the phrase „But it’ll cost you 4 dabloons“ became popular on TikTok, and by the end of November, it turned into a real hype: thousands of accounts posted content and videos with dabloons under the hashtag „#dabloons,“ which by November 25 had racked up nearly 500 million views. That’s how this crazy dabloon economy began.
How did the trade in dabloons evolve?
All of a sudden, dabloon thieves appeared, draining users‘ accounts or plunging them into a debt spiral to Dabloon. Obviously, the kangaroo had to be invented to fight thieves. Then mafia and pirate leagues were created, and of course fighters and dragons were added to the economy to increase player protection and ward off opposing factions.
Within a day or two, however, the economy became so complicated that collectors like 21-year-old Alexis Dorsey needed a spreadsheet to keep track of their earnings. She and her roommate stood there for four hours, fiddling with the spreadsheets. A video posted by her roommate on TikTok in which Dorsey explained her detailed accounting system went viral, so the trend soon caught on – some users even tried coding their own dabloon tracking apps from scratch.
What is the problem with inflation?
TikTok users quickly realized there was a problem with this imaginary economy where everyone could mint their own coins.
Woodard says it all started as a fun way for people to get pastries, soup and maybe a warm blanket, but it quickly turned into major inflation. People started giving away endless dabloons, some selling soup for 10 dabloons, whereas before it was worth 4 dabloons.
To restore order, users developed rules, such as limiting the maximum number of inherited dabloons to 100 per video. The Dabloon FBI and the Dabloon Tax Authority were soon established.
Consumers prepare for a revolution
Dorsey says this is all a very cruel lesson that everyone is learning about the economic state of the United States. The Dabloons point out some of the problems people are literally facing in the current economic climate.
But some, like Woodard, are appalled by the ever-tightening grip of the (fictional) Dabloon government. Woodard says he hates that late capitalism has been introduced into the wonderful world of TikTok.
Yes, one week after conception, the Dabloon economy is threatened by a full-scale anti-capitalist revolt.
A secret base has already been established where the revolutionaries are gathering and preparing weapons and other resources in preparation for the revolution. Some users have donated their guard dogs, fighter jets, body armor, and recently some kites.
What unites the participants in the dabloon economy is the sheer joy of creating this vast fantasy world together.