Dabloons Unveiled: Exploring TikTok’s Imaginary Economy

A “dabloon revolution” is sweeping across TikTok, capturing the hearts and imaginations of millions. But what exactly is it and how did it come to be?

What is the Dabloon Economy?

The dabloon economy is the latest craze that has taken TikTok by storm. It is a collaborative and loosely structured role-playing game where users collect “dabloons,” a fictional currency inspired by the 16th-century Spanish coin known as a “doubloon.” These dabloons can be exchanged for a range of imaginary items, including soup, weapons, or even a giant shark with a horse head!

Earning dabloons is as simple as coming across a video that gifts you some. As you continue exploring, you’ll encounter more videos featuring a friendly cat who greets you with a warm “hello traveler.” The cat then showcases its inventory of items available for purchase using a specific number of dabloons.

Here’s the interesting part: there’s no central database tracking your dabloons or your purchases, and no external website regulating them. Essentially, you could claim to have billions of dabloons in your pretend bank account. However, cheating wouldn’t provide any tangible benefits; it’s all about the whimsical journey!

Beth Woodward, an avid dabloon collector from the UK, shares why this trend has captured so many hearts: “I guess we all secretly miss the joy of being 5 years old and playing make-believe with our friends. Being a part of this trend means I get to relive that magic. I can become a silly little cat buying silly little items and just have a great time.”

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How Did it All Begin?

The origins of the dabloon trend can be traced back to two images shared by the Instagram account catz.jpeg. These images portrayed a cat’s paws with the caption “four dabloons” beneath. The nonsensical humor struck a chord with the account’s hundred thousand followers, and the posts were consistently shared over the following months.

By October 2022, the phrase “But it will cost you 4 dabloons” became a popular punchline on TikTok. Suddenly, the trend exploded, with thousands of accounts posting dabloon-related content and videos using the hashtag “#dabloons,” amassing nearly 500 million views as of November 25th.

And thus, the dabloon economy was born.

How Has it Evolved?

As the trend gained momentum, dabloon thieves emerged, draining people’s accounts and creating dabloon debts. In response, a dabloon kangaroo was invented to fend off the robbers. Subsequently, the mafia and pirate leagues formed, leading to the introduction of fighter jets and dragons within the economy, increasing players’ defenses against rival factions.

Initially, most collectors tracked their dabloon count using their phone’s notes app. However, as the economy grew more complex, collectors like Allexis Dorsey resorted to creating spreadsheets to record their income. Dorsey’s roommate even posted a viral TikTok video, explaining their intricate accounting system, inspiring others to do the same — some have taken it a step further, attempting to code their own dabloon tracking apps from scratch.

The Inflation Problem

Soon enough, participants noticed a flaw in this imaginary economy, where anyone could mint their own coins. Woodard bemoans, “It started as a fun way to get soup, cakes, and maybe a blanket, but it quickly spiraled into massive inflation. People were giving out infinite dabloons, and I saw someone selling a bowl of soup for 10 dabloons! What happened to 4?”

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To restore order, users began implementing rules, such as capping dabloon transfers to 100 per video. This led to the creation of the dabloon FBI and IRS, introducing a sense of governance to the otherwise free-spirited realm.

“This is an unexpectedly cruel lesson about our nation’s economic state,” says Dorsey, speaking from her home in the United States. “We’re facing similar issues in our actual economic climate.”

However, Woodard expresses concern about the increasing influence of the (imaginary) dabloon government. “I hate that people introduced late-stage capitalism into this beautiful world. To be honest, it’s why I joined the revolution.”

Barely a week into its inception, the dabloon economy is already experiencing a full-blown anti-capitalist revolt. Revolutionaries have a secret base where they gather, collecting resources, weapons, and even dragons for their cause. Yet, amidst the ideological battles and factional rivalries, participants are united by the sheer joy of collectively building this vast imaginary world.

“It’s incredibly whimsical,” says Louis Massey, a teacher from London, already planning the adjustments he’ll make to his classroom whiteboard’s dabloon tally in the morning. “It’s been an absolute blast!”

As TikTok’s dabloon revolution continues to unfold, it remains a testament to the power of shared imagination and playful creativity in a world filled with endless possibilities. So, let the dabloon adventure begin!

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