TechnologyDogecoin: 'joke' virtual currency touted by Elon Musk

Dogecoin: ‘joke’ virtual currency touted by Elon Musk


London, United Kingdom: Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency originally created as a joke, has grabbed the headlines thanks to repeated interest from tech billionaire Elon Musk — and despite doubts in the financial community.

The price of the virtual unit hit a record high over the weekend ahead of Musk’s hosting of the popular US sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL).

Dogecoin then tumbled because the Tesla and SpaceX founder joked on the show that dogecoin was a “hustle” — or money-making scam.

Musk is also a vocal supporter of the world’s most popular virtual currency bitcoin, adding to its soaring value earlier this year.

A niche currency

Founded in 2013, dogecoin’s creators say it was intended as an ironic response to two big internet phenomena: cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, and a meme image of a Shiba Inu dog.

That gave the unit its unique name.

“From ‘that seems like it’s funny’ to actually doing it took about three hours,” co-founder Billy Markus, a video game-obsessed software engineer at IBM, told the news website CNET.

Users of Reddit forums then began using dogecoin, thanks to its previously extremely low prices, to welcome posters’ comments.

Dogecoin was boosted this year by the buying frenzy that surrounded the GameStop saga and after multiple supportive tweets from Musk.

What is dogecoin worth?

Dogecoin stood at just fractions of a cent for most of its existence, before breaching five cents earlier this year — and striking a record pinnacle above 74 cents on Saturday.

However, it slumped to as low as 49 cents during the SNL broadcast.

Dogecoin stood at 52 cents in Monday morning trades, according to the website CoinMarketCap.

That gave dogecoin a market valuation of $67 billion (55 billion euros), making it the fourth-biggest cryptocurrency.

The world’s most popular virtual unit bitcoin has a valuation of $1.1 trillion.

The second and third biggest are ethereum and binance coin, respectively.

The Musk effect 

Controversial multi-billionaire Musk praised dogecoin again during SNL — but sent mixed messages.

Pressed on what dogecoin is, Musk called it “an unstoppable vehicle that’s going to take over the world”.

But then he agreed in a jokey tone during a sketch that “it’s a hustle”.

Investors were apparently not amused as the currency fell following the show.

“The word ‘hustle,’ which he used as a joke, made speculators dump the coin who were previously thinking of more optimistic language from him,” said ThinkMarkets analyst Naeem Aslam.

Nevertheless, SpaceX announced Sunday that it would launch a satellite to the Moon next year funded with dogecoin.

Market skepticism 

The broader financial community is wary of dogecoin’s volatility, which is attractive to retail investors but not major financial players.

That is in contrast to volatile bitcoin, which has won key backing from big-hitting banks on Wall Street.

OANDA anlayst Jeffrey Halley pulled no punches in his assessment of Musk’s latest favourite crypto unit.

“Someone (who) bought Dogecoin before the SNL program… was nursing 40 percent losses after it aired,” he lamented.

“On the other hand, if you are stupid enough to stake a goodly portion of your net wealth on juvenile tweets and a comedy show, you probably deserve everything you get.”

Halley also urged financial regulators to step in and bring order to the volatile world of cryptocurrency.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

Ants spotted completely ‘healing’ wounded trees in 24 hrs!

When drilled holes into Cecropia trees, tiny ants colonizing its trunks emerged like fairy Godmothers to heal the wounded...

Six Major Climate Developments to What Out For in 2022

This story originally appeared in The Revelator and is being published here as a part of Covering Climate Now, a global...

Climate Crisis Wouldn’t Defuse Until Democracy Emergency Isn’t Dealt With

This story originally appeared in The Guardian and is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of...

After Omicron, New Covid Variant with More Mutations found in France

Kolkata, India: As the world continues to struggle with the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus...

Biden Warns of Rising COVID-19 Cases

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden warned Tuesday there's "going to be a continued rise in cases" and that the...

Swiss unanimously votes for same-sex union referendum

GENEVA — In Switzerland, a controversial same-sex marriage referendum has been resoundingly approved by voters of the conservative, rich Alpine...

Must read

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you