Dogecoin value shoots up $2 billion after Elon Musk tweets

Dogecoin was founded in 2013 as a fun take on bitcoin and other emerging cryptocurrencies (Wikimedia Commons)
Dogecoin was founded in 2013 as a fun take on bitcoin and other emerging cryptocurrencies (Wikimedia Commons)

The price of the “joke” cryptocurrency Dogecoin has shot up by more than 40 per cent after technology billionaire Elon Musk once again tweeted about it.

Dogecoin rose from below $0.04 (£0.03) a coin to nearly $0.06 (£0.04), taking its overall market cap from around $5bn (£3.6bn) to above $7bn (£5bn).

The cryptocurrency shares many of the same decentralised features as bitcoin, having been founded four years after the original cryptocurrency in 2013, but was only ever meant to be an entertaining take on the emerging industry.

Dogecoin co-founder Jackson Palmer described it in 2014 as a “personal joke” that he had decided to share with the world, encouraging people not to take it seriously.

The community that has formed around Dogecoin has helped drive interest in it, with its price rising by 50,000 per cent since 2014.

Musk, who overtook Amazon founder Jeff Bezos earlier this year to become the world’s richest person, posted several tweets on Thursday morning in support of Dogecoin, describing it as “the people’s crypto”.

He also shared a photoshopped image of himself holding up a Shiba Inu dog – the inspiration for dogecoin – in a freeze-frame from The Lion King.

“Ur welcome,” he tweeted, followed by “No highs, no lows, only Doge”, and “No need to be a gigachad to own”.

It is not the first time the meme-loving billionaire has promoted Dogecoin, with each mention causing significant market movements.

Speaking during a Q&A session on the app Clubhouse on Sunday, Musk said that his posts were “just meant to be jokes” and not to be taken seriously, noting the effect his words have on the cryptocurrency market.

Previous posts include a suggestion that Dogecoin should be the official currency on Mars, where he is aiming to establish a human colony through his work as the head of SpaceX.

During his Clubhouse discussion, he added that “fate loves irony” and that Dogecoin’s fortunes could ultimately prove this paradigm.

“The most entertaining outcome is often the most likely,” he said.

“Arguably the most entertaining outcome, and most ironic outcome, would be that Dogecoin becomes the currency of Earth in the future.”

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