THE world’s first dogecoin billionaire watched their stock soar to $11BILLION as the “joke” cryptocurrency boomed after Elon Musk dubbed himself the “Dogefather”.
Its value rocketed after the Tesla tycoon spoke out ahead of a much-hyped appearance on SNL suggesting he might talk about it on the hit show watched by millions.
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He simply tweeted: “The Dogefather. SNL May 8” sending values soaring.
Dogecoin’s price shot up from $0.25 to $0.30 in less than 15 minutes after Musk posted a cryptic tweet about him starring on the hit show.
And that is great news for one investor who is said to own up to 30 cent of all of dogecoin in circulation now worth around $11bn.
At one point last week that stake was worth more than $14.6bn – in crypto talk the soaring stock is going ‘to the moon’.
Some have even speculated – without proof – that the mystery shareholder could be Musk himself.
They point to one transaction for 20.06281971 DOGE – which some believe could refer to Musk’s birthday on 28th June 1971.
However, there is no actual evidence the Tesla boss – worth a reported £179bn – owns a significant amount of dogecoin.
And in January, Musk, 49, noted that his posts about the cryptocurrency are “just meant to be jokes”.
At the start of 2021, the currency was worth about half a cent – even as bitcoin prices surged to nearly $30,000.
However, dogecoin has now pushed back towards the record highs it experienced earlier this month.
An 8,000 per cent price increase this year has now seen it overtake more widely-used cryptocurrencies like Litecoin.
Created as a cryptocurrency parody in 2013, dogecoin is based on the ‘Doge’ meme, which portrays a Shiba Inu dog.
It was invented as a “fun version of bitcoin” by software engineers Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus and a single coin was worth just $0.005405 in January.
Dogecoin can be traded on crypto exchanges and more popular mainstream trading apps.
And trading experts say despite its jokey image it is one to watch as it could be a serious hit with new investors.
“The Doge rally represents an interesting convergence,” said Diana Biggs, CEO of crypto start-up Valour.
She spoke after Dogecoin’s price soared by more than five-fold to a record $0.42 last week.
“A meme coin created as a joke for early crypto adopters whose community found that kind of thing to be fun, with now a new generation of retail investors for whom memes are a native language,” Biggs added.
Investment expert Richard Smith said: “Dogecoin is a lighthearted and authentic community built upon a serious cryptocurrency infrastructure.
“It fills a niche that BTC and ETH do not. Its lightheartedness also makes it perfect for sending a message to the current financial establishment, which is anything but lighthearted.”
And Ben Weiss, CEO at the bitcoin ATM operator CoinFlip, told Business Insider: “Many people view Doge as the ‘people’s cryptocurrency’ because it was created as a joke,”
“Major players and corporations are unlikely to buy in and manipulate the market or understand that it could be a viable currency.
“Elon has echoed this sentiment. These factors have created a perfect storm for Doge, pumping the price to where it is today.”
Dogecoin’s rise came during a surge in online trading of stocks and crypto by retail investors, stuck at home with extra cash because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Supporters of the cryptocurrency also used hashtags to fuel a rally, bumping its price during lockdown.
Musk’s dogecoin tweet suggested that he planned to discuss dogecoin during his feature on SNL next month.
While the SpaceX founder reportedly does not have significant holdings of dogecoin, he has been known to post about dogecoin on Twitter.
In February, he offered to buy out so-called dogecoin whales in order to help transform it into the “currency of the internet” with a more stable value.
“If major dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support,” he tweeted.
“Too much concentration is the only real issue imo. I will literally pay actual $ if they just void their accounts.”
The tech billionaire’s messages seem to have made a difference, say experts.
“Anything Musk tweets about shoots higher because he has such a strong following both on social media and as a businessman,” Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, told Yahoo! Finance in February.
“People will literally invest in him and his ideas, and don’t care what the fundamentals are.”