By February 10, the Doge rally began to fade slowly. On February 15, Musk called upon Doge whales to sell their coins in order to decrease the asset’s concentration.
Lately, Elon Musk has been a fixture in headlines around the world because of what he has been saying about cryptocurrencies. When he tweets, people pay attention, and in the case of cryptocurrency, when he talks about assets, their prices rise. When Tesla announced it would be buying $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, many speculated that it could trigger a chain reaction of other big companies buying in. However, it seems that Bitcoin is not actually Musk’s favorite cryptocurrency. That distinction belongs to the currency originally started as a joke Dogecoin.
Currently, Dogecoin ranks a bit below the top 10 cryptocurrencies in terms of market cap, having outperformed giants created thanks to millions of dollars from ICOs. Throughout the years, several prominent charity campaigns on Reddit raising money in Doge have been performed. However, Dogecoin wasn’t supposed to be a big thing. Actually, the currency with a Shiba Inu meme for its logo was created in 2013 as a joke. Dogecoin doesn’t have much to offer in terms of technology. The only thing that has been driving the price of this coin is people’s enthusiasm. “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto,” Musk recently tweeted. Let’s take a look at Musk’s history with Doge and where things stand now.
Earlier this month, during a Clubhouse speech, Musk admitted that he should have bought Bitcoins 8 years ago. However, the first time Musk publicly mentioned crypto was in November 2017. There was a rumor going around back then that Musk was true Satoshi Nakamoto to which he responded that he didn’t remember where he kept 0.25 BTC that his friend sent him years ago. In 2018, Musk confirmed on Twitter that he doesn’t own crypto apart from 0.25 BTC. Things were to change the following year.
In 2019, Musk called the Bitcoin structure “brilliant” however stated that Tesla will stay away from cryptocurrency. The same year Musk was voted the CEO of Dogecoin in a Twitter poll. “Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency,” he replied. That tweet alone provoked a 27% price growth for Dogecoin. Later on, Musk added “former CEO of dogecoin” to his Twitter bio and posted a Dogecoin meme. Another Doge-related tweet made that year reads “dogecoin value may vary.” The tweet was likely aimed at the US Securities and Exchange Commission who had pressured Musk earlier because of his Tesla stocks-related tweet which was considered potentially market-moving. In the spring, Musk and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey both made statements praising Bitcoin as a world-changing technology. However, it didn’t have any notable effect on the market.
In January 2020, Elon tweeted out to the world that Bitcoin is not his safe word. In December of the same year, he replied to a tweet addressing people shorting Tesla stocks saying that Bitcoin is his safe word. Another tweet he posted in December reads “Bitcoin is almost as bs as fiat money”. But it was in late December that Musk seems to have really dove into the Doge. He started tweeting about Doge repeatedly which triggered a dramatic price spike. It started when Musk tweeted “One word: doge”. That alone was enough to trigger a 40% Dogecoin price boost. On Christmas, Elon posted an image of shorts with the Doge icon sewn on them.
On January 27, Musk paid tribute to the WallStreetBets subreddit by tweeting a link to their community with the comment “Gamestonks”. It was made amidst the GameStop fiasco. The success of WallStreetBets inspired another subreddit, SatoshiStreetBets, to try to organize in a similar manner only for cryptocurrency. This community set its sights on Dogecoin as their asset to pump. On January 29, Musk helped this initiative by posting a parody image of a Vogue magazine cover titled “Dogue”. At the same time, the Tesla CEO replaced his bio information with the word “Bitcoin”. The price of Dogecoin skyrocketed by 800% in the hours following Musk’s tweets, surpassing the $0.05 mark for the first time. For context, for most of its existence Dogecoin has been valued at less than a cent.
On February 4, Musk returned to Twitter after a two-day break. One of the tweets he posted that day was a one-word “Doge” tweet followed by a meme in which the iconic shot from Lion King with Rafiki holding Simba is reworked to Musk holding a Shiba Inu dog(e). The latter tweet got over a million likes. Other highlights from his Twitter include “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto” and “No highs, no lows, only Doge”. These tweets moved the Doge price even higher.
Musk continued to push the Doge thing on February 6, tweeting “Much Wow” and posting a poll in which people were asked to choose the future currency of Earth. The options were Dogecoin or the rest of the cryptocurrencies combined. By that time, Gene Simmons of KISS and Snoop Dogg had joined Elon in his vocal support of Dogecoin, and Musk posted another meme with all three celebs holding Doge.
Musk’s tweets from early February were used by multiple cryptocurrency-related platforms. They didn’t want to miss out on the chance to use the hype to advertise their services. One of these companies was the wallet app developer Freewallet. It used Musk’s tweet to remind followers on Twitter that they can buy Dogecoin in their Freewallet accounts. Seemingly out of the clouds, Musk replied to Freewallet’s tweet saying that their app sucks. Later, it was revealed that Musk actually uses Freewallet and he was tweeting his displeasure after having been locked out of his account. Once his access was restored, Musk thanked Freewallet, which is the only crypto service that Musk is known to use.
By February 10, the Doge rally began to fade slowly. On February 15, Musk called upon Doge whales to sell their coins in order to decrease the asset’s concentration. The businessman promised his “full support” to those who will follow his initiative, even going as far as offering compensation in USD.
Why was Elon shilling Doge while Tesla was investing a jaw-dropping sum in Bitcoin? As Musk has over 40 million followers on Twitter and he’s a popular person, his words resonate. People who don’t know much about cryptocurrencies might think that Musk is doing it just for fun. However, according to Elon himself, he has Dogecoin savings. Once he tweeted that his little son is a “toddler hodler”. The easiest explanation of Musk’s behavior is that he has a profound love of memes and has found a way to express that love in a manner that benefits him financially.
Norbert Kozma is a crypto enthusiast, investor, and author. He believes that cryptocurrency will replace fiat money and works to speed up this process by spreading trustworthy crypto information.