DOGECOIN, a cryptocurrency essentially based on a meme, surged in price today and got a boost from Tesla CEO Elon Musk when the tech founder tweeted a gif of the dog featured in the meme.
The virtual currency surpassed 10 cents for the first time in the last 24 hours, and currently sits at about 13 cents.
Musk, 49, tweeted a gif of a Shiba Inu dog — the “face” of the cryptocurrency — early this morning, causing its value to spike further. In the past, the SpaceX founder has posted about Dogecoin and its value increased.
The virtual “money” started as an internet parody more than seven years ago, according to CNN, but has since become a legitimate digital currency.
Jackson Palmer, an Australian marketer, made a joke about combining cryptocurrency and the Doge meme in 2013, but that joke has taken on a life of its own: its market cap is now over $17 billion.
Dogecoin is simply a digital coin with a picture of dog on it, according to CNET. That dog is the subject of an internet meme of a Shibe with an “inner monologue” featuring phrases like "so scare," "much noble," and "wow."
The cryptocurrency is rather popular on Reddit, but its biggest fan seems to be Musk, whose tweets tend to drive up Dogecoin value. The currency has gone up more than 2,000 percent from the start of the year, and more than 85 percent in the last 24 hours.
Musk tweeted quite a bit about Dogecoin in February, posting comments like, “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto," "No need to be a gigachad to own,” and, “No highs, no lows, only Doge."
Following that flurry of tweets, the price of Dogecoin surged more than 50 percent.
Previously, the billionaire changed his Twitter biography in January to read "#bitcoin,” and within minutes, the value of Bitcoin went up to $5,000 "in the space of an hour to trade at $37,299,” according to CNBC.
In January, Musk noted that his posts about Dogecoin are "just meant to be jokes".
But they clearly have a real impact on the value of the cryptocurrency.
In response to his tweet, several people replied with various memes of Musk with “Doge” and with phrases like “Dogerise” and “Doge taking over the world!”
"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."
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