LON Musk and investor mania sent the prices of Dogecoin and its big brother Bitcoin to record highs on currency markets.
The Doge cryptocurrency, a token based on an internet dog meme which started as a joke in 2013, was up 30% to a high of $0.085 (6.2pence).
Last month, it was trading at around $0.0075c (0.5pence) – an increase of some 1030%.
In the same period Bitcoin has risen a mere 25%, despite today’s $5,000 surge to a record high of $44,899.
Doge’s ascent has been buoyed by a wave of tongue-in-cheek endorsements from billionaire Tesla boss Musk, rapper Snoop Dogg and Kiss bassist Gene Simmons on social media.
The latest price surge pushed the market value of dogecoin above $10bn, making it the 10th most valuable cryptocurrency in circulation by market capitalisation.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin set a new record price this afternoon after it emerged Tesla (owned by Musk) invested $1.5billion last month. A purchase described by one commentator as: “one bubble investing in another bubble.”
What is Dogecoin?
According to the official website: “Dogecoin is a decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency that enables you to easily send money online”.
It was created by IBM developer Billy Markus and Adobe data scientist Jackson Palmer in 2013 as an alternative to Bitcoin and a parody of the online cult around cryptocurrencies.
Despite, or possibly because of that, it has increased in price by 1,250% since the new year – even faster than its big brother.
It is named in honour of a Japanese Shiba Inu whose photo went viral at the time: captions were added in the Comic Sans font to convey an amusing imagined insight into the dog’s inner-most thoughts.
The internet was nicer back then.
The code is based on the Litecoin, and can be mined in the same way as many other digital currencies. It differs because its supply is limitless.
It has mostly been used to pay small tips on social media.
What is going on with its price?
Prices of crypto have rocketed in the past three months driven by fears of inflation in real-world currencies, celebrity endorsements and growing mainstream acceptance.
Dogecoin’s anarchic spirit has struck a chord in the US, with Elon Musk, Snoop Dogg and Kiss’s Gene Simmons all raising its profile in recent days.
It has also been picked up by the high-risk betters who read Reddit’s WallsStreetBets channel
On February 4, it doubled in value after Musk tweeted: “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto”.
Musk was joking. With Simmons, who declared himself the “God of Dogecoin”, and rapper Snoop Dogg, who pasted a Doge over his album art, it is less clear.
Either way, the social media frenzy sent the price of Doge shooting up again last night. The goal is to push it to $1 per coin, which would require a further gain of around 1000%.
Who is Gene Simmons?
Your typical financial adviser type.
How do I buy Dogecoin?
Most crypto exchanges do not offer Doge but Binance and Kraken are the two biggest brokers who do. It is also available in the US on the Robinhood app, whose army of armchair users helped to fuel its latest rise.
Should I buy it?
Unless you are prepared to see your investment vanish in an unpredictable puff of digital smoke (see GameStop), or are one of the high-risk betters who think Reddit’s WallsStreetBets channel constitutes reasoned and sensible investment advice, then