Mr Musk has a history of launching plans that seem impossible, making it difficult to know whether the SpaceX founder was half- or fully-joking.
The SpaceX founder later responded to a user who suggested that his commitment to taking the coin to space should not be doubted, apparently in agreement. “After all, SpaceX’s first payload to orbit & back was a wheel of cheese,” he wrote.
He has previously suggested that the company would send the “silliest thing we can imagine” on another flight – which turned out to be Mr Musk’s own car, which continues to be in orbit.
But whether the announcement was a joke or not, it caused a very real price spike for the cryptocurrency. The price leapt up as soon as Mr Musk tweeted and has now gained 18 per cent over the last day.
Fans of cryptocurrency and stocks frequently use the phrase “to the Moon” to refer to their hopes for a price surge. Others – including YouTuber Mr Beast – have joked that it would be fitting to put a cryptocurrency on the surface in some form.
Cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin exist as digital information rather than physical objects. In the past, however, real coins have been made out of the virtual currency – so the mission could be fulfilled either with one such coin or simply a hard drive that includes certain bits.
SpaceX is yet to get close to the Moon, but it has plans for its Starship spacecraft to make trips to visit it soon.
Starship is still in testing, and humans will not make the journey until it has travelled around the Moon without people, and the latest launch of the craft ended in an apparent explosion that remains somewhat mysterious.