What started as a joke could be a cryptocurrency that could be used for Tesla merchandise.
Dogecoin rallied on Friday after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the carmaker will now accept cryptocurrency as payment for goods.
What originally began as a joking joke on the excitement in the crypto market, Dogecoin surged some 10% by Friday afternoon in the wake of Musk’s morning tweet.
Musk’s five-word message – “Tesla merch buyable with Dogecoin” – garnered more than 270,000 likes on the platform and sparked an enthusiastic, meme-filled debate in the comments section.
Meanwhile, the website of Tesla’s merchandise and accessories (which doesn’t sell its famous electric vehicles) on Friday showed updated checkout buttons next to some of its products for those who want to pay with Dogecoin. Among the products available for purchase with Dogecoin were Tesla’s “Giga Texas Belt Buckle” and its “S3XY Mug”.
For years, the so-called meme coin was worth less than a penny. Following Musk’s tweet on Friday, it was trading at around 19 cents — a huge jump from historic lows but still more than 60 cents, about a third of its record value last May.
This is not the first time that Musk’s tweet has been linked to volatility in the crypto market. The price of bitcoin fell last May in the wake of Musk’s Twitter announcement that his company would no longer accept bitcoin as a form of payment due to its ties to fossil fuels – a sharp drop that dragged down other popular cryptos at the time as well. The saga comes a few months after a separate announcement that Tesla would accept bitcoin as the payment was tied to a sharp rally.
He has long embraced Dogecoin on Twitter and beyond, appearing as the character of “Dogfather” during his “Saturday Night Live” performance last May. In the comedy skit, Musk’s character is repeatedly choked up with the question “What is Dogecoin?” before finally accepting it as “a hustle”.
The billionaire has over 70 million followers on Twitter and has been known to openly share his opinions in unfiltered ways, which sometimes landed him in court or in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission.