Dogecoin (DOGE) price surged as much as 20% on Wednesday after Tesla (TSLA) boss Elon Musk called himself the “Dogefather” on Twitter (TWTR) ahead of his appearance on US comedy show SNL.
He tweeted “The Dogefather” to his 52 million followers, “SNL May 8.”
The meme-inspired crypto rose from $0.26 to $0.32, pushing it back to record highs it enjoyed two weeks ago, after declines last week.
The cryptocurrency, which first started up as a joke in 2013, now has a market cap of more than $50bn (£36bn), thanks to recent surges.
It was boosted by the GameStop saga at the start of January 2021, soaring over 800% as Reddit users, who also pumped stocks such as GameStop (GME) and AMC (AMC), drew their attention to the coin.
In February, Musk began tweeting about it. Musk sent out a flurry of tweets about the cryptocurrency, first tweeting just the word “Doge”, followed by “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto”, and “No highs, no lows, only Doge.”
The rise follows similar trends in global financial markets and a revival of interest in cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and ethereum (ETH-USD) — the world’s two biggest cryptocurrencies — both reached new all-time highs recently, a rally that coincided with the stock market listing of Coinbase (COIN).
It is not the first time the billionaire has influenced cryptocurrency markets. Musk has previously also sent supportive tweets about flagship crypto Bitcoin.
His involvement in price spikes have led to speculations that he is being investigated by US regulators for potential market manipulation.
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Tesla invested $1.5bn in bitcoin, in February, and said it may even start accepting it as payment for its products.
Musk, who has often been seen tweeting about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, contributed to the popularity of Bitcoin. Earlier in January, he sent the Bitcoin price soaring after the businessman tagged the crypto in his Twitter bio.
Dogecoin takes its name and logo from the Shiba Inu dog in the “doge” meme that became popular on the internet in the early part of the last decade. The cryptocurrency can be used for payments in much the same way as bitcoin but is far smaller and less well known or used.
Other celebrities have also tweeted about the token following the attention from Musk. Snoop Dogg has also buoyed up the price of the joke token, as has KISS singer Gene Simmons.
Musk previously said his frequent tweets about Dogecoin are jokes.
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