Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency that no one was meant to take seriously, was up 43% in late morning trading Wednesday. What is going on?
You can attribute part of the enthusiasm to the looming public debut of Coinbase. Virtually all cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, are hitting all-time highs today. But perhaps a bigger driver of the Dogecoin rush is, once again, Elon Musk.
The Tesla founder has had a lot of fun on Twitter over the past four months, whipping traders into occasional frenzies by mentioning it from time to time. Wednesday morning, he did so again.
The tweet, as many of Musk’s are when it comes to Dogecoin, doesn’t really say anything. It’s an animated GIF of a Shiba Inu, the meme that launched the crypto, but it has received over 24,000 retweets so far and more than 170,000 likes.
As of 11:19 a.m. ET, Dogecoin was trading for 12.6¢ after hitting 14.5¢ earlier today. That’s nothing compared with Bitcoin’s steep numbers, but Dogecoin wasn’t designed to compete in that arena.
Dogecoin has been around for eight years, and for most of that time had a value of half a cent—tops: 10,000 new Dogecoins are programmed to be issued every minute for the rest of eternity, meaning the value will never hold. It’s a cryptocurrency that’s meant to always get cheaper. Even the creator of the coin is flummoxed by its recent rise.
At least one person or company might be making real money on the Dogecoin surge, though. In February, word escaped that an unknown entity currently holds roughly 28% of the dogecoin in circulation—some 38.6 billion Dogecoin. After today’s high point, that was worth nearly $5.6 billion.
Year to date, Dogecoin is up—brace yourself—2,613%. On Wednesday alone, it has increased 57% in value.