Dogecoin jumps after Elon Musk announces that Tesla will accept the meme coin—for merch
On Friday, electric-vehicle maker Tesla began accepting Dogecoin, a dog-themed cryptocurrency, as payment for some merchandise on its website.
“Tesla merch buyable with Dogecoin,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Friday.
After Dogecoin appeared as a payment option on the Tesla website, the price of Dogecoin surged by 11%. Dogecoin is currently the 11th largest cryptocurrency coin with a $25.2 billion market cap, but a downturn in the broader crypto market in recent days has pushed Dogecoin’s price to its lowest point since April 2021. It remains down 74% from its all-time high in May of last year.
Tesla’s website does not allow customers to purchase its electric vehicles with Dogecoin. But it does let customers buy some collectible items—a “cyberwhistle,” a “Giga Texas” belt buckle, and a “cyberquad” four-wheeler for kids—with the cryptocurrency. The items retail for 300 DOGE ($57), 835 DOGE ($160), and 12,020 DOGE ($2,287), respectively, and appear to be sold out.
Tesla did not respond to Fortune’s request for comment on the matter. A customer service officer in Hong Kong confirmed that Tesla now accepts Dogecoin for some goods, but that it doesn’t allow for Dogecoin transactions in Hong Kong, a Chinese territory.
Tesla’s Dogecoin support page says that customers must have their own Dogecoin wallets set up to pay with the cryptocurrency and that Tesla will not accept any other digital currencies.
“Tesla only accepts Dogecoin…Non-Dogecoin digital assets sent to Tesla will not be returned to the purchaser,” the website states.
After Tesla’s Dogecoin payment feature went live on Friday, Dogecoin cofounder Billy Markus barked his approval.
Last year, Tesla briefly accepted Bitcoin payments for its products including its cars, but Musk announced in May 2021 that Tesla would stop accepting the cryptocurrency owing to concerns about Bitcoin’s environmental toll.
Tesla has not said whether it’s worried about environmental issues related to Dogecoin. Analysts say that Dogecoin may be slightly more energy-efficient than Bitcoin, but mining the cryptocurrency still comes at significant cost to the environment.
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