Tesla billionaire Elon Musk has repeatedly thrown his support behind meme-based bitcoin rival dogecoin in recent years:helping its price skyrocket while mocking legendary investor Warren Buffett.
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However, the price of dogecoin has plummeted dramatically since its 2021 peak, falling alongside bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as a brutal crypto crash sparks fears of a “price spiral.”
Now Elon Musk, who has found himself increasingly drawn into the Twitter ranks since his bid to take the company private was announced in April, has revealed one reason why he thinks “people love dogecoin.”
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“Billy’s sense of humor and irreverence is a big part of why people love dogecoin,” Musk aware took to Twitter, responding to dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus after dogecoin’s other co-creator Jackson Palmer launched a scathing attack on Musk, accusing him of being a “scammer.”
“Palmer always forgets to mention that he never wrote a single line of dogecoin code,” Musk replied, with Markus adding, “The people who followed us did exponentially more than Jackson or I did on the code base.” Markus and Palmer created dogecoin, which is loosely based on a fork of bitcoin, as “a joke” using the doge meme as inspiration.
In early 2021, dogecoin garnered widespread attention, with the help of Musk and other high-profile backers such as billionaire Mark Cuban, becoming a top ten cryptocurrency as traders piled into memecoin. It reached a market cap of nearly $90 billion in early May 2021. Since then, the price of dogecoin has plummeted, with its market cap falling below $10 billion.
This week, Palmer, an outspoken crypto critic, lashed out at the crypto space, saying he thought it would “implode a little faster and people would learn their lesson.”
Palmer, speaking to Australia Crikey to promote his new Griftonomics podcast, he said he wishes “it was the end of crypto, but it’s not,” and that “more and more people are doing nothing but making money doing nothing, it fucks us all up.”
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Palmer also said he messaged Musk via Twitter years ago with details of code he claimed could automatically detect and report cryptocurrency scams on Twitter. “It became clear very quickly that [Musk] I didn’t understand coding as well as I thought I did,” Palmer said.
Musk has repeatedly criticized Twitter bots and crypto scams on the platform, accusing Twitter of underestimating the number of fake accounts and putting its offer to take the company private “temporarily on hold” until Twitter provides evidence of its claim of that less than 5% of their users were spam or fake accounts.
Last week, Musk announced that his rocket company, SpaceX, will follow Tesla and accept dogecoin as a commodity, which will temporarily increase the price of dogecoin. Tesla began accepting dogecoin for merchandise purchases in January.
Last year, Tesla briefly began accepting bitcoin for car purchases, but Musk pulled the plug just two months later, blaming bitcoin’s high energy demands and carbon footprint. Musk went on to say that Tesla would likely restart bitcoin acceptance, though he hasn’t done so yet.