Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency with a Shiba Inu meme that has long been a favorite of Elon Musk, surged almost 30% after the billionaire entrepreneur agreed to buy Twitter Inc.
The meme coin climbed as high as 17 cents. It was a standout on a day when other cryptocurrencies from Bitcoin and Ether to Solana and Polkadot remained relatively flat.
Musk said on Twitter in January that Dogecoin could be used to buy Tesla Inc. merchandise. Musk, a frequent booster of Dogecoin on social media, has hinted at the move for some time.
“Elon has openly supported Dogecoin and previously talked favorably of this token,” said Teong Hng, chief executive of Hong Kong-based crypto investment firm Satori Research. The “market is anticipating that he may incorporate Dogecoin as a payment system, hence this rally.”
Musk has been an early corporate champion of adopting digital currencies and has helped spur the popularity of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency started as a joke in 2013.
“This is very much speculation, to my knowledge Elon has not talked about Dogecoin integration plans,” said Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at Genesis Global Trading. “But the possibility, even if it is remote, is enough to get traders excited about the potential gain in DOGE adoption.”
Musk has roiled crypto markets in the past. In February 2021, Tesla said it had purchased $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and planned to accept it as a payment, triggering a rally in its own stock as well as the currency. But Musk did an about-face the following May, sending the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies sliding.
Bitcoin slid early on Monday by as much as 3.3% to $38,223, the lowest since March 15, and at one point was down more than 20% from last month’s high. It was little changed after paring the earlier loss.