‘I Am Become Meme, Destroyer Of Shorts’: Dogecoin Soars Again As Elon Musk Returns From Self-Imposed Twitter Exile

‘I Am Become Meme, Destroyer Of Shorts’: Dogecoin Soars Again As Elon Musk Returns From Self-Imposed Twitter Exile

Topline

The value of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency originally invented as a joke, surged again Thursday as Elon Musk ended his break from Twitter with a slew of posts about it—Musk’s tweets have often boosted Dogecoin’s value and triggereda 900% surge last week as retail traders, emboldened by efforts to pump meme stocks like GameStop, piled into the cryptocurrency.

Key Facts

Musk said Tuesday that he was “off Twitter for a while,” but returned just two days later to tweet about the launch of new Starlink satellites, memes and Dogecoin.

He posted an edited Lion King picture of himself holding up Doge—the Shiba Inu meme that inspired the cryptocurrency—with a caption of “ur welcome.”

“Dogecoin is the people’s crypto,” Musk wrote.

“No highs, no lows, only Doge,” the billionaire wrote, who also replied to an image of a rocket with just “Doge” (Redditors pumping Dogecoin use the phrase “to the moon” with rocket emojis to symbolize the value taking off).

After Musk’s tweets, the value of Dogecoin surged by more than 40% to around $0.058 a coin according to crypto data firm CoinMarketCap.

Key Background

Musk’s activity on Twitter has caused dramatic shifts in financial markets, and in recent weeks he has caused the price of bitcoin to spike after he changed his Twitter bio to read “Bitcoin” and GameStop shares, already subject to a concerted short squeeze effort by Reddit traders, rose 56% after he tweeted “Gamestonk!!” in support of the movement. His recent tweets about online store Etsy and secure messaging app Signal caused interest to spike, and shares for an unrelated company called Signal Advance soared by 1,100% as investors mistook it for the app. Musk has regularly supported Dogecoin in the past, including last week when many Reddit traders were trying to pump it to “the moon.” Its value soared by over 900% in a day before crashing spectacularly. Musk’s Twitter-driven impact on the market is not always beneficial. Asingle tweet from Musk last May saying that stock was “too high” caused Tesla shares to plummet 10%. A British cave explorer unsuccessfully sued for defamation after Musk called him a “pedo guy” on Twitter in 2019. The SEC also sued Musk in 2018 for tweeting that he would take Tesla private, something the agency said violated securities laws. Musk and Tesla both paid $20 million to settle the suit.

Tangent

Musk’s tweets often give Dogecoin’s value a boost. A three-word tweet from Musk in December sent Dogecoin soaring 20%.

Crucial Quote

“I am become meme, Destroyer of shorts,” Musk wrote Thursday, referring to his role in increasing the value of meme stocks like GameStop. It is a take on the famous quote “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds,” which Physicist Robert Oppenheimer quoted, originally from the Bhagavad Gita, when the first atomic bomb was successfully detonated.

Big Number

$184.8 billion. This is what Forbes calculates Musk’s net worth to be, a figure that pegs him as the second richest person in the world. Musk has oscillated in and out of the world’s richest spot for a number of months. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, currently holds the top spot at $192.6 billion.

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