The price of dogecoin, a cryptocurrency, has soared after Elon Musk underlined his power as a market tipster by tweeting about it.
Dogecoin’s price rose by 50% on 4 February shortly after Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and the world’s richest person, tweeted that “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto”.
“No highs, no lows, only Doge”, he added. He also tweeted a meme featuring himself and dogecoin in Disney’s The Lion King.
Dogecoin, which uses a shiba inu dog meme as its logo, was started in 2013 as a joke, after the invention of bitcoin prompted a wave of imitator cryptocurrencies. However, the joke caught on, and the coins had a market value of $6.3bn (£4.6bn) on Thursday morning, according to Coinmarketcap.com, a cryptocurrency data provider.
The value of a single coin rose to $0.05204 that Thursday morning, up by almost three cents in 24 hours. The volume of trading more than tripled over the course of the day.
Last month, Musk became the world’s richest person, above Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, as the value of his shareholding in Tesla soared, in part because of huge interest in the electric car pioneer from amateur and retail investors as well as from large institutions.
Musk has long been a prolific user of social media, with a familiarity with online culture that is unusual among prominent chief executives. He had vowed on Tuesday to take a break from Twitter, before returning with comments that pumped up the value of dogecoin.
In recent weeks Musk’s tweets and comments have moved financial markets. At the height of the retail share trading mania surrounding GameStop, a US videogame retailer, he tweeted “Gamestonk”, a reference to stock market memes.
The price of bitcoin also rose in the last week after Musk said that he was a “supporter” of the cryptocurrency in an interview carried on Clubhouse, a new social media app focused on audio.
In the same interview Musk said previous comments about dogecoin were “really just meant to be jokes”.
Bitcoin’s price rose above $38,000 last week after Musk changed his Twitter biography to “#bitcoin”. On Thursday morning bitcoin hit a high of $38,741.58.
Musk’s Twitter posts have previously caused him trouble. In 2019 Musk reached a settlement with US regulators after he falsely tweeted that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 a share.