The niche cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, saw a rise of over 30% on Monday after Twitter CEO Elon Musk replaced the blue bird on his company’s website with an image of a Shiba Inu, the digital coin’s logo. This move caused volatility in the cryptocurrency, which is now the eighth most valuable with a market cap of over $13 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
Musk has been known to periodically tweet about Dogecoin, a token that was created as a joke in 2013, causing predictably volatile reactions each time. However, the billionaire’s endorsement of the coin goes beyond social media messages. Two of Musk’s other companies, Tesla and the Boring Company, are named in a $258 billion lawsuit that accuses him of manipulating Dogecoin’s price and driving it up over 36,000%.
Despite the lawsuit, Musk’s lawyers have described his public statements about the coin as “innocuous and often silly tweets,” in a court filing. Additionally, Tesla announced in December 2021 that it would accept Dogecoin for some merchandise. Musk said on Twitter at the time that Tesla would “see how it goes.” Following this tweet, Dogecoin rose over 20%. When Musk announced on Twitter in January 2022 that Dogecoin payments were live, the cryptocurrency jumped up to 15%.
Tesla still accepts Dogecoin as payment for some merchandise and has digital assets on its books, including Bitcoin. During an earnings call last year, Musk revealed that the company still holds Dogecoin and has not sold any of it. Musk has also indicated that he personally holds Dogecoin, as evidenced by his recent tweet simply stating “Dogecoin” in response to a photograph of himself next to News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch.
Twitter and Musk’s attorneys recently asked a federal judge to toss out the $258 billion lawsuit from 2022 that accused him of manipulating Dogecoin’s price. After the Twitter logo was changed to a Shiba Inu image, Musk shared a meme about the change to his 133.5 million followers on Twitter. The dog only appeared for some users of Twitter, including those on its website, and Twitter has not yet commented on the matter.
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