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Elon Musk breaks his very brief Twitter silence to tout meme cryptocurrency DogeCoin

Elon Musk breaks his very brief Twitter silence to tout ‘meme cryptocurrency’ DogeCoin – prompting the asset to soar 60% amid concern over the Tesla founder’s ability to move markets with such ease

  • Musk sent a flurry of tweets on Thursday touting ‘joke’ cryptocurrency DogeCoin
  • It followed his vow to take a break from Twitter after he fueled GameStop frenzy
  • DogeCoin soared as much as 60% in the wake of his tweets, to $6B market cap
  • The crypto was created in 2013 and based on an internet meme of a Shiba Inu
  • ‘I am become meme, Destroyer of shorts,’ Musk tweeted cryptically   
  • Musk was previously sanctioned by the SEC for material tweets about Tesla
  • Some expressed both admiration and concern about his ability to move markets

Elon Musk has broken his silence on Twitter to promote the ‘joke’ cryptocurrency DogeCoin, sending the asset soaring as much as 60 percent and drawing concern over the Tesla CEO’s ability to move markets.

Musk, who earlier this week had vowed to stay ‘off Twitter for a while’, returned early Thursday with a flurry of memes promoting the obscure and frequently derided cryptocurrency.

DogeCoin has the same technical underpinning as better-known cyrptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but is little used and had long traded for less than one cent. It was created in 2013 and based on a then-popular internet meme of a Shiba Inu dog.

Musk’s tweets included a picture of a rocket soaring past the moon with the caption ‘Doge,’ and an image from the Lion King that showed himself holding up the dog from the Doge meme.

Elon Musk has broken his silence on Twitter to promote the ‘joke’ cryptocurrency DogeCoin, sending the asset soaring as much as 60 percent

‘Dogecoin is the people’s crypto,’ another tweet read. ‘No need to be a gigachad to own.’

‘No highs, no lows, only Doge,’ he added in a tweet at 12.27am on the West Coast.

His tweeting continued for hours, until after 2am Pacific time. ‘I am become meme, Destroyer of shorts,’ he said in a final tweet, apparently in reference to short sellers who bet against stocks.

Musk is notoriously antagonistic about short sellers, and his own Tesla was for years one of the most heavily shorted stocks on the market. 

It was unclear whether anyone is short-selling DogeCoin, or whether markets even exist to do so at volume.

Regardless, Musk’s tweets sent DogeCoin soaring once again, after it fell off all time highs last week in the wake of other cryptic Musk tweets appearing to support the crypto.

DodgeCoin rose as much as 60% on Thursday after falling off all-time highs last week. Above, a one-month view of the coin's price shows the recent extreme volatility

DodgeCoin rose as much as 60% on Thursday after falling off all-time highs last week. Above, a one-month view of the coin’s price shows the recent extreme volatility

At one point, DogeCoin was up 60 percent for the day, with a total market capitalization exceeding $6 billion.

By comparison, Bitcoin’s market cap was nearly $700 billion on Thursday.

Musk has previously drawn sanctions for the Securities and Exchange Commission for his material tweets about Tesla, where he is CEO and a major shareholder.

He settled with the SEC over the complaints, which were spurred by a tweet musing about taking the company private, and another sharing production projections.

Publicly traded companies are regulated in how they provide forward-looking statements, in order to ensure investors have equal access to news that can move share prices significantly.

Cryptocurrencies are not regulated in the same way, and Musk’s tweets about DogeCoin are unlikely to be a violation of any law or regulation, regardless of whether he owns the cryptocurrency.

Still, his ability to move markets at ease with his tweets drew both admiration and concern from observers.

‘Feels like Elon Musk is always trying to prove that his opinion controls the market? Undermines credibility,’ one person tweeted. 

‘We saw this from Warren Buffett in 2011 where everyone rushed to follow his investments until he started doing it intentionally. Eventually the market just didn’t care,’ one person tweeted, warning ‘there is a limit’ to Musk’s influence through Twitter.

Musk also drew criticism last week, when his tweet about GameStop and the Reddit forum WallStreetBets helped fuel a frenzied rally in shares of the struggling video game retailer.

GameStop shares, which traded at around $4 last summer, soared as high as $483 last week before plunging on Monday. The stock was down another 40 percent on Thursday afternoon, at around $57 dollars. 

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