Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, and at least one other dog-themed meme cryptocurrencies saw a surge when Elon Musk teased the group of tokens on Twitter with photographs of his dog. Musk’s capacity to influence meme coin prices shows no signs of slowing.
While they are known as meme coins because they were created as online jokes rather than genuine blockchain initiatives, this collection of cryptos has evolved to be more than just a joke. Dogecoin is the ninth-largest digital asset and has spawned hundreds of forks, including Shiba Inu, the 13th-largest cryptocurrency. Dogecoin is based on the meme “doge,” which features a Shiba Inu dog.
And Musk is a fan. The Tesla CEO and Twitter owner has been involved with Dogecoin for years, labeling himself the “Dogefather” and pushing it through tweets and television allusions. It has enabled Dogecoin and its contemporaries to occasionally deviate from the trend of other cryptocurrencies, which tend to trade in lockstep with the price of Bitcoin.
Musk even has a Shiba Inu puppy named Floki, which inspired the Floki cryptocurrency, with a market valuation of almost $290 million. Seriously. And it was Floki — the dog, not the coin — behind the current meme coin surge.
The billionaire businessman tweeted three images of what appeared to be his dog in an office chair at a desk filled with Twitter paraphernalia. “The new CEO of Twitter is amazing,” Musk posted. “He is perfect for the job.”
There has recently been conjecture about how long Musk will remain as CEO of Twitter, which he purchased last year in a controversial acquisition that has seen him lay off swaths of the company’s staff. His tweets were most likely in response to such conjecture, and they occurred around the same time as statements at Dubai’s World Government Summit, in which he stated that he would most likely remain CEO until the end of 2023.
Nevertheless, meme coins got a boost. Dogecoin rose 6% in the past 24 hours, outpacing Bitcoin, which rose 3%, with the main jump occurring within minutes of Musk’s tweet. Siba Inu rose 5% in the same period, and Flocky rose 45%, with trading volumes for the smaller token soaring 500%.
While Musk’s Shiba Inu antics seem to be limited to a public discussion of his work on Twitter, meme coin bulls may see more than that. In particular, Dogecoin surged both on the back of Musk’s takeover of Twitter and on news that he may want to incorporate cryptocurrency payments into his social media platform, raising hopes that meme coin may get real traction.
There is little indication that Musk’s tweets hinted at this or that cryptocurrency payments are coming anytime soon. But that is unlikely to stop meme coins, which start moving at every mention of Musk.