Dogecoin is going parabolic. Because why not? The joke cryptocurrency based on a shiba inu meme is up—uh, let me check—about 20 percent since this time Tuesday, has just about doubled in price since April 27, and as of this moment is up about 26,000 percent for the year (lol). It’s trading around 64 cents as I type this.
The main reason for this latest dog run—insofar as one can really impose rationality on these things—seems to be that Elon Musk is getting ready to appear on Saturday Night Live. The Tesla founder is Dogecoin’s most famous booster, the man who has called it “the people’s crypto” and whose occasional tweets about the token have fueled previous rallies. The doge faithful on Reddit are now hoping he’ll give it a shoutout on national television.
Why would they think that? I mean …
So here we are. Professional analysts being forced to write things like “Dogecoin is surging because many cryptocurrency traders do not want to miss out on any buzz that stems from Elon Musk’s hosting of Saturday Night Live” because that’s a genuinely important development in the global markets right now.
There are some other potential reasons for the jump. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has also been boosting Dogecoin lately—his basketball team is actually accepting it for tickets and merchandise. A few more crypto platforms and brokerages have started offering it too, which makes buying Doge a little more accessible if you want to get in on the lolz (though you’ve been able to buy it on Robinhood for a while). But, look, it’s probably not worth overthinking this. We’re living in the stonks era. Elon is going on a sketch comedy show and is hinting that he might bring up a dumb digital token that everyone finds inherently funny. Now CNBC is hauling on experts to illuminate what the hell is going on, and members of the financial media are having to write earnest explainers about why you should invest in the dog money with caution, as if a single sane person would think otherwise.
What makes the whole rally uniquely amusing, compared with, say, the rise of Bitcoin, is that it’s a willfully dumb affront not just to traditional finance, but also to the broader crypto community—which has, shall we say, mixed feelings about Dogecoin, mostly because they think it makes their project, which they tend to treat with self-righteous seriousness, look very silly.
Which is fair. Dogecoin, after all, was quite literally started as a gag about the irrationality of the first round of Bitcoin mania. It has almost none of the technological sophistication that supposedly makes other cryptocurrencies interesting or useful (unlike Bitcoin, its code is rarely updated.) There’s also no limit on its supply, which makes some crypto-evangelists uncomfortable, since they are often inflation-phobes who prefer that their money imitate gold. Back when it was trading for fractions of a penny, Dogecoin was sometimes derided as a “shitcoin,” meaning it was a purposeless, worthless token. Coinbase, the major crypto trading platform that recently went public, doesn’t even offer it. The brains behind other, more respectable cryptos have written off the whole recent surge as a bubble that’s bound to burst (which is not unfair, but, uh, pot calling the kettle black much?). The optimists talk about Dogecoin as a sort of starter crypto that the noobs will buy before getting into the real stuff.
In short, Dogecoin is the, well, underdog of the crypto world, the currency that was looked down upon by much of the Bitcoin- and Ethereum-boosting elite. Except now it has an $82 billion market cap. The dogecoiners—basically the sweet, dumb, bong-ripping frat of the crypto world—find all this hilarious.
And look, I won’t lie, I’m personally happy about this. I bought $200 of Doge back in April as an experiment and now am up 76 percent. I’ve decided to HODL until I double my money. As the kids say, to the moon.
Update, May 5, 2021, at 12:10 p.m.: Dogecoin now appears to be crashing like a 6-month-old pup after an afternoon at the park. You can follow its movements here.