During his recent hosting debut of Saturday Night Live, tech mogul Elon Musk couldn’t resist sneaking in a plug about Dogecoin — a parody cryptocurrency he had repeatedly tweeted about in past weeks.

Thanks to his endorsement, the joke currency has actually seen a 14,000 percent rise in value this year. At one point, it peaked at US$0.79 a coin with a market cap of US$78 billion. To put that into perspective, that’s bigger than companies like Honda Motors, Activision Blizzard and Dell. It also overtook SpaceX, which is led by Musk, one of Doge’s biggest supporters. However, the question you might be having is – what is Dogecoin? Invented by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer in December of 2013, it takes after a cult internet meme and good boy, Shiba Inu, the “Doge” dog.

It was intended to satirise bitcoin, which is the golden grade of crypto. Well, kids, the joke’s over. Dogecoin is now a top-10 cryptocurrency and a serious money chip in the market, and it’s due to a few reasons.

Dogecoin: Everything you need to know about Elon Musk’s favourite cryptocurrency

The first reason why Doge has been drawing attention of late is because of the Dogefather himself. Musk mentioned Doge during his SNL monologue where he described it as a “hustle”, resulting in its price plummeting to US$0.49. It eventually rose back to US$0.57. Since the crypto is perhaps one of the cheapest and most affordable ones, everybody’s been joining the party. One of the reasons why it’s so affordable compared to other cryptos today is because it doesn’t have a limited market cap like bitcoin. You can have as many as you want and having this as an option plays a key determinant in its price.

Musk has been consistently talking about Dogecoin and in a recent interview with TMZ he was asked “Will Dogecoin become the next currency?” To which he replied, “I think it should be the vote of the people. There is a good chance that crypto will be the future. But we don’t know which one it’s going to be, maybe it will be multiple. However, people shouldn’t invest their life savings in cryptocurrencies. That’s unwise considering it’s all about speculation.” Commenting on Dogecoin’s rise, he said, “The currency that was invented as a joke, becomes the real currency. And, to the moon.”

On the other hand, Mark Cuban recently tweeted: “If interest rates skyrocket or the amount spent falls or stagnates, so will Doge. Yes, a joke is now legit.” We’re also seeing celebrities drop in on this. Rapper Meek Mill stated that he invested US$50,000 in Dogecoin, which he did when it was priced at US$0.50. Imagine if that simply reaches the dollar mark after Musk’s SNL show. The craze for the crypto got so bad that WazirX, a trusted crypto-investment app, actually had its servers crash. In an official statement it said, “Doge’s sudden price movement has caused a massive surge in our traffic. We’re seeing more than a 1000 percent spike in concurrent users.” In the past month, Dogecoin’s value has gone 10x.

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This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India

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