Once synonymous with cryptocurrency, bitcoin still has in excess of 7 million active users. However, it is far from the only decentralized digital currency. There were more than 50 million blockchain wallet users as of September 2020 and, as of April 2021, more than 10,000 types of cryptocurrencies. Dogecoin is among the fastest-rising cryptocurrencies with a market cap higher than $34 billion.
Created as a parody in 2013 by Australians Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, dogecoin quickly gained momentum after it was advertised on the r/Dogecoin Reddit group and broke the $1 billion market capitalization barrier in January 2018. Below are three more recent developments concerning the increasingly popular cryptocurrency.
Elon Musk’s SNL Appearance
Tesla Motors CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is the most prominent proponent of dogecoin. He began tweeting about the cryptocurrency in 2021 and leveraged his large audience—he has more than 57 million followers on the social media platform—to expedite its growth.
By early May, dogecoin’s market cap had increased by more than 800 percent from the 30 days prior and achieved a total value of more than $70 billion. However, just as Musk had contributed to its rapid growth, his actions as host of Saturday Night Live (SNL) led to a drastic downturn.
Appearing on SNL’s Weekend Update, Musk referred to himself as the “Dogefather” and joked that the cryptocurrency was a hustle. As a result, dogecoin dropped nearly 30 percent at one point during the show. It has since been unable to achieve the record high price it reached on May 7.
SpaceX Dogecoin Moon Mission
Musk isn’t only promoting Dogecoin through Twitter and SNL. The SpaceX founder said in May that his commercial space exploration firm will not only accept dogecoin as payment but also put a “literal Dogecoin on the literal moon” during a planned space mission for 2022.
Tom Ochinero, SpaceX VP of commercial sales, confirmed the intent behind this mission in a press release: “This mission will demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce.”
Accepted as Payment by Travel Company
GetYourGuide, a travel booking site based in Germany, will also begin accepting dogecoin as payment. The international travel company has booked in excess of 45 million tours in 170 countries since its inception. It announced it would accept and process dogecoin payments via BitPay as part of its expansion plans into the United States on June 29.
Several other travel and hospitality companies already accept various cryptocurrencies. Virgin Galactic and Latvian carrier Air Baltic have accepted bitcoin for quite some time. The Nashville, Tennessee-based Bobby Hotel announced in April that it would accept multiple cryptocurrencies, including dogecoin.