Joke cryptocurrency Dogecoin (pronounced dodgy-coin by some sceptics), which has spawned a metaverse of additional puns during a 400% rise in value over the past week has finally come off the boil after hitting its 420 punchline in trade overnight.
Social media users dubbed April 20 as #DogeDay, riffing on the drug subculture reference to 420 as smoking a joint.
Dogecoin climbed to a high of US$0.42 cents (geddit?!?) overnight before falling 18% to 32 cents.
Fun fact to light up Australian supporters, that’s A$0.42 cents.
A$31.4 billion in Dogecoin changed hands in the last 24 hours according to Coinbase, more than half of the cryptocurrency’s total market cap of A$54.6 billion.
The 420 has an extra layer of meaning for chief Dogecoin spruiker, dope smoker and Tesla boss Elon Musk, with the world’s second richest man getting in on the joke on Twitter amid #DogecoinToTheMoon and #DogeDay420 tags.
It’s inevitable pic.twitter.com/eBKnQm6QyF
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 18, 2020
Three years ago, Musk was forced to resign as Tesla chairman and pay a US$20 million fine after a tweet he saying he’d take the company private at $420 a share and had secured the funding to do it.
Shareholders could either to sell at 420 or hold shares & go private
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
Unlike the wild west of cryptocurrencies, where Musk seems to enjoy a lack of regulatory oversight, his tweet caused chaos on the US stock market before authorities intervened, sending Tesla’s share price down 13% in the process.
Tesla shares climbed on the back of the tweet, which he then said was a joke.The US Securities Exchange Commission filed a complaint accusing him of ‘false and misleading information’.
The SEC claimed Musk was trying to entertain his girlfriend, Grimes, who introduced him to marijuana.
Musk settled, losing the chairman job and paying a fine that today for him is like tossing a busker a $50 note.
But 420 lives on a sniggering meme on social media. Its origins go back 40 years to a California high school were a group of dope smokers would meet at 4.2opm to light up.
Dogecoin is partly an Australian invention, created by US IBM engineer Billy Markus and Sydney-based Adobe developer Jackson Palmer, and launched in 2013.
Palmer had registered Dogecoin.com domain name, riffing on an earlier internet meme involving a quizzical looking Shiba Inu, a Japanese dog breed.
Markus got in touch with Palmer and they decided to produce a parody coin to mock cryptocurrencies, hence the “much wow” and “so currency.”
Some have embraced the satire as gospel.
Doge meme shield (legendary item) pic.twitter.com/CeomU9q84c
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 1, 2021