The Story Behind Elon Musk and Dogecoin

Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency to be used in online casinos. Another crypto called Dogecoin is getting more and more popular, and its origins are more interesting than those of Bitcoin. In fact, Dogecoin is inspired by a 2014 meme of a talking dog with a basic vocabulary. What’s more, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has recently been dropping hints about the coin’s future role in society, both offline and off. As of May 2021, the rumblings are stronger than ever that TESLA will accept payment for their cars in DOGE cryptocurrency.

What is Dogecoin?

If you are at all familiar with internet culture, you’ve probably seen this Shiba Inu dog before:

confused dog

It began making the rounds in internet meme forums like 4chan back in 2013 when people fell in love with the dog’s supremely quizzical expression. People soon began putting bits of broken English written in crude writing around the dog’s head to convey what they imagined to be the canine thought process. The resulting meme:

doge dog meme

The suddenly-famous Shiba Inu dog’s face quickly began being pasted all over other things on the internet, from unrelated memes to fledgling products. The dog meme became known simply as “Doge.”

The explosive popularity of the doge meme just so happened to coincide with the increase in popularity of another online phenomenon: Bitcoin. Two programmers named Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer saw the two trends (the Doge meme and Bitcoin) and decided to combine them by creating a new kind of cryptocurrency: Dogecoin. Cryptocurrency coins are completely digital, but the illustrated representation for a Dogecoin was a bitcoin with a picture of the doge on it instead of the usual “฿.”

Dogecoin began as a joke. Markus and Palmer have gone on record as saying they did not expect it to acquire any significant value or traction. Oh, how wrong they were.

Why is Dogecoin so popular with gamblers?

Within weeks of its invention, Dogecoin’s value had skyrocketed. The increase was thanks in large part to the support of the internet’s “power users,” a community that loves to band together and push meme culture to places it doesn’t normally go. At the time, that meant making waves in the nascent cryptocurrency market.

dogecoin rise

Internet culture has always shown support for ideas that take away power from government and corporations and put it into the hands of the public. So cryptocurrency, which promised to help establish a ‘people’s currency‘ became an instant favorite of internet power users everywhere.

At the time, online casinos and other iGaming sites were not as mainstream as they are today. Most of their users were very comfortable with internet culture. In other words, many of the power users mentioned above were iGamers already. Partly because of that, several internet casinos began to accept Dogecoin as a payment method.

At that point, there were only a few online casinos that accepted Dogecoin and they were generally not very reputable. Since then, Dogecoin’s popularity has grown dramatically (more on that below), and now some of the biggest casinos online accept Dogecoin payments.

How Elon Musk is Changing the Future of Dogecoin

Nowadays, a large part of Dogecoin’s popularity is due to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Since mid-2020, he has been Tweeting periodically about the greatness of the coin. In July 2020, for example, he Tweeted that Dogecoin’s success is “inevitable.” In December the same year, he sent out the cryptic three-word Tweet “one word: Doge.”

Dogecoin’s biggest bump from Musk, however, came in February 2021. On 4 February, Musk tweeted an image of Rafiki from The Lion King holding up an infant Simba atop pride rock, except Musk’s face is photoshopped over Rafiki’s and the Shiba Inu dog’s face is photoshopped over Simba’s.

This Tweet suggested to many that Elon Musk planned to support Dogecoin in some way. Just minutes later, Musk Tweeted that “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto.” This combination of Tweets made crypto investors jump into action, buying up all the Dogecoin they could before the price shot up. And because of that, Dogecoin’s value rose by 75% in just a few hours.

Does Elon Musk Really Love Dogecoin?

Based on his increasing tweet frequency, you can say his passion for DOGE is impressive.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Musk was one of those internet power users who became aware of Dogecoin in its early days. When asked on Twitter why he has always loved Dogecoin his answer was not exactly deep. Instead, he simply responded, “I love dogs & memes.

Musk has been quoted as saying “Occasionally I make jokes about dogecoin, but they are really just meant to be jokes.

It might seem like Elon Musk’s passion for Dogecoin is simply him being goofy. However, Musk said things that make it seem he has thought more seriously about investing in Dogecoin in the future as well. For example, he Tweeted “If major Dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support. Too much concentration is the only real issue IMO” on 15 February 2021.

For now, though, it looks like Elon Musk’s favorite cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. In February (around the time he posted the Tweets trumpeting his affection for Dogecoin), Tesla bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and announced it might begin accepting Bitcoin as payment for Tesla cars in the near future. Sure enough, that’s just what they did in March. The move made Bitcoin’s value increase by 4%, a huge jump for a currency that had a value of nearly $65,000 at its all-time high.

It seems possible that Musk just thinks of Dogecoin as a cute meme he jokingly uses as a stand-in when musing about the future of cryptocurrency. But it also seems possible that he really does see the coin as having real practical use at some point.