That’s the question that Tesla’s Technoking is putting to his fans and consumer base. Musk started a poll on Twitter asking, “Do you want Tesla to accept Doge?”. This is one of many shoutouts that the EV innovator has posted on his social media account. With two hours left on the poll, responses were sitting at 78.2% voting Yes and 21.8% voting No.
Dogecoin investors got really excited over the weekend organising watch parties for Musk’s broadcast on Saturday Night Live because recently, he’s been its most enthusiastic booster. Ahead of the show, Dogecoin hit a record high. However, the watch parties along with the Dogecoin value started hitting a low after the billionaire jokingly called the digital asset “a hustle”.
Tesla has invested in Bitcoin and now accepts the cryptocurrency as payment for vehicles. But what is Dogecoin?
Dogecoin functions the same way as Bitcoin. It is a digital token underpinned by a decentralised network of computers that process and keep track of transactions via a digital ledger called a blockchain. While Dogecoin doesn’t enjoy the same popularity as Bitcoin, it has rocketed in value. Dogecoin has a market cap of $65.4 billion and its returns are up over 10,000% year-to-date. Just this last month, it jumped more than 700% and is now the fourth-largest digital currency.
But Tesla isn't the only Musk-led company consider Dogecoin for payment. It was announced earlier this week that SpaceX would partner with Geometric Space Corporation to send Doge to the moon. Literally. In a mission scheduled for early 2022, DOGE-1, the first-ever commercial payload entirely funded by Dogecoin, will carry a 40-kilogram cube satellite aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
Geometric Energy CEO Samuel Reid says the transaction solidifies Dogecoin as a "unit of account for lunar business in the space sector." SpaceX VP of Commercial Sales, Tom Ochinero also chimed in that the mission will "demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce."
Over the past couple of months, Musk has been proponent of digital currencies. Being one of the world's richest people and owner of several futuristic companies, including SpaceX and Neuralink, he has used his candid voice on Twitter to give his opinion on cryptocurrencies, which has – most of the time – affected their price.
This year, Musk said that US customers would be able to purchase Tesla vehicles with Bitcoin, which marked a significant step forward for the cryptocurrency's use in commerce. The electric-car maker had also bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin earlier this year, propelling its prices to record highs. Based on current prices, one would need nearly 80,000 dogecoins or 0.7 bitcoin to buy the cheapest Tesla Model 3 car.
The limited supply of Bitcoin has helped increase its value as the digital currency is gradually gaining acceptance for commercial transactions. With Tesla now accepting it as a form of payment, it certainly is helping the cryptocurrency’s case. Dogecoin, which began as a social media joke in 2013 with a Shiba Inu dog as its avatar, has an unlimited supply and today is rarely accepted as a valid form of payment.
The Tesla Technoking’s tweets never escape the scrutiny of the SEC, however, his recent remarks about cryptocurrencies have not landed in him in any regulatory hot water…so far.
Shares of Tesla were down 1.3% at $621 when trading closed yesterday after reports started to circulate that the US car manufacturer had put the brakes on its plans to buy land to expand the Giga Shanghai plant. Tesla refrained from bidding on a plot of land across the road from the plant as it no longer is planning to boost China production capacity. There’s obviously more to the story that will soon come to light!