Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk
File Photo

Dogecoin may have been created as a joke of sorts, but critics are certainly not laughing now. As cryptocurrencies gained in popularity, one in particular caught people's eye for its rather odd nature. Based on the meme of a smiling Shiba Inu, Dogecoin was not something even its founders thought would strike gold.

Indeed, Billy Markus, the software engineer who created the cryptocurrency recently revealed in a Reddit post that it was "created for sillies after Jackson Palmer made an flippant tweet about it that idea being the next big thing".

"I threw it together, without any expectation or plan. It took about 3 hours to make, with the bulk of that time making alterations to the client to make the text Comic Sans and some custom graphics and wording for different pieces of the UI," he writes. Soon after this, in 2015, Markus had sold all of his Doge after getting laid off work, using it to buy a used Honda Civic car.

Fast forward to 2021, and DogeCoin has grown to several hundred times its original value, reaching a market capitalization of more than $ 9.1 billion and drawing eyeballs from many including Elon Musk.

"Bought some Dogecoin for lil X, so he can be a toddler hodler," the world's richest man tweeted earlier in February. 'Lil X' incidentally is a reference to his young son, X Æ A-Xii.

But now, Musk is asking major Dogecoin holders to sell, adding that he would "literally pay actual dollars if they just void their accounts". This however does not mean he has grown to dislike the cryptocurrency.

"If major Dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support. Too much concentration is the only real issue in my opinion," he said.

And the power of Elon Musk has certainly affected the cryptocurrency in the wake of his tweet. According to reports, while Dogecoin had risen sharply in the immediate aftermath of his tweet, it was soon down by around 9%.

Now, this is not the first time Musk has lent his considerable influence to a cryptocurrency. And it will perhaps not be the last. Asked by one Twitter about developing 'ElonCoin' Musk did not immediately dismiss the idea as being out of hand, even as he appeared hesitant.

"Only if necessary," he told the Twitter user.

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