The Twitter world launched on Friday (13) a question that caught the attention of Tesla CEO, crypto bull and Coinbase user Elon Musk: "Do you think Coinbase should enable Dogecoin on its platform?" Musk replied with an exclamation “Yes!”
Musk knows cryptocurrency well. In early February, a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Tesla had purchased $ 1.5 billion in Bitcoin. Before that, Elon used to pump memecoin DOGE to the point that a single tweet about the coin caused a nearly 40% increase in the coin's price in just half an hour.
Dogecoin was created in 2013 by software developers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer. The pair created the currency in response to all the noise made about Bitcoin spinoffs. Their thought: if someone can create a coin, why shouldn't he?
The coin's avatar is that of the iconic plump dog Shiba Inu, whose face has gained prominence as a meme accompanied by adorable phrases in bad English, such as “Much wow” and “Very impress.” The coin took off shortly after launch and acquired a cult status.
After the Bitcoin bull run took off, celebrities like Musk boosted Dogecoin, which at its peak last month had a market value of $ 17 billion.
Musk is not alone – optimism for DOGE is high among celebrities. Earlier this year, rapper Lil Yachty announced that he was investing a third of his savings in DOGE. The following month, he joined KISS bassist Gene Simmons and old school hip hop legend Snoop Dogg when the unlikely pair joined Musk's meme fight to announce recent purchases of the coin.
A subsequent analysis of Twitter's metrics even revealed that Dogecoin was slightly more popular than Bitcoin. In February, he commanded 10.4% of all crypto mentions on the platform, while Bitcoin lagged behind with 10.1%.
All the attention has resulted in some heady price performance charts. On January 27, DOGE was valued at $ 0.0078. On February 8, that figure increased almost tenfold, to $ 0.074. A sharp correction occurred when the currency dropped to $ 0.047 on February 23 – still a six-fold increase from its initial position.
Coinbase has always been slow to adapt new currencies. While Asian rival Binance focused on adding as many currencies as possible at the expense of operating in the United States, Coinbase listed fewer currencies to appease regulators in its territory and doubled its main offer of just a handful of currencies.
Decrypt Executive Editor Jeff John Roberts wrote in his book "Kings of Crypto" that Coinbase considered adding more currencies, including Dogecoin, after Binance took its place becoming the world's most popular exchange in the middle 2018, forcing Coinbase back to the drawing board.
No longer a startup at this point, Coinbase had an additional level of corporate bureaucracy to contend with whenever it tried to implement changes. Seeing no return from memecoin, Coinbase executives quickly forgot their plans to enable DOGE trading on the platform.
Coinbase didn't start adding more currencies until it hired tech entrepreneur Balaji Srinivasan in 2018 – but Dogecoin never got there.
What started out as an elaborate Bitcoin joke has now evolved into the fifteenth largest cryptocurrency in market capitalization, with a team of dedicated developers behind it and new software updates.
Coinbase lost billions for not hosting Dogecoin. But, given the currency's volatility, Coinbase may have only safeguarded his reputation as the white knight of cryptocurrencies.
* Translated and edited with authorization from Decrypt.co