Coinbase Says Screw It, We’ll Let You Buy Doge

Illustration for article titled Coinbase Says Screw It, We'll Let You Buy Doge

Illustration: Richard Drew (AP)

The cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase has caved. After a long silence to the hoards imploring the company to let them trade Dogecoin, they’ve decided to list the meme, adding a sheen of legitimacy to a cryptocurrency with limitless supply, which whales could squash with a whale-sized dump at any moment. On a call with investors on Thursday, CEO Brian Armstrong said that Coinbase aims to list it in six to eight weeks.

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The Doge fans have been wondering why Coinbase has been leaving money on the table. Doge now commands a heart-stopping trading volume and an equally terror-inducing current market cap of $72 billion—higher than 77 percent of companies listed on the S&P 500. Fees vary with flat rates for lower purchases, but Coinbase typically charges users a 1.49% fee on transactions made through your bank account. So if, say, Coinbase users bought $1 billion of Dogecoin and all HODLed, Coinbase would pocket $14.9 million. (This is if they don’t pay with a debit card or PayPal, in which case Coinbase gets 3.99% in a conversion fee.)

Armstrong didn’t stop at announcing Doge’s arrival on the platform. He added this wild forecast:

I think it’s going to be something, kind of, like apps in the App Store or on the iPhone where there’s eventually millions of these assets created over time and so we’re putting a lot of work and thought into how do we accelerate our pace of asset addition, and one of those is Doge, as you mentioned, which has been getting a lot of attention recently.

Getting-a-lot-of-attention-recently: sort of like CDs, Smash Mouth tickets, the Gap, TRIMSPA, and people running “executive success programs.”

The idea that cryptocurrency will have long-term value mostly hinges, at least for some analysts, on the idea of scarcity, that Bitcoin will be useful outside of the currency exchange trade, and once all the Bitcoin has been mined, you want to be holding the Bitcoin when everybody who missed out needs Bitcoin. Doge is the equivalent of endlessly printing money, with a current tangible value resting on Elon Musk’s ability to keep upping the ante, which could escalate to a Doge-funded space station at the rate he’s going. WallStreetBets doesn’t even want people talking about it because the market is “small accounts and pump & dumps.”

Let’s get a second opinion. Adam Zadikoff, COO of the crypto wallet BRD, told CNBC the following:

My guess is that [the rally] won’t last, especially for something like dogecoin which was never meant to be a payment system or a store of value. Yes, you can make a quick buck if you time it right, but timing the market is a terrible thing to try to do. It does not work.

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Consider investing in Pokemon cards.

Dogecoin Is Literally Going to the Moon

Illustration for article titled Dogecoin Is Literally Going to the Moon

Photo: Joe Raedle / Staff (Getty Images)

Elon Musk may have sent Dogecoin’s stock plummeting after he bombed on Saturday Night Live on May 8, but that doesn’t mean the Tesla and SpaceX CEO isn’t doing his part to boost the volatile cryptocurrency.

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On Monday, CNN reported that SpaceX had committed to accepting a payment solely comprised of Dogecoin from the Canada-based Geometric Energy Corporation in order to confirm that company’s spot for an 88-pound satellite aboard an upcoming space mission.

“This is not a joke,” Geometric Energy Corporation CEO Samuel Reid told CNN of the planned payment, without getting into specifics about how or why the deal had come to pass.

The mission in question — fittingly called Doge-1 — is scheduled to take off in early 2022. According to Geometric Energy Corporation’s vice president of commercial sales, Tom Ochinero, the transaction is intended to “demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth’s orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce.”

“Indeed, through this very transaction, DOGE has proven to be a fast, reliable, and cryptographically secure digital currency that operates when traditional banks cannot and is sophisticated enough to finance a commercial Moon mission in full,” Ochinero said in a statement. “It has been chosen as the unit of account for all lunar business between SpaceX and Geometric Energy Corporation and sets precedent for future missions to the Moon and Mars.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a mass sell-off of the cryptocurrency that saw shares of the coin drop by more than 40% after Musk referred to it as “a hustle” during his dismal Saturday Night Live performance. But rather than reflecting a genuine anxiety among investors, the sudden dip in share prices was more likely triggered by trigger-fingered investors hoping to use Musk’s much-hyped SNL appearance to make a quick buck off of what is already known to be an extremely mercurial crypto.

In the days leading up to Musk’s hosting duties, shares of Dogecoin had traded so furiously on the popular brokerage app Robinhood that the company issued a statement on Sunday morning to say that it was working to resolve processing issues of the cryptocurrency.

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This Is the Elon Musk Dogecoin Moment the Fanboys Were Waiting For

One of the most anticipated and hyped moments of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend was the possible, and highly probable, mention of Dogecoin, the meme cryptocurrency the tech billionaire has helped inflate to record highs. Never one to disappoint his adoring fanboys, Musk gave them what they wanted.

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Musk, who hosted the internationally broadcast show on Saturday, talked about Dogecoin in a “Weekend Update” sketch in which he played financial expert Lloyd Ostertag. Almost immediately, Musk also introduced himself as the “Dogefather,” a reference to one of his recent tweets, which itself is a riff on The Godfather. The self-proclaimed Dogefather then proceeds to describe how cryptocurrencies work and states that, lately, prices for cryptocurrencies, especially Dogecoin, have been soaring.

Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che then presses Musk to explain what Dogecoin is, a question many of us have asked ourselves in recent months. The tech billionaire states that Dogecoin started out as a joke based on an internet meme, but it’s taken off in a real way. Not satisfied, Che, along with co-anchor Colin Jost, asks again for Musk to explain what Dogecoin is. And repeats the question again. And again.

After a bit of back and forth, Musk finally appears to break down Dogecoin in a way the anchors on the Weekend Update can understand.

“I keep telling you, it’s a cryptocurrency you can trade for conventional money,” Musk said.

“Oh, so it’s a hustle,” Che said.

“Yeah, it’s a hustle,” Musk admitted.

Although it was a comedy sketch, Musk finally seemed to recognize what (real) financial experts have said about Dogecoin all along. (This week, Musk himself said that cryptocurrency is promising but also warned his followers to invest with caution). Ironically, but not unsurprisingly considering that cryptocurrencies are volatile, Dogecoin was down 40% early Sunday, or as low as 44 cents according to CNN, after the Dogefather talked about it on SNL.

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Besides mentioning Dogecoin, it was highly likely that Musk would talk about another one of his many obsessions, Mars, especially considering SpaceX’s recent Starship success this past week. On Wednesday, the company successfully landed a prototype of the Starship rocket it will use to take astronauts back to the Moon and one day take humans to Mars. It has been the only prototype that hasn’t exploded.

In this sketch, set in the near future, Musk has apparently already built a colony on the Red Planet. However, it has been hit by a solar storm, which has affected the life support systems, specifically the oxygen supply. Musk oversees a brave but absent-minded colonist named Chad (Pete Davidson) outside of the colony to turn on the backup oxygen circulator.

“Chad, I want to make sure you understand that you won’t survive this mission,” Musk said. “To save your fellow colonists, you have to make the ultimate sacrifice.”

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“Hm, sick,” Davidson said.

The sketch also includes Miley Cyrus, the episode’s musical guest, and is set to dramatic music one would expect in space movies. Chad is ultimately successful in his mission but meets a tragic end.

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“Well, I did say people were going to die,” Musk said, another reference to statements he’s made about going to Mars. “I was never here.”

Elon Musk Backpedals on the Doge Hype 48 Hours Before SNL Appearance

Illustration for article titled Elon Musk Backpedals on the Doge Hype 48 Hours Before SNL Appearance

Photo: Britta Pedersen (Getty Images)

Elon Musk, richer than God and therefore a trusted source of investment advice for mortals, has pivoted now to offer some sober advice about the dangers of meme currencies. He provides previously unshared information: Doge’s only tangible value is hype, and HODLers may reach price discovery and then realize they’ve gambled on the sustainability of a meme and sell sell sell! Oh. Anyway, that’s a little plausible deniability for when he shows up in a Shiba Inu suit on Saturday Night Live tomorrow, which means buy buy buy!

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Last month, the lil scoundrel tweeted:

The Dogefather

SNL May 8

Last night, Musk sounded a bit more concerned that he needs to hedge on record, tweeting: “Cryptocurrency is promising, but please invest with caution!” (In the days following tweet one, Doge rose 94%.)

But, in typical Musk fashion, he’s linked a TMZ video of a warning, wink wink. (embedded below) Is it a warning? It is. Or is it? Here’s a rough play-by-play:

He starts in the danger zone:

TMZ: “Elon, do you think Dogecoin could be the next currency for the world?”

Musk: “Well there’s currently a pull to say what do you want?”

TMZ: “I want it to go, I’m in, I’m in.”

Musk: “Okay, so then, I think it should be the will of the people, ya know?”

Cogs turn:

TMZ: “Well, is there a problem because there’s a…because it’s not like Bitcoin with a limited number of coins, and it can just expand infinitely, do you think that brings away the value of the coin?

Musk: “Uhhh…yes, it does” [laughs]. “People should not invest their life savings in cryptocurrency, to be clear. I think that’s unwise.”

Somewhere, a lawyer’s heart flatlines:

Musk: “But if you want to sort of, you know, speculate, and kinda like, I dunno, maybe have some fun? There’s a good chance that crypto is the future currency of Earth. And then it’s like, well which one is it gonna be? And maybe it’ll be multiple.”

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Capitulating…:  

Musk: “But it should be considered speculation at this point. Don’t go too far on the crypto speculation part.”

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🚨🚨 WRAP IT UP 🚨🚨:

Musk: “The point is that Dogecoin was invented as a joke, essentially to make fun of cryptocurrency. And that’s why—I think there’s like an argument, like fate loves irony. The most entertaining outcome is—what would be the most ironic outcome? That the currency invented as a joke in fact becomes the real currency.” [Shrugs]

TMZ: “Absolutely, to the moon!”

Musk: “To the moon!”

Voice behind the camera yelling: “My Dogecoin went up because you tweeted! You’re amazing!”

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Musk slides into a jet-black Tesla.

Ass covered:

Man in crowd: “What do you think Elon, one more tweet?”

Musk: “Uh—well, like I said, don’t take too much risk on crypto!”

What a rollercoaster. Doge rose by about 10% in the dawn hours.

Today, Bloomberg reported on cryptocurrency analysts who are tiring of this dance, which they perceive as trivializing blockchain technology and providing unsophisticated investors an outlet for risk. Especially if, as BKCoin Capital founding principal Kevin Kang suggested, large investors dump right before the SNL appearance.

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SNL cast members also expressed thinly veiled distaste about joking around with an obscenely wealthy shit-stirrer who illegally tweeted anti-union messaging, based on the NLRB’s finding that Musk’s tweet threatened employees, and whose company illegally fired an organizer for attempting to unionize after continuous reports of dangerous working conditions at his factories. SNL’s cast members have all opted to perform with him.

Will he exercise his right to remain silent? 53 million followers await.

Bitcoin Hit All-Time High at Over $50,000, Leaving Us in Dire Need of Sound Financial Advice

Illustration for article titled Bitcoin Hit All-Time High at Over $50,000, Leaving Us in Dire Need of Sound Financial Advice

Photo: Ozan Kose (Getty Images)

Bitcoin is the future, again: this morning, it hit an all-time high value of over $50,000. Is there a lesson in here? Are Elon Musk’s tweets a good investment strategy? Should we get in on this? We have yet to learn. Or maybe we learn nothing, and the notoriously volatile currency will level out, unlike when some lost everything to the 2018 crash.

Elon Musk first sent Bitcoin and Dogecoin soaring a few weeks ago as a sort of sequel to Reddit’s WallStreetBets frenzy, changing his bio to “Bitcoin” and tweeting “Doge” to the glee of his fans. (A meme on his feed captured the spirit of the resulting 50% upswing.) He tweeted about both cryptocurrencies before Tesla disclosed, in its annual report, that the company had converted $1.5 billion USD to Bitcoin. Naturally, this led to some analysts calling the investment “risky” and “crazy,” and pointing out that Tesla could lose nearly all of its 2020 net income on the gamble if Bitcoin were to plunge by 50%.

More quietly, a handful of banks and fintech companies, including Mastercard, Bank of New York Melloncorp, Visa, PayPal, and Square have recognized the demand for cryptocurrency exchange and have started supporting Bitcoin and others.(Incidentally, major credit card companies might have indirectly driven even more demand thanks to their decision to cut ties with Pornhub, creating a cryptocurrency market on the country’s 14th largest website.)

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“Mastercard isn’t here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies,” the company’s press release hedged last week. “But we are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value – traditional or crypto – however they want. It should be your choice, it’s your money.”

Ethan Lou, journalist and author of “Once a Bitcoin Miner”—an autobiographical account of running a blockchain start-up through the first boom—doesn’t see the price movement itself as extraordinary.

“I think a 5-10 per cent move is a perfectly normal day for bitcoin,” he wrote via email. The upswing isn’t so surprising given that Bitcoin has, “increasingly moved in correlation with the broader financial markets,” and the markets seem to reflect the fact that a stimulus is on the way.

The market has been extraordinarily volatile over the past year, and the price of Bitcoin followed the March 2020 crash, at one point trading at a little over $5,000. A 10% one-day price move would be remarkable for the stock market, but this is a year of meme stocks and rocket ships fueled by nihilistic fever after the GameStop short squeeze, not to mention Tesla’s own incredible (possibly precarious) surge.

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Lou doesn’t believe that Tesla’s decision to buy into crypto would likely scare off Tesla investors, either. “There are those who already think Tesla is overvalued, even before this year, so I think a Tesla investor is already someone who has a high tolerance for risk,” he wrote. “I think the effect is asymmetrical. Tesla’s purchase affected the market, but not so much the other way around.”

This morning, Elon Musk again tried to move the Doge market by offering to pay cash to the largest hoarders of joke currency Dogecoin if they agreed to “void their accounts” in order to, in his view, decentralize the market. (According to the Dogecoin Rich List on bitinfocharts.com, a single account holds 28.7% of all Dogecoin.)

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If all this sounds like the plot of a forthcoming tragic documentary and/or Adam McKay movie to you—same.

UPDATE 2/16/2021 1:10pm ET: In response to Gizmodo’s follow-up question of whether this is a repeat of the 2017 Bitcoin bubble, Lou seemed a little more cautiously optimistic about Bitcoin’s longterm stability. But Bitcoin is not immune to the 2017-like blind enthusiasm swirling around the WallStreetBets and Elon Musk, so take it all with a grain of salt:

The Gamestop matter was exactly like 2017 — an easy path to investment for the uninitiated (the Ethereum platform then, Robinhood now), confidence in assets built on memes and viral content, a rebellious, anti-establishment attitude. While I believe Bitcoin itself has sound fundamentals, the 2017 price rally was fuelled mostly by speculation on the thousands of alternative cryptocurrencies, or shitcoins, most of which are now practically worthless. Like Gamestop, that was a rally built on hype and naivety, without underlying fundamentals. At the end of that, some people will make a lot of money, yes, but it was on the backs of others who end up holding coins that were deep in the red. And now the excess energy from the Gamestop matter is bleeding into crypto.

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Elon Musk Returns to Twitter After 46-Hour Hiatus, Causes Dogecoin Price to Soar

Illustration for article titled Elon Musk Returns to Twitter After 46-Hour Hiatus, Causes Dogecoin Price to Soar

Screenshot: Elon Musk/Twitter

Elon Musk made a triumphant return to Twitter overnight, following his announcement early Tuesday that he’d be leaving the social media platform for “a while.”

How long did Musk last? Just over 46 hours. It must’ve been torture, as any fellow social media addict who’s ever tried to quit the service can attest. We all need our fix, it would seem, even if we’re the second wealthiest person in the world and would presumably have much better things to do.

“This was a tough one,” Musk tweeted at 2:09 a.m. ET, retweeting his company SpaceX and video of the Falcon 9’s successful landing on Thursday.

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Musk’s next tweet, roughly 20 minutes later, was just a photo of the SpaceX rocket with the Moon in the background.

Six minutes after that, Musk got fully back into the swing of things with a short tweet about fake money, tweeting simply “Doge,” a reference to the joke cryptocurrency Dogecoin.

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Dogecoin enthusiasts have spent the past week on Twitter begging Musk to mention the cryptocurrency, and with good reason. Another currency, Bitcoin, soared when Musk changed his Twitter bio to simply “#bitcoin” last week. Dogecoin did something similar after Musk’s tweet, jumping 81% over the previous day.

The price of Dogecoin over the past 24 hours as of 3:32 a.m. ET, according to Coindesk

The price of Dogecoin over the past 24 hours as of 3:32 a.m. ET, according to Coindesk
Screenshot: Coindesk (Fair Use)

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Musk knew he was doing Dogecoin investors a favor and tweeted a meme image of himself as Rafiki from Disney’s animated movie The Lion King and the Doge mascot as Simba. His message: “ur welcome.”

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What’s next for Musk’s Twitter account and how will it move markets in the coming days and weeks? We’ll have to wait and see. But anyone who had “early Thursday” in the office pool for when Musk would return to Twitter can be declared the winner.

Frankly, we’re surprised he lasted so long.

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Heckin’ Cute Puppers Just Absolutely Loving the Snow. Wow Doggos, Would Pet 13/10

A man walks dogs on the street through the snow on Feb. 01, 2021.

Photo: Justin Heiman (Getty Images)

Folks, it’s time to add a double dose of floof to your week.

The Northeast got a monster layer of floof from a heckin huge snowstorm, and the dogs—excuse me, the floofs—they just love it. Really, we all love to see floofs in the floof. Just heckin pupfect energy to start the week! And since G/O Media is committed to publishing fine slideshows of content you want and crave (or that will at least please the algorithm gods), we have harnessed that energy here.

Let’s take a tour of some smol and big doggos absolutely howling and borking it up in the snow, and some good humans who took a break from shoveling and work to treat their puppers right.