Last week when Elon Musk tweeted that he spoke with the Doge developer team about how to make the coin more efficient, the impact was predictable: he sent the price of Dogecoin to the moon. It was just the latest in a series of statements from Musk that sent the play on a roller coaster go viral in recent weeks.
And yet, it surprised Doge’s core development team, says Michi Lumin, a Colorado-based developer who helps maintain the cryptocurrency. Yes, billionaire Tesla and SpaceX has been “spitting ideas” with the team for some time, Lumin says, including on how to make Dogecoin more efficient. They welcomed his contribution. But he says the intense spotlight on Musk’s recent round of Doge and Bitcoin boosting tweets has been a little stressful, garnering scorn from critics who view Doge as just a joke and send the market into convulsions. Their play may have been based largely on the hype, but they planned to keep it low-key.
“We are not Eloncoin,” he said. Except, it seems, every time Musk decides to tweet.
Musk’s influence isn’t limited to Doge. Last week, Musk also tweeted that due to weather issues Tesla would not accept Bitcoin in exchange for cars, three months after he first said he would. Of course Elon. As WIRED has written many times, Bitcoin uses enough energy to power a mid-sized country, and a significant portion (although hotly contested) comes from fossil fuels like coal. The big mystery is why this was not a problem for Musk a few months ago. It may be a green marketing move or some sort of regulatory preemption. Or maybe it’s just a troll meant to make us all contemplate the value of things for the sake of tautology.
Whatever the reason, Musk creates and destroys small fortunes, 280 characters at a time. “It sounds very scary and deeply irrational,” says Jill Carlson, blockchain investor at Slow Ventures. When Musk first announced that Tesla would mistake Bitcoin for cars – and the company was buying it for $ 1.5 billion – he sent value skyrocketing. When it receded last week, the news wiped $ 300 billion from the market within minutes. His subsequent denunciations over the weekend, including a Sunday tweet This suggested that Tesla may have already unloaded its Bitcoin holdings, sent the price even lower. (He clarified later the company had not sold.)
Meanwhile, its periodic tweets mentioning Dogecoin, usually heavier on jokes than substance, send this market into fits of exuberance – although last week it continued. Saturday Night Live and called it “a stampede,” so he fell, until he brought it back to life on his own with the greening tweet.
“I am not comfortable with the fact that a person or a small entity is able to manipulate the market. I guess that’s where we are right now in the crypto realm, ”says Lumin, developer Doge. “It’s not great, for sure.”
Maybe it’s five dimensional chess, or maybe it’s just fantasy. After all, Doge is a slightly odd choice to defend as an eco-friendly alternative. It runs on a similar and power-hungry system to Bitcoin, and there are plenty of cryptocurrency alternatives that use cleaner methods, none of which are worth mentioning on Musk’s Twitter feed. Over the weekend he suggested that if his Dogecoin plans didn’t work, he would create a cryptocurrency from scratch on his own. “He appears to be primarily driven by his own entertainment on the Dogecoin front,” Carlson says. “He’s going to wade through these big issues and then sets it up so he can come in as a hero.”