Elon Musk - a long-time fan of cryptocurrencies - is planning to send Dogecoin to the moon.
Musk’s company SpaceX will send a satellite to the moon in early 2022 which will be entirely funded by the meme-inspired crypto nicknamed Doge.
Billionaire entrepreneur Musk regularly posts about Doge on Twitter and referred to himself as ‘The Dogefather’ when he appeared on Saturday Night Live in the US.
He gave Doge a much-needed jump when he posted a picture of what appears to be the crypto’s logo Shiba Inu on a mock banknote similar in design to a US dollar.
The caption: “How much is that Doge in the window?” accompanied the picture which also featured the word ‘Cyberviking’ above the apparent Dogecoin banknote.
What is Dogecoin?
Dogecoin is a digital coin known as a cryptocurrency.
It was founded in 2013 as a joke based on an internet meme at the time, which involved Shiba Inu, and subsequently the crypto has become synonymous with the dog’s face.
Dogecoin’s inventors, software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, set it up as an alternative way of creating an instant payment system free from traditional banking fees.
Its popularity soared in early 2021 after active discussions on Reddit group SatoshiStreetBets drove up stock in a similar way that WallStreetBets sparked the resurgence of GameStop.
Over the last 12 months, Dogecoin has risen 13,700.13% in value to £0.28p per token (20 May) and reached a high of £0.52p on 8 May - days before a crypto market crash saw prices drop.
What has Elon Musk said about Dogecoin?
Following Musk’s Twitter post with the caption of “How much is that Doge in the window?”, the crypto’s price jumped £0.04p and sparked an upward trend once more after plateauing.
It is the latest in a series of posts Musk has made about Doge which has had a positive impact on the cryptocurrency’s price, with mock ups of Shiba Inu regularly featuring in his mentions.
He has posted a magazine cover title Dogue - drawing comparisons to the fashion mag Vogue - with the face of Shiba Inu on the front cover, and recreated a famous scene from The Lion King.
On the morning of 1 April, he said SpaceX was going to put “a literal Dogecoin on the literal moon” - and now it appears he is following through on that promise.
Dogecoin also enjoyed fleeting references when Musk presented Saturday Night Live and was the focus of a sketch with Musk ending on: “To the moooooooooooon”.
Why is Elon Musk sending Dogecoin to the moon?
Musk has been a long-time fan of Dogecoin, recently claiming to be working with the crypto to “improve system transaction efficiency”, adding it was “potentially promising” work.
His public backing of Dogecoin comes despite Tesla, where he is CEO, opting to invest heavily in Bitcoin, for Musk to explain Tesla's investments are not "directly reflective of my opinion."
Musk has seemingly joined the Reddit community’s desire to push the price of Dogecoin up to $1 before 2021 is out - and in doing so taking the cryptocurrency ‘to the moon’.
The phrase is coined when a crypto rises, or is soon to rise, significantly in price.
Now it appears Musk is sending Dogecoin to the “literal moon” through his SpaceX project.
How will SpaceX send Dogecoin to the moon?
A Dogecoin-funded mini satellite, dubbed DOGE-1, will be flown on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in a mission led by Canadian company Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC).
The 40kg cubesat paid for by GEC using Doge will rideshare the lunar payload mission, which aims to “obtain lunar-spatial intelligence from sensors and cameras on-board”.
GEC chief executive Samuel Reid said the collaboration and transaction with Musk’s SpaceX “solidified DOGE as a unit of account for lunar business in the space sector”.
Tom Ochinero, SpaceX vice president of commercial sales, said the mission will “demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce”.
He added: “We're excited to launch DOGE-1 to the Moon!”