Twitter Dogecoin logo: why is there a Shiba Inu dog on my Twitter, why has Elon Musk changed logo - lawsuit

Musk’s own lawyers have described his tweets about the cryptocurrency as ‘innocuous and often silly’

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In what looks to be a late April Fool’s joke from the billionaire owner Elon Musk, Twitter has updated its distinctive blue bird logo to imitate the emblem of popular cryptocurrency Dogecoin.

Users in the US were the first to notice that the image of a Shiba Inu dog connected to the Dogecoin cryptocurrency had taken the place of the blue bird on Twitter’s homepage and loading screen.

Though Musk has not provided an explanation for the modification, some people have theorised that it was an April Fool’s joke that the firm was unable to implement on time.

The change occurred just days after Musk asked a US court to dismiss a $258 billion (£207 billion) lawsuit brought against him by Dogecoin investors over an alleged pyramid scheme. Here is everything you need to know about it.

What is Dogecoin?

Dogecoin is based on the popular "Doge" internet meme, which features a Shiba Inu dog with various phrases written in Comic Sans font. It was initially created as a joke in 2013 by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, but it quickly gained a following and became a popular cryptocurrency.

Like other cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin uses blockchain technology to secure and verify transactions. It has a few key differences from other cryptocurrencies, including its faster block time - meaning transactions can be confirmed and added to the blockchain more quickly - and higher supply.

Unlike Bitcoin, which has a limited supply of 21 million coins, Dogecoin has an unlimited supply. As of 2021, there were over 130 billion Dogecoins in circulation.

It is also known for its community-driven culture and charitable efforts, such as fundraising for the Jamaican bobsled team to attend the 2014 Winter Olympics and supporting various charitable causes through the Dogecoin Foundation.

While its value has fluctuated over the years, it gained significant attention and a surge in price in 2021, partially due to support from notable figures such as Musk.

What is the lawsuit?

Musk has been a vocal supporter of Dogecoin on social media, which has contributed to the cryptocurrency’s increased attention and value. He has tweeted about Dogecoin numerous times, calling it “the people’s crypto” and sharing memes related to the cryptocurrency.

Perhaps most notably, Musk’s tweets about Dogecoin in February 2021 led to a significant increase in its value, with its price surging by over 50% in just 24 hours.

According to the complaint, first reported by Reuters in June of last year, plaintiffs assert that Musk knew the cryptocurrency had no value as of 2019, but still promoted Dogecoin to make money from its trading.

“Musk used his pedestal as the world’s richest man to operate and manipulate the Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme for profit, exposure and amusement,” the complaint reportedly stated.

The plaintiffs allegedly claimed that the sell-off of the cryptocurrency started when Musk appeared on Saturday Night Live and referred to Dogecoin as a "hustle" in a skit.

But many argue that Musk’s tweets and comments about Dogecoin are often humorous and not necessarily indicative of his actual investment intentions. Indeed, Musk and Tesla’s lawyers have referred to the allegations in the complaint as a "fanciful work of fiction”, saying the billionaire posts “innocuous and often silly tweets”.

“There is nothing unlawful about tweeting words of support for, or funny pictures about, a legitimate cryptocurrency,” his lawyers said. “This court should put a stop to plaintiffs’ fantasy and dismiss the complaint.”