There’s nothing funny about tonight’s Saturday Night Live. There’s billions of dollars on the line.
That’s because the host is Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who helped turn Dogecoin from a joke into a skyrocketing cryptocurrency.
In February, Musk started tweeting about Dogecoin and joked that, in his capacity with SpaceX, he could literally take it to the moon — an often heard refrain by crypto investors referencing their growing accounts.
The thought in the crypto community is that a mention or a skit on Doge could boost the currency — which started the year at less than a cent and hit an all-time high of 74 cents at midnight on Friday night — could boost the token that is almost strictly based on hype and momentum to new heights. On April 28, four days after he was announced as host of SNL, he referred to the show’s title as “The Dogefather.”
“More people are aware of what’s going on and are looking to jump on the gravy train to make a quick buck,” David Kimberley, an analyst for investing all Freetrade told Reuters. “It’s very likely that Elon Musk pumping the coin tomorrow on prime time U.S. TV will only serve to compound things and push the price up.”
Musk on Thursday clearly understood the pressure of his hosting being linked to the currency tweeting “Cryptocurrency is promising, but please invest with caution!”
Musk eventually followed up that tweet with that showed the Shibu Inu dog mascot of Doge with him and Miley Cyrus. With more than 600,000 likes, it was his most liked tweet in nearly two months.
As of 9 a.m. ET on Saturday, Doge had a market cap of $93.2 billion, which makes it the fourth-most valuable cryptocurrency.
The question surrounding a possible mention, or more than that, is whether Musk can compromise himself and SNL given the stakes of doing so. While cryptocurrency isn’t regulated security, that doesn’t mean that actions perceived as affecting crypto are beyond reproach. The Securities & Exchange Commission reportedly has been looking for a high profile case to make a stand that overseeing crypto and high profile mentions is within its purview.
Musk knows more than anyone the price of perceived manipulation. In 2018, he paid $40 million in penalties to the SEC for tweeting that he could take Tesla private at a share price that was a premium to what it was trading at, thus causing the stock to rise.
Musk is one of two businesspeople who are among the most followed people on Twitter: Bill Gates (54.8 million, No. 19) and Musk (53 million, No. 22).
Musk increased his wealth by an estimated $180 billion in 2020, the greatest one-year rise for any business person in history.
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