Twitter users on Monday (April 3) were stunned to find the iconic bird on the logo of the microblogging site replaced with the “doge” of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency. While many wondered whether it was a late April Fool joke, some believe it’s the eccentric billionaire’s own brand of humour since he is reportedly facing a $258-billion lawsuit for allegedly intentionally inflating the value of cryptocurrency Dogecoin.
Incidentally, Musk had in February tweeted the picture of a Shiba Inu named Floki and introduced him as the “new CEO of Twitter.” He had also tweeted that the dog was “perfect for the job” and was “great with numbers.” So, was he planning this move already in February?
However, Musk has also shared an earlier Twitter conversation with the user, in which he asked if a new platform was needed. To that, the user suggested that he should “just buy Twitter” and “change the bird logo to a Doge”. Musk had replied, “Haha that would sickkk (sic).” Musk has shared a screenshot of that conversation with the caption, “As promised.”
As promised pic.twitter.com/Jc1TnAqxAV
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2023
So, it is impossible to say right now what’s going through the Twitter boss’s mind and whether the doge is here to stay. However, someone has certainly benefitted from the move.
Dogecoin’s price hike
Bloomberg reported that the value of niche cryptocurrency Dogecoin increased 30% to $0.09 after the sudden Twitter logo change. According to CoinMarketCap.com, dogecoin’s market cap of over $13 billion makes it the eighth most valuable cryptocurrency in the world.
Mint quoted an expert as saying that Dogecoin’s price movement is mainly driven by news or speculations. With Must openly endorsing it, Dogecoin may find mass use on Twitter.
Dogecoin responded to the Twitter logo change by posting on its official Twitter handle, “Very currency. Wow. Much Coin. How Money. So Crypto.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2023
In another tweet, they shared the story behind the famous logo, “The dog behind the Doge meme and Dogecoin cryptocurrency is named Kabosu and she still lives with her owner Atsuko Sato in Sakura, Japan. Kabosu was a rescue dog and became a meme after Atsuko uploaded photos of Kabosu…on her blog in 2010.”
How Musk has been endorsing Dogecoin
This is not the first time Musk has endorsed Dogecoin, which was created in 2013 as a joke by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer. It is actually a parody cryptocurrency. But Musk has been periodically tweeting about Dogecoin, causing volatility every time.
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In December 2021, Musk’s company Tesla announced that it would accept Dogecoin as payment for merchandise on a test basis. Dogecoin’s value rose following that move. In January 2022, Musk tweeted that Dogecoin payments were live, again causing a surge in its value.
Both Tesla and Musk personally hold Dogecoin.
What is the lawsuit about?
News agency Reuters has reported that Musk is facing a $258-billion lawsuit filed by investors, who accuse him of running a pyramid scheme to support Dogecoin. They have alleged that Musk intentionally drove up Dogecoin’s price by over 36,000% in two years before allowing it to crash.
Lawyers representing Twitter and Musk have asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, calling the business tycoon’s tweets “innocuous and often silly” in a court filing on Friday. The case dates back to June 2022.
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Musk’s lawyers have argued that the complainants have not been able to show how Musk’s statements endorsing Dogecoin defrauded anyone or that Musk hid any risks from investors.
“There is nothing unlawful about tweeting words of support for, or funny pictures about, a legitimate cryptocurrency that continues to hold a market cap of nearly $10 billion,” the filing reportedly said.
The Doge update comes days after Twitter started removing the legacy blue ticks of accounts that have refused to pay for the service.
The New York Times, for instance, has already seen its blue tick vanish. Twitter, which has seen drastic layoffs since Musk took over last year, reportedly does not have enough staff to remove all the ticks at a go.
So far, the Doge meme logo is only visible on Twitter’s web version, while the app still bears the famous blue bird logo. Which one is here to stay remains to be seen.
(With agency inputs)