The meme-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin is on the rise after Elon Musk tweeted that it can now be used to buy Tesla merchandise such as the ‘Giga Texas’ belt buckle and mini models of electric vehicles.
The move, which lifted Dogecoin prices as much as 20 percent on Friday morning, comes a month after Musk said Tesla would test the digital token as a payment option.
Musk, an outspoken proponent of cryptocurrencies, has heavily influenced the prices of Dogecoin and Bitcoin, and had at one point said the company would accept Bitcoin for buying its cars before scrapping the plans.
Tesla’s merchandise, including the recently launched ‘Cyberwhistle’ and ‘Cyberquad for Kids’, are a hit with its fans and usually sell out within hours of posting.
The meme-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin soars after Elon Musk said in a tweet on Friday that it can now be used to buy Tesla merchandise
A Weekly Review of Dogecoin Prices Shows Friday’s Rise Following Musk’s Tweet
On Friday morning, only a few items in Tesla’s online merch shop were for sale with Dogecoin.
For example, the Giga Texas belt buckle was on the list for 835 Doge, or about $160 dollars at the current exchange rate.
“Some have commented that for Doge, goods sell out even faster than for dollars. This news is a good illustration of the continued penetration of cryptos into the corporate culture,” said Alex Kuptsikevich, senior financial analyst at FxPro.
Musk’s frequent tweets on Dogecoin, including his calling it the “people’s crypto,” have turned the once-obscure digital currency, which started as a social media joke, into a speculator’s dream.
The price of the token jumped about 4,000 percent in 2021, after Musk posted a series of memes promoting the prank currency.
The mania peaked shortly before appearing as a guest host of Saturday Night Live in May.
The Giga Texas belt buckle was listed for 835 Doge on Tesla’s online store, or about $160 dollars at the current exchange rate
Tesla is selling its ‘Cyberwhistle’ for 300 Doge, or about $57 at Friday’s exchange rates. The ‘premium collectable’ parody item originally offered for $50 USD
Tesla revealed last year that it had bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, and Musk has also said he owns Bitcoin and Dogecoin.
Tesla faces stiff competition as legacy automakers like Ford, as well as startups including Rivian Automotive, will launch their electric cars this year.
Tesla’s highly anticipated Cybertruck is set to begin production in the first quarter of 2023, rolling back its plan to begin production in late 2022, Reuters reported.
Musk, who unveiled the futuristic vehicle in 2019, had already postponed production from late 2021 to late 2022.
Musk has said he will provide an updated product roadmap during Tesla’s January 26 earnings call.
“Oh man, this year has been such a supply chain nightmare and it’s not over!” he tweeted in late November, when asked about the Cybertruck.
Tesla’s again postpones production of its highly anticipated Cybertruck, starting production in Q1 2023 instead of 2022
Tesla shares are down 14 percent since the start of the year
Tesla, the world’s largest electric car maker, makes electric sedans and SUVs, but has missed out on the pickup truck segment, which is profitable and hugely popular in America.
Ford and Rivian are now well ahead of Tesla in launching electric pickups.
Ford said early this month it will nearly double annual production capacity for its red-hot F-150 Lightning electric pickup to 150,000 vehicles before it arrives at US dealers this spring.
Ford’s market value crossed $100 billion for the first time on Thursday, as Tesla shares fell 6.7 percent and Rivian plunged 7.1 percent.
Tesla stock has fallen 14 percent since the beginning of the year.