Elon Musk’s $1.5bn bet is ‘game changer’ for Bitcoin

A cryptocurrency that was created to satirise Bitcoin has hit a new high after Elon Musk tweeted another string of messages encouraging people to buy it. 

The price of Dogecoin surged by 40pc on in the early hours of Monday, minutes after Musk tweeted “Who let the Doge out” and an “instructional video” filled with memes relating to the coin.

The surge pushed the joke coin to a record market capitalisation of $8.8bn.

Dogecoin was created by Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, former Adobe and IBM software engineers in 2013. It takes inspiration from the “Doge” meme, which uses images of a Japanese Shiba Inu dog curated with grammatically incorrect or poorly spelled sentences in Comic Sans font.

It is not the first time Mr Musk has tweeted about the coin. Last week he shared posts including “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto” and “No highs, no lows, only Doge”. The latter caused the price to skyrocket 80pc on Thursday. 

Reddit traders have turned to Dogecoin in an attempt to mirror the extraordinary share rises in GameStop, Blockbuster and AMC which was fuelled by r/WallStreetBets.  

Thousands of Reddit users are encouraging others to buy in an attempt to push Dogecoin to $1, up from the half a cent it was trading at in early January.