Dogecoin Falls as Musk Underwhelms and Reality Intrudes

Given the hype, Musk needed to be perfect. He wasn't.

AccessTimeIconMay 9, 2021 at 3:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:52 p.m. UTC

If ever there were a case of “buy the rumor, sell the fact,” it occurred Saturday night with dogecoin.

Since Tesla head and self-proclaimed "CEO of dogecoin" Elon Musk tweeted last month that he would be hosting "Saturday Night Live" on May 8, the excitement level surrounding the meme-based cryptocurrency ascended to even more astronomical levels in the lead-up.

After all, Musk's tweets had acted as jet fuel to dogecoin's price all year, so just imagine what an appearance on national television could do!

Musk, through his appearance, was apparently going to somehow bring awareness of the Shiba Inu-repreesented meme coin to the masses and propel the price of the cryptocurrency to Mars and beyond. Not since Jesus rode on the back of a donkey through the streets of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday had expectations for one person been so high.

Yesterday, that excitement reached a crescendo when the price of dogecoin hit an all-time high of 74 cents, up more than 15,000% year to date. After giving back some gains yesterday after Barry Silbert (CEO of Digital Currency Group, CoinDesk's parent) announced he was shorting dogecoin, excitement again mounted as the "SNL" 11:30 p.m. ET start neared, with DOGE climbing back to 70.18 cents apiece.

While some profit-taking was inevitable to prevent a sell-off, the doge army needed Musk to do something super big. He didn't. While he was charming and more relatable than usual – his mom joining him on stage during the monologue helped – this was far from the history-making, chock-full-of-memes moment the doge army wanted. Nor was Musk very funny. Dogecoin was never going to replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency based on this performance.

As such, almost from the moment Musk appeared onstage (not accompanied by 100 Shiba Inus or a fawning Janet Yellen and Jerome Powell) the price of dogecoin started falling. And falling. By the time "SNL" ended early Sunday ET, dogecoin was under 56 cents, a drop of more than 20%. By 9 a.m. ET it had reached as low as 41.8 cents, giving back almost all the gains of the previous week – along with more than $20 billion in market cap – before rebounding somewhat to 48.5 cents at press time, down 32% in the last 24 hours.

As Michael Antonelli, market strategist at Baird, put it:

Still, even with today's drop, dogecoin is up more than 10,000% year to date. And the doge army has undoubtedly resigned itself to waiting for the next tweet that will push dogecoin to $1.00 and beyond.

Hope, like the doge army, springs eternal.


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