DOGE out of control? Social media and whales sway Dogecoin price action
Dogecoin (DOGE) has been the talk of the crypto town in the month of April. On the first day of the month, it was trading in its usual $0.05 range. On April Fools’ day, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted about the coin yet again. His tweet read, “SpaceX is going to put a literal Dogecoin on the literal moon” — SpaceX being the aerospace company that Musk also founded. Although the tweet was intended as a joke, it set the Shiba Inu-themed meme token on a rally like no other.
Within two hours, the price rose by more than 35% to a peak of $0.07 before cooling off temporarily but still holding on to its gains. The next spike in price came on April 14, with the value of a single token doubling within a single day to break the $0.10 mark. This led Musk to again turn his attention toward the coin, tweeting a picture of the famous painting by Spanish artist Joan Miró, saying “Doge barking at the moon.” This tweet, along with the rising social sentiment, pushed the price to a high of $0.45 on April 16.
Kristin Boggiano, president and co-founder of CrossTower — a digital assets exchange — gave several reasons behind the surge in a conversation with Cointelegraph: “First, Coinbase listing has generated interest and buzz about crypto in general. Second, the popular Reddit forum ‘r/Wallstreetbets’ changed their rules for a day to allow discussion of crypto, which included DOGE.”
The price surge took Dogecoin all the way up to ranking fifth in the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. The market cap also briefly passed the $50-billion mark, which is a high figure for a coin that was conceived as a joke. At the time of writing, it has now slid down to rank seventh among the top 10, with a market capitalization of $36.45 billion. The price is also currently in correction trading at $0.28.
Eric Berman, senior legal editor, U.S. finance at Thomson Reuters, commented to Cointelegraph regarding Dogecoin’s retail demand: “The sentiment seems to be: Bitcoin is for the wealthy, Ethereum for the middle class, and Dogecoin is for the people.”
Doge Day marks a historical moment
Dogecoin fans celebrated April 20 as Doge Day with a symbolic push of the coin’s price to $0.420. It also wasn’t lost on the community that 4/20 was also associated with the marijuana day. Even though it was just for a brief moment, the community did seemingly come together to push the price of DOGE to its all-time high.
The rise in retail interest in Dogecoin even led to a system outage in Robinhood’s trading app due to the overload of orders. To make the coin more accessible to retail investors, on April 21, Robinhood even reduced the minimum order size of DOGE from 10 to 1. This entails that investors can now stack DOGE one coin at a time.
Joshua Frank, co-founder and CEO of The TIE — a social media analytics platform for cryptocurrencies — revealed that the social media sentiment for Dogecoin still holds strong, telling Cointelegraph:
“Long-term sentiment for DOGE went outside the standard deviation and posted a record 139 sentiment score on Jan. 28, 2021, after Redditors from r/SatoshiStreetBets discussed making Dogecoin the cryptocurrency equivalent of GameStop. Sentiment still holds strong at 72, and tweets from Elon Musk about Dogecoin on April 14 have helped fuel the surge.”
Since Dogecoin was founded in 2013, it’s essentially one of the older coins in the cryptosphere. The listing of the token on exchanges like Binance and OKEx has strengthened its presence in the cryptocurrency community with better access to liquidity, thus creating more stable trading flows and interest in coin accumulation.
OKCoin announced on Doge Day that the exchange would be listing the token in the last week of April. Speaking further about DOGE, Jason Lau, CEO of OKCoin, told Cointelegraph:
“DOGE is relatively well suited for payments. It’s extremely fast and efficient — transactions cost less than a cent. Though it has less nodes than others, it is secured by proof-of-work and has never had any security issues.”
DOGE is currently used as a payment method for merchandise of NBA franchise Dallas Mavericks, which is owned by renowned investor Mark Cuban. He pointed out on Twitter that merchandise sales have grown 550% since the club announced that it would be accepting payments in Dogecoin. He also stated that the sports team will not be selling any of its accumulated Dogecoin from the sales and will be hodling it for the long term.
However, the sustainability of this rise in adoption is yet to be seen. Lau further said: “It’s important to point out that the Dogecoin codebase has not had any update in years and is not actively maintained.”
Boggiano further said that for some traders, the fact that Dogecoin was created as a joke becomes a fun experiment to see if they can gamble against other traders and come out ahead, thus essentially being used as a competitive tool:
“It may also be the crypto community ‘reclaiming’ their story. For people in the crypto community, we know that DOGE was created as a joke. It was created to mock Bitcoin. However, it’s turning out that Bitcoin is a legitimate asset class. Therefore, this could be a means to redefine the dialogue and understanding of cryptocurrencies in general.”
Could this be yet another pump and dump?
Dogecoin has been an instrument for pump and dump schemes in the past, so could this instance be yet another example of such activity? DOGE is a hugely inflationary coin by design without a decided maximum supply, which entails that there are 5 billion new coins entering the circulating supply each year. Due to the high supply, there is always an endless downward pressure on the token.
On the possibilities of this being another instance of a pump-and-dump scenario, Frank further stated that the rally has been controlled by a single entity that has accumulated at least “$1.3 billion worth of Dogecoin and abused the futures market by baiting shorts into creating a negative funding cycle that led to a derivatives blowout in excess of $760 million of liquidations.”
According to Twitter user Lightcrypto, the player marked up the price of the token many times while feeding into the social media narrative surrounding the meme token. Apparently, the player liquidated their spot holdings, creating over $760 million worth of liquidations in the derivatives market. On the contrary, Berman opined further on the surge in interest:
“The Dogecoin phenomenon seems little bit reminiscent of the Reddit/GameStop conversation from a couple of weeks back. While its popularity could be attributable in part to the recent Coinbase IPO, most cryptos would be experiencing a similar bounce. […] People [who] may feel like they missed out on the upside of Bitcoin are thinking that perhaps this is their shot.”
Although the price of Dogecoin is currently in a decline in what could be seen as a market-wide correction, it’s becoming clear that the token has found a use beyond the meme-coin status and is now seeing real growth within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
At its height, its market capitalization even went past long-existing multi-national companies such as Barclays and Ford. Speaking on the sustainability of the coin, Lau further stated: “I would not underestimate DOGE’s staying power. For many, it was the first crypto they owned or the first one they heard of. Plus, it’s one of the few tokens that have deeply penetrated beyond the crypto community.”