By Subrat Patnaik and Bhargav Acharya
(Reuters) -Billionaire Elon Musk and cryptocurrency aficionado on Tuesday asked https://bit.ly/33xrDHR his 54 million followers on Twitter “Do you want Tesla to accept Doge?”, referring to a digital currency worth roughly 48 cents with no real world use.
The question, in the form of a Twitter poll, comes days after he called dogecoin a “hustle”, which sent the meme-inspired cryptocurrency’s price reeling after a 700% rally in a month.
A proponent of digital currencies, the Tesla chief executive made the comment as guest-host spot on the “Saturday Night Live” comedy sketch TV show this past weekend.
Musk, one of the richest people in the world and owner of several futuristic companies including SpaceX and Neuralink, has used his candid Twitter feed to convey his opinion on cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, most times impacting their price.
In March, Musk said U.S. customers could purchase Tesla vehicles with bitcoin, marking a significant step forward for the cryptocurrency’s use in commerce. The electric-car maker had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin earlier this year, propelling its prices to record highs.
Based on current prices, one would need nearly 80,000 dogecoins or 0.7 bitcoin to buy the cheapest Tesla Model 3 car.
Musk’s poll on dogecoin received over 2 million responses in five hours since he posted it, with three out of every four respondents voting to ratify the new payment method.
It comes just days after he said that SpaceX would accept dogecoin as payment to launch a lunar mission next year.
The limited supply of bitcoin helps drive its value as the digital currency gradually gains acceptance for commercial transactions. Whereas dogecoin, which began as a social media joke in 2013 with a shiba inu dog as its avatar, has an unlimited supply and remains seldom used to make payments for goods.
On crypto data tracker CoinGecko.com, dogecoin jumped more than 700% over the last month and is now the fourth-largest digital currency. It hit a record high Thursday above $0.73.
The billionaire’ s tweets have drawn SEC scrutiny in the past, but his recent remarks about cryptocurrencies have not landed in him in any regulatory troubles so far.
Shares of Tesla were down 4% in early trading after Reuters reported that the U.S. electric car maker has halted plans to buy land to expand its Shanghai plant.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru, Additonal reporting by Sruthi Shankar; Editing by Bernard Orr and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)