Tesla to accept Dogecoin as payment: Elon Musk

Tesla Inc will accept meme-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin as payment for some of its merchandise such as the “Giga Texas” belt buckle and mini models of electric vehicles, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk wrote in a tweet on Friday.

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“Tesla merch buyable with Dogecoin,” the eccentric billionaire and CEO of the electric car company stated on his social media.

Tesla’s merchandise includes the recently launched “Cyberwhistle” and “Cyberquad for Kids”. It usually sells out within a few hours of listing.

The move comes a month after Mr Musk said Tesla would test out the digital token as a payment option. Soon it sent dogecoin prices 14 percent higher.

Elon Musk and crypto

Elon Musk, a vocal proponent of cryptocurrencies, has heavily influenced the prices of dogecoin and bitcoin. At one point he even said that the company would accept bitcoin as a method to purchase Tesla cars. However, soon after he gave up that idea.

“Some have noted that goods for doge are selling out even faster than for dollars. This news is a good illustration of crypto’s continued penetration of corporate culture,” Alex Kuptsikevich, senior financial analyst at FxPro said.

Elon Musk’s tweets on dogecoin have turned the once-obscure digital currency, which began as a social media joke, into a speculator’s dream. The token's price surged by about 4,000 percent in 2021.

Tesla disclosed last year it had bought USD 1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, and Mr Musk has also said he owns some bitcoin and dogecoin.

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Tesla is facing intense competition as legacy automakers such as Ford Motor Co. as well as startups including Rivian Automotive are set to launch their electric cars this year.

The company’s much-awaited Cybertruck will begin production in the first quarter of 2023, pushing back its plan to start production in late 2022, Reuters reported.

What is Dogecoin?

According to the CNN Business news website, “Dogecoin is a digital currency that can be bought and sold like an investment and spent like money.”

It was created in 2013, by a pair of software engineers Billy Markus, an IBM programmer and Jackson Palmer who at the time worked for Adobe. The cryptocurrency was named after a Shiba Inus dog meme, which at the time was very popular.

Now having increased thousands of percentage points in value, it is estimated to be one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies on the market, according to CoinMarketCap.