Dogecoin started as a joke in 2013 and is based on a popular meme, but last week, investors saw its value skyrocket 500%, according to Friday data from CoinMarketCap.com.
Bitcoin’s value sat at $55,855 as of Tuesday morning while Dogecoin’s was listed at about $0.38 — compared to about $0.009 in January.
Dogeoin’s value was still up about 390% over the past week as of Tuesday morning.
Bitcoin’s recent gains were fueled by the historic stock market debut of cryptocurrency exchange operator Coinbase, which launched a direct listing on the Nasdaq on April 14. Shares of Coinbase, which trade under the ticker COIN, opened at $381 apiece, giving the company a valuation of about $99.5 billion.
The popular cryptocurrency’s surge also came as Tesla, square, Mastercard, BNY Mellon and Twitter expressed increasing interest in digital currencies. Venmo announced Tuesday that it would be allowing users to buy, hold and sell crypto, and WeWork announced that it would be accepting crypto payments.
“The simple truth, that bitcoin is a countermeasure to inflation, has now successfully permeated significant portions of both retail and institutional investors,” Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of Chainlink, one of the largest projects in the blockchain industry, previously told FOX Business in a statement.
He continued: “With no signal in sight that central banks have any plans to curtail fiat money printing, combined with increased government spending also on the horizon, there’s every reason to believe that Bitcoin could continue to break new milestones.”
Dogecoin, on the other hand, has sparked the interest of some investors in recent months since several big-name celebrities, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and rapper Snoop Dogg, brought it up on social media.
“Dogecoin will continue to trade up as internet celebrities, such as Elon Musk, tweet about it,” Adam Lowe, founder of tech company Arculus, previously told FOX Business in a statement.
But celeb recognition was not the only reason behind the joke crypto’s recent surge.
Similar to a trading frenzy that occurred in late January when a group of traders on the speculative investing Reddit forum WallStreetBets banded together to squeeze the Gamestop’s short-sellers and cause its share price to soar, users on a Reddit forum called SatoshiStreetBets helped prompt last week’s Dogecoin upswing.
Charles Hoskinson, founder of cryptocurrencies Cardano and Ethereum, said in a video posted to Twitter last week that Musk’s efforts to bring attention to Dogecoin, as well as “market manipulation by clever whales,” has led Dogecoin to “become a haven for new entrance into the cryptocurrency space.”
“Let’s be very clear. This is a bubble,” he said. “The price of Doge is not sustainable. It’s going to collapse, and a massive amount of retail money is going to be lost very quickly. My belief is that after that bubble bursts, it will be a catalyst for regulators and lawmakers to get involved in our industry and hurt the industry. Not a good event.”
FOX Business’ Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.