ONE lucky investor in "joke" cryptocurrency Dogecoin has netted themselves a $10billion fortune – but could the anonymous moneybags be none other than Elon Musk?
The mysterious online wallet – which caught the attention of Reddit users and crypto bloggers – has been accumulating the high risk meme currency for the past two years and has around 30% of all Dogecoin in circulation.
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Called DH5yaieqoZN36fDVciNyRueRGvGLR3mr7L, or simply known amongst crypto communities as DH5, the wallet has a current balance $10.7billion.
Created as a cryptocurrency parody in 2013, Dogecoin is based on the 'Doge' meme, which portrays a Shiba Inu dog – and while it is currently enjoying a boom, there is no guarantees of making money in the extremely volatile crypto markets.
Commentators and internet sleuths believe a cryptic trail of transactions may hint that the man behind the multibillion dollar account is the self-proclaimed "Dogefather" Musk.
However, there is no proof that the multibillionaire Tesla boss is linked to the account – and he has previously said his endorsement of the coin is a "joke".
The risks of buying with cryptocurrencies
Investing and making a purchase in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is risky .
Their value is highly volatile and City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority has warned investors should be prepared to lose all their money.
Investing in cryptocurrencies is not a guaranteed way to make money.
You should also think carefully about making purchases with a cryptocurrency.
For example, Bitcoin has had wild price fluctuations in recent months and the price can change on an almost hourly basis.
The price of a Bitcoin was at $40,258 on January 9, according to Coindesk, but fell to $34,214 just three days later.
That's a 15% drop.
These price swings are risky for a business as you could sell an item for a Bitcoin at one price and the value may drop soon after, leaving you with less money from a sale.
Similarly, the price of Bitcoin has soared by more than 21% since the start of this week so it can be hard for a shopper to get an accurate idea of the price of an item if its value changes on a daily basis.
Crypto fans however point to a transaction received in February for 20.06281971 DOGE, which is believed to refer to the SpaceX's bosses birthday on June 28, 1971.
Another for 25.14031995 DOGE received on the same day could refer to March 14, 1995 – the record-breaking day date 13 astronauts were simultaneously in space.
Dogecoin surged once again after Musk dubbed himself "The Dogefather" in a tweet hyping up his upcoming appearance on hit US show Saturday Night Live.
The coin's price shot up from $0.25 to $0.30 within 15 minutes.
And like all cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin fluctuates wildly with investments swinging widely in the blink of an eye, with much of the 'Dogefather' value already falling off the coin.
Speculation that Musk – the world's second richest man – is behind the multibillion dollar wallet has been rife, but the entrepreneur said in January his comments about the cryptocurrency were “just meant to be jokes”.
But that has not stopped keen fans and speculators attempting to link Musk to the incredible Dogecoin fortune, with crypto blogs The Daily Chain and Cryptoticker both tying the Tesla chief to DH5.
One Reddit blogger posted: “I am thinking this is Elon Musk trying to help the Dogecoin meme. Who else could be this cray?”
Another on Twitter wrote: “@elonmusk holding more #Dogecoins than anyone. Check out the biggest doge Wallet and the hidden messages! You aren’t slick @elonmusk.”
“The 26% owner sold out of his position. I'm assuming it's Elon,” tweeted a third.
Simon Yu posted: “The #1 Dogecoin holder now has $12B+.
“His/Her Dogecoin holdings alone puts them in the 190th richest person in the world. Ahead of Snapchat CEO, and Charles Schwab (the individual). This is insane lol.”
Earlier this year, Musk labelled Dogecoin the “people’s currency” and suggested he had bought an undisclosed amount for his son, X Æ A-12.
He also threatened to buy out so-called “crypto whales” hoarding large stockpiles of Dogecoin and turn the fledgling form of cash into mainstream currency.
“If major Dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support. Too much concentration is the only real issue imo,” he tweeted.
“I will literally pay actual $ if they just void their accounts.”
Musk himself even weighed on the DH5 account,speculating the cash could have been stockpiled by Robinhood Markets – the trading company at the centre of the controversy over a GameStop trading frenzy.
Responding on Twitter to a poster suggesting as much, he wrote: "Sounds like it is."
On April 1, he tweeted his private rocket company SpaceX would put “dogecoin on the literal moon” – sending its price up 35% – and even once posted a Dogecoin instruction manual on social media.
Ben Weiss, CEO at the bitcoin ATM operator CoinFlip, told Business Insider: "Many people view Doge as the 'people's cryptocurrency' because it was created as a joke"
"Major players and corporations are unlikely to buy in and manipulate the market or understand that it could be a viable currency.”
Cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin has a reputation of being seen as "digital gold" thanks to renowned investors such as billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones backing it.
"Until recently, established brokers, advisors and banks wrote-off crypto as ‘too volatile’—as they did with today’s household tech brands 20 years ago, failing to recognize it as a legitimate asset-class in advice issued to investors," Stephen Kelso, head of capital markets at ITI Capital, told Forbes.
"Now we’re seeing a dramatic change in approach from asset and wealth managers, who increasingly advise their clients that bitcoin is a preferential investment over gold."
Dogecoin was invented as a "fun version of bitcoin" by software engineers Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus and a single coin was worth just $0.005405 in January.
It can be traded on crypto exchanges and more popular mainstream trading apps.
At the start of 2021, the currency was worth about half a cent – even as bitcoin prices surged to nearly $30,000.
However, dogecoin has now pushed back towards the record highs it experienced earlier this month.
An 8,000 per cent price increase this year has now seen it overtake more widely-used cryptocurrencies like Litecoin.
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