Facts about Elon Musk Sending Dodgecoin-Funded Satellite to the Moon
|Photo The Independent
SpaceX is launching a mission to the moon in 2022 and has accepted meme cryptocurrency dogecoin as payment to take a payload on the journey.
It’s a spot of good news for Dogecoin, which has had a tough week. After spiking in price, falling around a Robinhood crash, and spiking again in anticipation of Musk’s SNL appearance, the cryptocurrency crashed overnight following a segment in which Musk joked about Dogecoin being a “hustle.”
The announcement seems to be designed to fight back against that narrative. Ochinero says the partnership sets “the foundation for interplanetary commerce.” And Geometric Energy Corporation’s CEO says the transaction “solidified DOGE as a unit of account for lunar business in the space sector.” The press release goes on to say that Dogecoin is “sophisticated enough to finance a commercial Moon mission in full” and that it’ll be used for all lunar business between the two companies. (Musk’s other company, Tesla, recently started accepting car purchases in Bitcoin.)
Geometric Energy Corp, an intellectual property, manufacturing and logistics firm, said on Sunday it had paid Elon Musk's space company in dogecoin to take a kind of mini space-exploration satellite on the mission.
Why is SpaceX Sending a Dogecoin Mission to the Moon?
The mission will be called "DOGE-1 to the Moon". Geometric Space Corp will collaborate with SpaceX to launch a 40kg satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket in the first quarter of 2022.
Musk tweeted: "SpaceX launching satellite Doge-1 to the moon next year. Mission paid for in Doge. 1st crypto in space. 1st meme in space. To the mooooonnn!!"
Musk's tweet announcing the news received 100,000 retweets within around seven hours of being posted.
Many were disappointed Saturday night when Dogecoin (DOGE) did not reach the largely anticipated $1 price target meme during Elon Musk’s appearance hosting Saturday Night Live (SNL), although it was mentioned a handful of times.
Tom Ochinero, Space X’s vice president of commercial sales, added: “This mission will demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce. We’re excited to launch DOGE-1 to the Moon!”
The companies did not disclose how much the mission is costing.
While Dogecoin’s price may have failed to launch to the proverbial moon, after seeing meteoric gains leading up to the event, the jovial cryptocurrency will be participating in an actual lunar payload mission:
Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC) announced the “DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon.” In Q1 2022 a SpaceX Falcon rocket will carry Dogecoin to the literal moon via a commemorative “40kg cubesat” payload—paid for in DOGE itself, Forbes reported.
What is doge?
Doge—a misspelling of “dog”—is a popular meme dating back to 2013. Though the content always varies, doge memes typically have two basic elements: a picture of a surprised-looking Shiba Inu (called “Shibe”) and some text describing the dog’s inner monologue. Usually it’s short phrases like “wow” written in many different colors — but always in Comic Sans.
According to Know Your Meme, the dog of doge fame is an actual Shiba Inu named Kabosu. In 2010, Kabosu's owner, Atsuko Sato, posted a few pictures of her new rescue dog online, including the one immortalized in doge memes. Someone came across the photo on Sato’s personal blog and shared it on Reddit, where it went viral. The rest is internet history.
What is Dogecoin?
Basically, it’s a kind of cryptocurrency that, much like the doge meme, was kind of a joke. Now, Dogecoin’s market cap is around $80 billion, so it’s a bit more serious.
At the height of doge’s popularity in 2013, software engineer Jackson Palmer tweeted he was "investing in Dogecoin,” as a joke about the meme and cryptocurrency. He said he was “pretty sure” Dogecoin would be “the next big thing,” which of course it wasn’t supposed to be — until it was.
According to CNET, Palmer bought the Dogecoin.com domain in the spirit of keeping the gag going. He even Photoshopped Shibe’s confused face on a coin. Eventually, Palmer began collaborating on Dogecoin with software engineer Billy Markus, who had previously created a cryptocurrency called Bells. After Palmer and Markus introduced Dogecoin in December 2013, it was embraced by pockets of Reddit, where news of the meme coin proliferated.
Cryptocurrency, including Dogecoin, has been criticized for the enormous amount of energy required to “mine” it. While people don’t physically mine cryptocurrency, computers have to solve complex mathematical problems and run for a very long time to create a virtual coin. Some estimates suggest it takes more energy to run bitcoin mining operations than it does to power certain countries.
Dogecoin DOGEUSD, 1.65% slumped Sunday after Musk’s “SNL” appearance failed to rally prices toward $1. Instead, the price of dogecoin, which was around 70 cents before the show started Saturday night, plunged as low as 47 cents. By Sunday evening, it had rebounded to about 57 cents, according to Coinbase.
The digital currency, which was conceived as a joke, has spiked more than 10,000% year to date, and despite Sunday’s losses has gained nearly 400% over the past month.
Dogecoin has been a hot topic on Reddit for several years. It’s had some mainstream moments, too: in 2014, for example, a group of Redditors raised roughly $30,000 in Dogecoin to send the Jamaican Bobsled Team to the Winter Olympics in Sochi. But Dogecoin’s biggest breakthrough was during the stonks fiasco of January 2021, when a group of redditors on r/wallstreetbets decided to pump up GameStop’s stock. After the focus around GameStop subsided, a group of Redditors pivoted to pumping Dogecoin. Elon Musk tweeted his support for Dogecoin, boosting its value even further.
Fans of Dogecoin react
The Dogecoin community on Reddit responded quickly to the news, with forum posts attracting hundreds of comments. One read: "I think Elon might be taking this 'to the moon' way too literally."
Another wrote: "Is this real? Wow! This is amazing. Maybe the Mars space colony will also use doge as [an] official coin."
And referencing Dogecoin's weekend price crash, one user said: "Nice of him to tweet out something in our time of need."
Elon Musk took the Studio 8H stage over the weekend for his Saturday Night Live hosting debut and, as many expected, there was a lot of cryptocurrency talk.
The controversial tech mogul had fans and critics debating the choice to tap him as a host in the lead-up to Saturday's episode. However, one of the biggest questions was whether or not he'd mention Dogecoin, the satirical cryptocurrency that has skyrocketed in the wake of his repeated online endorsements.
As it turns out, Dogecoin -- and cryptocurrency in general -- actually played a prominent role in the episode. Apart from a mention in his monologue, Musk appeared as a guest on Weekend Update to talk about Dogecoin's popularity.
Musk played a financial expert named Lloyd Ostertag, who spoke with Michael Che about the meteoric rise in Dogecoin's popularity and value.
After referring to himself as "the Dogefather," Musk's Ostertag did his best to explain Dogecoin to those unfamiliar with cryptocurrency, Etonline reported.
"They're a type of digital money, but instead of being controlled by a central government, they're decentralized using block chain technology," Ostertag shared. "Lately, prices have been soaring for cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and especially Dogecoin."
As for Dogecoin itself, Ostertag explained that it "started as a joke based on an internet meme. Now it's taken off in a very real way," and that it "was created in 2013 and has a circulating supply of 117 billion coins, of which 113 billion have already been mined."
In response, Che asked the question that was still on many people's minds: "Right, cool, so what is Dogecoin?"
After repeatedly trying to get a clearer answer to no avail, Ostertag explained, "It's the future of currency. It's an unstoppable financial vehicle that's going to take over the world."
"Oh, so it's a hustle?" Che said.
"Yeah, it's a hustle," Musk's Ostertag said, shrugging in agreement, before yelling the battle cry of crypto-traders across the world: "To the moon!"
While Dogecoin played a surprisingly big part on Saturday's show, fans had mixed reactions to Musk's hosting, and the debate about Dogecoin's legitimacy. The value of Dogecoin dropped steeply before the episode kicked off, and many fans seemed to be watching the show and their crypto-accounts with tense interest.
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