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Elon Musk, the Tesla TSLA billionaire who’s alienated with much of the bitcoin and crypto community in recent months, has renewed his support of meme-based cryptocurrency dogecoin.
The dogecoin price has exploded this year, rising almost 10,000% since October 2020 and propelling the memecoin into the crypto top ten—helped by Musk’s mercurial Twitter persona. For comparison, the bitcoin price has added 400% over the last 12 months, with much of its gains coming after Musk revealed Tesla had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin at the beginning of the year.
Replying to Billy Markus, one of the co-creators of tongue-in-cheek bitcoin rival, Musk agreed that dogecoin miners—who secure the network in return for freshly-minted coins—need to keep their software up-to-date.
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“Run a node if you want, or not. If you want to contribute to helping the network, you will need to be dedicated to running a full, reliable node, using significant bandwidth, and keeping it up to date,” wrote Markus. “But for 1.14.4’s success, existing node operators need to update.”
The latest dogecoin version, designed to prepare “the network for lower recommended fees,” was released in August and Musk has previously called on those running network nodes to update their software to help lower dogecoin transaction fees—apparently part of his plan to “beat bitcoin hands down.”
“Super important for doge fees to drop to make things like buying movie [tickets] viable,” Musk said last month. Back in May, Musk revealed he was working with dogecoin developers to “improve system transaction efficiency.”
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The dogecoin price, sometimes easily swayed by Musk’s doge-related comments, has so far failed to move much on Musk’s latest intervention. The dogecoin price peaked in May ahead of Musk’s much-hyped appearance on U.S. comedy show Saturday Night Live and has since lost around 70% of its value.
Other smaller cryptocurrencies have also seen huge price swings, thanks to Musk. Last week, Musk sharing a picture of his Shiba Inu dog, on which dogecoin is based, helped send the price of the dogecoin-derived shiba inu cryptocurrency up almost 500%. It’s since given up some of its gains but remains far higher than where it began the month.
Meanwhile, the bitcoin price has continued to surge, topping $58,000 per bitcoin for the first time since bitcoin’s China crackdown crash in May.