Bitcoin convert Elon Musk tweeted on Tuesday about a potential future crypto for Mars called MarsCoin — and inadvertently pumped the price of a tiny cryptocurrency by over 2,000%.
The thing is, MarsCoin already exists. It’s a self-described “grassroots effort to lift humanity up” run by big fans of the Mars Society.
On Tuesday morning — just before Musk’s tweet at 16:09 UTC — MarsCoin was worth just $2.3 million.
With a market value so low, any amount of buying volume had the potential to send its price skyrocketing.
- Musk tweeted “There’ will definitely be a MarsCoin!” at 16:09 UTC.
- Volume increased straight away, and within two hours MarsCoin’s jumped 2,100% — from $0.11 to $2.50.
- This briefly valued the tiny altcoin at nearly $71 million.
By 19:15 UTC, MarsCoin had dropped below $0.13, representing a 94% fall from its Musk-inspired record high in under an hour.
MarsCoin now sits at $0.48, up more than 330% since before Musk’s tweet.
MarsCoin, a fundraiser for Earth
The project’s FAQ explains the crypto is intended to support an open-source network powered by a non-profit effort it says would run analogous to the Ethereum Foundation, but for MarsCoin.
And while technical details are scarce, the coin appears to be a fork of Litecoin (which is a fork of Bitcoin).
In any case, buying it should be viewed as a donation to Earth’s quest to colonize Mars, or as the website puts it: “decentralize humanity.”
It’s likely Musk had no idea that MarsCoin has apparently existed since 2014, let alone trades on three tiny exchanges.
Indeed, this seems to be the first instance of Musk accidentally pumping the price of a cryptocurrency.
And all because he replied to a tweet from Binance’s chief exec clearly intended to fish for engagement. Go figure.