Measuring how much Elon Musk pumps crypto like Shiba Inu, Floki, Doge
Elon Musk is a busy guy. He runs both Tesla and SpaceX, has seven kids — but still somehow finds time to pump dog-adjacent crypto into oblivion via Twitter.
Musk pumps worthless cryptocurrencies so hard (and so regularly) that the market created new ones just to capitalize on the rivers of dumb money that splash cash at the first sign of a cryptic crypto comment on his timeline.
Protos crawled Musk’s Twitter feed for any mention of crypto over the past six months to quantify his power over the market’s most feckless investors.
Similar to our previous experiment in January, we collected tweets about Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin, and analyzed price movements on the day of the tweet, as well in the following week and month.
But unlike our last deep-dive into the crypto-consciousness of the world’s richest person, this time we focused on how much each token pumped in the wake of each tweet — and whether it held onto those gains after the first week.
This is because crypto markets are volatile: a Musk-powered Dogecoin pump might last a few hours. It’s still worth calculating the size of those short-lived pumps.
Musk negs Bitcoin
Musk tweeted about Bitcoin (or Bitcoin-adjacent topics like MicroStrategy chief yacht officer Michael Saylor) 19 times across 13 days.
Most of Musk’s Bitcoin tweets weren’t particularly positive. Still, on three occasions Bitcoin’s price increased more than 10% after Musk tweeted about it.
Bitcoin also pumped more than 15% in the week that came after three of Musk’s BTC-tweeting days.
The price of Bitcoin rose up to 16% on May 20, when Musk tweeted: “Bitcoin hashing (aka mining) energy usage is starting to exceed that of medium-sized countries. Almost impossible for small hashers to succeed without those massive economies of scale.”
Bitcoin underwent a similar pump in the week after Musk ‘corrected‘ media reports that said his car company Tesla had sold 10% of its BTC stash (it was just proving its liquidity, apparently).
But after weighing Bitcoin’s price at the end of the week after BTC-themed Musk tweets, only two tweets seem to have had any long-lasting impact.
Bitcoin held onto 5% gains in the week after Musk’s aforementioned “medium-sized countries” quip.
BTC also increased more than 7% in the seven days after Musk commented on his short-lived quest to make Bitcoin mining more sustainable on May 24.
“Spoke with North American Bitcoin miners. They committed to publish current [and] planned renewable usage & to ask miners WW to do so. Potentially promising,” said Musk.
Musk won’t shut up about Dogecoin
This guy has tweeted about the top boomer memecoin 30 times on 22 different days since May.
Unlike Musk’s Bitcoin commentary, almost all of Musk’s Dogecoin-adjacent tweets are either gushing or vaguely memetic — no doubt to inspire max engagement from project faithfuls.
While Bitcoin underwent a 10% surge three times on the days of Musk’s BTC tweets, Dogecoin saw that kind of action on nine separate days.
On five days in which Musk graced the world with a Dogecoin tweet, DOGE pumped more than 20%.
DOGE jumped up to 32% when Musk tweeted three times about the project on May 20, including: “Yeah, I haven’t [and] won’t sell any Doge,” and a post laced with a funky picture of a Doge dollar note that said: “How much is that Doge in the window?”.
Dogecoin’s price also rose up to 35.5% in the week after Musk claimed that “lots of people” building Teslas or SpaceX rockets that he’d spoken to own DOGE.
Read more: [We figured out how much power Elon Musk holds over Dogecoin]
“They aren’t financial experts or Silicon Valley technologists. That’s why I decided to support Doge – it felt like the people’s crypto,” Musk tweeted on October 24.
Dogecoin found a touch more success in holding onto its ‘Musk pumps’ than Bitcoin.
Protos calculated that on six separate occasions since May, Dogecoin sustained more than 5% gains after a week following a Musk tweet.
Musk inspired too much dog crypto
Musk tweeted about Ethereum on only four separate days. And while he admitted to owning Ether alongside Bitcoin and Dogecoin, ETH didn’t really move as much as Dogecoin or Bitcoin in the days afterwards.
But some tweets that clearly intended to relate to Dogecoin and its canine mascot ended up birthing their own crypto Ponzi games.
Floki Inu (FLOK), for example, debuted on decentralized exchanges shortly after Musk tweeted: “My Shiba Inu will be named Floki,” in late June.
FLOK initially listed at $0, but reached a top of $0.00000871 four days later — all based on Musk tweeting that he intended to name his new Shiba Inu pup “Floki.”
(Dogecoin jumped 10% on the day of the ‘Floki’ tweet, but would give up all those gains and close the week down 7%.)
The token is now up more than 14,000% since then. FLOK peaked at $0.000309055 earlier this month, before dropping 50%.
Not to mention, the price of Dogecoin mimic Shiba Inu (SHIB) exploded 186% on the day that Musk tweeted: “I’m looking for a Shiba Inu pup!”.
SHIB pumped up to 2,100% in the next week — the single biggest Musk pump on record. The token even held onto about half of those gains, closing the week up more than 930%.
There was also BABYDOGE, a shitcoin entirely inspired by one of Musk’s more braindead tweets from July 1: “Baby Doge, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, Baby Doge, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, Baby Doge, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, Baby Doge.”
BABYDOGE appeared on decentralized exchange PancakeSwap, powered by token casino Binance Smart Chain, directly after this tweet.
It peaked at $0.000000005890 on July 4, representing about half-a-million percentage points worth of gains.
Decentralized exchanges and other shameless centralized platforms are now littered with useless cryptocurrencies peddling Musk’s penchant for dumb dog money.
Indeed, a new generation of crypto entrepreneurs has skipped the white papers and gone straight to luring investors with creative, Musk-flavored names like FLOKIPUP, BABYDOGEZILLA, and SHIBAFOMO.
It’s also worth pointing out that Musk also tweeted vaguely about “crypto” on five separate days.
One May 20 — when he tweeted “decentralized crypto is an attempt to wrest power of currency dilution (pernicious form of taxation) [and] capital control from governments” — the total value of crypto markets briefly rose 21%.
But analyzing the total market cap one week after Musk’s ‘crypto’ tweets’ shows a correlation between Musk’s comments and the health of digital asset prices.
“To be clear, I strongly believe in crypto, but it can’t drive a massive increase in fossil fuel use, especially coal,” said Musk on May 13.
One week later, crypto markets closed nearly 19% down overall.
And on November 1, Musk exclaimed: “Everything on the Internet is true! Externalize responsibility! If you are able to do this, buy crypto!”
One week later, the total value of all cryptocurrency had risen more than 10%.
Read more: [Forget Shiba Inu and Dogecoin, these 5 ancient dog coins got there first]
It should be stressed that monumentally nugatory cryptocurrencies like Floki Inu (and all the other derivative dog monies) were created simply to capitalize on Musk tweeting anything that resembles an endorsement, however tenuous.
SHIB was first available in mid-2020 and did see marked success alongside Dogecoin earlier this year — but it skyrocketed immediately after Musk shared that he was buying a Shiba Inu puppy.
And many Musk tweets — particularly those about Dogecoin — happened when crypto markets were particularly frothy in the middle of 2021.
With that in mind, it’s difficult to say whether Musk directly controls crypto prices with his tweets.
Still, the correlation is there.
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Edit 08:27 UTC, Nov 24: Corrected number of Musk’s Dogecoin-related tweets in paragraph 16.