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While the audience seemed to appreciate his appearance, DOGE traders were put off by Elon Musk’s mention.
Dogecoin, the meme cryptocurrency, eventually got its long-awaited shoutout on Saturday Night Live — however, according to hodler expectations, the instant outcome was a violent spill.
First teased by entrepreneur and DOGE cheerleader Elon Musk in late April, the Tesla CEO finally mentioned the digital asset on live television tonight in his opening monologue of the sketch comedy show. The reference was a throwaway line from Musk’s mother, who joined him onstage and asked if her Mother’s Day gift would be Dogecoin; Musk replied that it would be.
In the minutes afterwards, $DOGE dumped upwards of 25%, falling as low as $.50 from $.66 highs at the start of the show. It has since partially recovered, trading at $.52 at the time of publication.
SNL May 8
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 28, 2021
DOGE was trading at $.66 an hour before the episode began, down from an all-time high of $.72. A couple of bearish headwinds may have contributed to the pullback: Musk seemed to try to stay ahead of the speculation, warning followers in a Tweet to “invest with caution,” and a slew of fresh data suggests that many buyers may be reinvesting their DOGE gains in other, largecap digital properties.
Cryptocurrency is promising, but please invest with caution! https://t.co/A4kplcP8Vq
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 7, 2021
In addition, Barry Silbert, the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group, the parent company of Grayscale, reported a public short on DOGE through the FTX exchange. In a series of subsequent Tweets, he announced that the job was worth $1 million and that any profits or leftover funds after closing the short would be donated to charity.
Okay $DOGE peeps, it’s been fun. Welcome to crypto!
But the time has come for you to convert your DOGE to BTC
[disclosure: we’ve gone short DOGE via https://t.co/s8Qde2Ub4Z]
— Barry Silbert (@BarrySilbert) May 8, 2021
(It’s unclear if Silbert is referring to Digital Currency Group, one of its portfolio firms, or merely uses a plural pronoun to refer to himself.)
Many DOGE investors were already hoping for a high-profile shoutout on what seemed to be a big pop culture case. According to the Wall Street Journal, NBC, the studio behind SNL, decided to live-stream the episode on YouTube for the first time ever.
Even a passing reference may have a huge effect on the price of DOGE: the meme currency has been seen to be vulnerable to price fluctuations dependent on favourable social media volume, and several studies have shown that Tweets from Musk often contribute to price appreciation. A mention on a larger forum was thought to have the potential to result in much greater benefits.
Prior to the episode’s premiere, Alameda Research trader Sam Trabucco (who previously said in a Tweet that he was “studying the typical SNL episode structure to try and understand when a DOGE mention would be the most natural”) speculated that if a joke or mention did not appear in Musk’s opening monologue, it would be “all over.”
Studying the typical SNL episode structure to try and understand when a DOGE mention would be the most natural, AMA.
— Sam Trabucco (@AlamedaTrabucco) May 8, 2021
Despite arrival during the monologue, traders had a negative reaction. It remains to be seen if a DOGE-centric skit later in the programme would be able to turn the speculative asset’s fortunes around.