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Doge days: Elon Musk and Tesla place double bet on cryptocurrency | Crypto News
What does the world’s richest person buy his baby? Cryptocurrency, apparently. Tech magnate and Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted the latest in a long string of social media posts boosting the prospects of Dogecoin this week by saying he planned to keep it in the family.
“Bought some Dogecoin for lil X, so he can be a toddler hodler,” Musk wrote on Twitter, using crypto slang to explain how he hopes his son will “hold on for dear life” to the digital asset known by its logo, a Shiba Inu dog.
But while Musk has lauded the joke currency with a number of memes — “D is for Dogecoin!” and “Who let the Doge out” among them — he has also suggested that the “people have spoken” about the pitfalls of fiat currency and extolled the virtues of bitcoin. Tesla’s announcement that it had bought $1.5bn in bitcoin and would accept the cryptocurrency as payment sent it rocketing above $48,000 this week.
Meanwhile, the value of one Dogecoin, expressed in United States dollars, climbed eightfold, from under one cent on January 26 to almost eight cents this week. Its proponents aim to pump the price up to $1; meanwhile, bitcoin’s market capitalisation is around 100 times Dogecoin’s $8.9bn pile.
Memes aside, Musk — who is best known for his disruptive ideas as the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX — is wagering that cryptocurrency is also financially redeeming in two ways: as a stable store of value for investors and as a reliable medium of exchange that can rival the dollar in everyday economic transactions.
While many sceptics question Musk’s attempts to bridge two major early-adopter consumer demographics — electric-vehicle aficionados and crypto enthusiasts — naysayers are hard-pressed to deny his capacity to influence demand and shake up the economy.
“Dogecoin is headed in whatever direction Elon Musk wants it to head in,” said Glen Goodman, author of The Crypto Trader. “Its current price rise is driven purely by Elon’s tweets.”
However, the crypto expert doubted the rationale of some of Musk’s recent promotional efforts, including gifting his nine-month-old cryptocurrency. “As if the son of the richest man in the world needs a little investment account for his future!” Goodman quipped.
Bought some Dogecoin for lil X, so he can be a toddler hodler
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 10, 2021
But for non-billionaires who are casting their lot with crypto, there is risk, of course.
“If Musk grows tired of the joke at some point, don’t expect the joke crypto to keep rising,” Goodman told Al Jazeera.
Goodman explained that cryptocurrencies do not have revenues and profits on which to base a fair valuation, differentiating them from securities like stocks and bonds.
“Their value is determined by supply and demand for their tokens,” Goodman said, likening them to commodities such as precious metals. “And most cryptocurrencies benefit enormously from network effects, which means they work more effectively if there are more people using them.”
At least two users who replied to Musk’s tweet said they had lost money after buying Dogecoin.
“i spent all of my school money on doge and I sold at a loss. Please Elon dont trick others like you tricked me,” @Skelkjaerr tweeted.
While rapid adoption by a user base and mining community can add security for a cryptocurrency, Goodman cautions that any of them can become “trapped in virtuous circles of growth or vicious spirals of decline”.
Dogecoin is headed in whatever direction Elon Musk wants it to head in … If Musk grows tired of the joke at some point, don’t expect the joke crypto to keep rising.
Dogecoin has few supply constraints – unlike bitcoin, which is limited to a maximum of 21 million units – but is prone to the same volatility afflicting other cryptocurrencies. Detractors point to the lack of technological sophistication at Dogecoin, making it less attractive than other cryptocurrencies with more innovative software.
But diehard Dogecoin fans are committed to their cause. In one Facebook group, Livin’ on a Doge, users eagerly await every sign from Musk that their beloved asset will keep moving “to the moon” — crypto parlance for infinite increase in value.
One Islamabad-based user, Shamim Khokaywala, posted, “Am in Pakistan, how do I buy Dogecoin?” A user in India, Rajat Mishra, responded that he should head to CoinSwitch, an instant cryptocurrency exchange where bitcoins and altcoins can be traded anonymously.
Earlier this week, a user in Lagos posted, “Am in Nigeria, how do I mine Doge?” In response, Jacob Green, a crypto fan in the US state of Georgia, provided information on how to generate Dogecoins with either a “mining pool” of personal computers running on top-notch hardware or “a literal mining farm”. He recommended sites like Prohashing.com and Awesome Miner.
Green told Al Jazeera that Musk’s involvement “is definitely launching $Doge to new heights”.
“For what was essentially a dead coin based on an old meme, it is now being pushed to get accepted as currency in businesses and used for tipping/trading online,” Green added. “It may very well rival BTC [bitcoin] someday and we are all in at the ground floor!”
“[The] future looks bright for the crypto and all who bought in on the initial rush of popularity,” he added, referencing the same meme appeal that resonates with Reddit-driven GameStop devotees.
Dogecoin investor Edward Vincent Fernandez, of Lodi, California, struck a more vociferous but no less optimistic tone.
“It’s pointless if everyone sells right after [the moment] when they have enough to buy a new video game to play while they’re in their mom’s basement,” he said.
“Ride out the dips!” Fernandez told Al Jazeera. “You’re making [chump] change when you can [instead] make real money! Hooooold!”
But even risk seekers cannot ignore the warning prominently displayed in that Facebook group’s mission statement: “Only invest what you’re willing to lose and on your own free will”.
“This page is strictly for Dogecoin talk only,” it says. “Any Dogecoin bears will be deleted,” it adds, referencing the lack of interest in hearing viewpoints that oppose their bullish consensus.
For what was essentially a dead coin based on an old meme, it is now being pushed to get accepted as currency in businesses and used for tipping/trading online. It may very well rival BTC (bitcoin) someday and we are all in at the ground floor!
Jacob Green, Dogecoin investor
Bitcoin rocketed toward $50,000 this week after Tesla disclosed its increasingly symbiotic relationship with the largest cryptocurrency. It was good for Tesla’s share price, too: the value of the company rose $8bn, while the total value of bitcoin catapulted by about $90bn.
Yet critics of Musk’s crypto affinity are quick to point out how his climate-friendly electric vehicles contrast with bitcoins that require a huge amount of energy to produce.
Mining for cryptocurrency involves complex computer calculations to verify transactions made by users who send or receive the coins. Complicated puzzles also make sure that the public ledger is not compromised. All of this computing requires massive amounts of electricity to power computers as well as keep them cool.
“Ride out the dips! You’re making (chump) change when you can (instead) make real money! Hooooold!”
Edward Vincent Fernandez, Dogecoin investor
Bitcoin is estimated to use more than 127 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, according to modelling by the Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge.
But bitcoin defenders say that the fiat currency system as a whole requires far more electricity to maintain — when adding up the power needs of banks and other institutions whose equipment and employees keep the dollar dominant.
Cambridge University researchers acknowledge it is impossible to know how much electricity bitcoin uses for a variety of reasons, and more data is needed to determine its environmental impact as a whole. For example, some bitcoin miners use renewable energy sources to power their operations. Either way, many newer cryptocurrencies use mining protocols that are less energy-intensive and taxing on the environment.
Crypto devotees say the currencies represent the economy of the future. But ultimately, their value depends on their limited supply and the number of people who chase after them.
So far, Musk’s ability to capture investor attention has given cryptocurrencies large and small a shining light to bask in. But it remains to be seen whether Doge demand will keep barking up its price.
Author: Glen Goodman, author of The Crypto Trader
Biggest crypto transaction fee oddities
Users can send cryptocurrencies virtually anywhere globally via the blockchains on which they are based. By sending crypto assets, however, fees are incurred. Transactions may take longer for certain assets, depending on their related blockchains. Certain crypto wallets and platforms give users the option to choose a transaction fee. Higher fees typically result in faster transactions.
Over the years, however, some asset holders have put their coin or token values into the wrong fields, resulting in exorbitant, albeit accidental, fee payments. For example, a holder might intend to send 12 Bitcoin (BTC) at a fee of 0.01 BTC, although they might accidentally put 12 BTC into the fee box, spending 12 BTC on fees while sending just 0.01 BTC to the intended destination.
A number of fee mishaps have occurred involving Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin. Here are a few painful fee stories.
In February 2019, one industry participant mistakenly paid a grand sum of 2,730 ETH for fees as part of three Ethereum-based transactions. The sender paid fees of 420, 210 and 2,100 ETH in the triad of transactions. According to ETH prices at the time of reporting in March 2019, the transaction costs totaled approximately $365,800.
Fortunately, this sender received an act of good will from SparkPool, the mining pool on the other end of the transaction. “Thank you SparkPool and your miners for helping us to recover our loss,” the accidental ETH transactor noted as part of a blockchain message. “We are willing to share half of 2100 ETH with the miners to thanks the miners’ integrity,” the transactor added.
Ether is now valued at $1,850 per coin at the time of publication, making this event worth just over $5 million in total.
In the summer of 2020, three Ethereum transactions surfaced, incurring more than $5 million worth of total combined fees, based on ETH prices at the time. Someone sent 0.55 ETH, valued near $134 total back then, in a transaction on June 10, 2020, spending a whopping $2.6 million worth of ETH on gas — an industry term for the funds paid for transactions on Ethereum’s network.
Following the multi-million-dollar fee event, two more hefty transactions surfaced. One saw another $2.6 million paid to send 350 ETH. The other transferred 3,221 ETH, tallying close to the same amount for gas — 2,310 ETH to be exact. All three moves occurred between June 10 and 11, 2020.
This saga may not have been the summation of a few mistakes, however. Subsequent reporting revealed the third transaction — the one costing 2,310 ETH to move 3,221 ETH — was the result of a “malicious attack” involving a victim’s wallet.
The pair of multi-million-dollar gas transfers remain without conclusive explanation, although theories have included simple user error, hacker-related blackmail efforts, and a suspected Ponzi scheme losing money. However, in today’s market, the three transactions are worth over $43.6 million.
The decentralized finance boom of 2020 came with stories of significant profit, but also at least one instance of fee turmoil. DeFi took off as another likely crypto industry bubble, complete with surging prices, suspicious project activity and other drama. Largely based on Ethereum’s blockchain, the DeFi sector began seeing high transaction fees.
Even given the high fees, however, one user paid far too much to send one of his trades through on Uniswap, a popular exchange in the DeFi niche. As reported in November 2020, this trader accidentally typed his gas amounts in the wrong places on his MetaMask wallet, pushing through a $120 trade while spending $9,500 on gas.
“I thought that this kind of things happen to others, but I was wrong,” the trader said on Reddit.
“Metamask didn’t populate the ‘Gas Limit’ field with the correct amount in my previous transaction and that transaction failed, so I decided to change it manually in the next transaction,” he explained. “But instead of typing 200000 in ‘Gas Limit’ input field, I wrote it on the ‘Gas Price’ input field, so I payed 200000 GWEI for this transaction and destroyed my life.”
Although multiple Ethereum fee bumbles have arisen, crypto participants have also suffered Bitcoin fee woes. One particular painful transaction surfaced on Bitcoin’s blockchain in December 2020. The transaction shows about 3.49 BTC paid to send just 0.00005 BTC — a fee multitudes higher than would have been necessary to send that amount of Bitcoin.
Based on TradingView data, Bitcoin’s price fluctuated between roughly $22,765 and $24,205 on Dec. 19, the day of the transaction, making the fee worth at least $79,000 back then. At the time of publication, such a transaction currently values approximately $170,000.
A seemingly similar transaction hit Bitcoin’s blockchain on Nov. 18, 2020, revealing about 2.66 BTC spent on fees for the transfer of roughly 0.01 BTC. Based on Bitcoin’s price range for Nov. 18, the sender spent at least $45,000 to transfer a comparatively paltry sum of the asset. This fee is now worth around $130,000.
Many of these transaction fee tales were likely mistakes. In crypto, taking caution is important. Rushing and distraction can sometimes lead to costly mistakes. Education is also vital. Lack of knowledge on crypto wallets, transactions and assets can yield harmful consequences when sending funds.
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According to the people in the know, the indirect tax department has restarted scrutinising the GST applicable on cryptocurrency exchanges.
GST on exchanges and income tax on investors’ returns could wipe out all gains, say experts
Mumbai: Tax authorities are adding to the uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency given the confusion over the definition and categorisation of the digital asset, a principle that’s central to how the goods and services tax (GST) is levied on a product or service. The question on the amount of GST rate to be levied on cryptocurrency exchanges has started propping up in conversations between exchanges and tax authorities along with how much tax
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Author: BYSachin DaveSaloni ShuklaET Bureau 5 mins read, Last Updated: Feb 13, 2021, 10:47 AM IST