May 10th 2021 - Hype and Cryptocalypse That Wasn't

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(source: Wikimedia Commons)

Elon Musk’s guest appearance at Saturday Night Live was arguably the most widely anticipated and the most hyped crypto-related event of 2021. This was mostly thanks to Dogecoin, joke cryptocurrency with price that has risen to unbelievable levels mostly due Elon Musk’s enthusiastic support at Twitter. Dogecoin has risen to 0.72 US$ and many expected Musk to promote his favourite cryptocurrency on the air and help it rise above important psychological price level of 1 US$.

Others were, of course, much more sceptical, and expected Musk to do quite the opposite, especially in light of some of his pre-show statements that appeared to play down expectations. Some were even more concerned, because disappointment caused by Musk’s underperformance could have easily sink not only Dogecoin but create big black hole in the markets that could have sucked all other cryptocurrencies and create new long and bitter crypto winter.

In the end, sceptics were proven right. At least initially, when it became apparent that Musk predictably flopped as SNL comedian and this comments were anything but supportive of Dogecoin euphoria. Price of his favourite coin dropped spectacularly and, for a while, this movement was followed by few other, more respected and mainstream cryptocurrencies. Then, Dogecoin slightly recovered and stabilised, and the rest of the crypto world acted like Dogecoin hasn’t existed at all. A day later, Ethereum broke important price milestone of 4000 US$.

Musk’s first major failure as crypto influencer wasn’t that surprising and mostly because of the poor choice of a venue from which he was supposed to preach his Dogecoin gospel. Saturday Night Live is a television show created by broadcast network and aired mostly for the audience that doesn’t or didn’t have anything smarter to do on Saturday nights. In other words, old, non-”hip”, square people and Booomers. Most of those people didn’t understand cryptocurrencies and modern trends, and Musk’s message was simply not effective as on social networks like Twitter or Tik Tok. Musk’s stunt was less about Dogecoin and more an attempt to cater to “normies” and present himself as someone belonging or yearning to belong t mainstream.

In the end, this was, consciously or subconsciously, recognised by those whose trading decisions move the markets. Musk didn’t live to the hype and Dogecoin will need much more effort to reach 1 US$. But, in the end, failure of this stunt didn’t have cataclysmic events many have feared. Which is probably the most important thing to learn about this fiasco.

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