Dogecoin surges 20% after Elon Musk announced on Twitter that the digital currency can now be used to buy some Tesla merchandise
- Musk tweeted early Friday that Tesla's merch store now accepts Dogecoin
- The meme-based cryptocurrency surged as much as 20% on the news
- Musk previously said Tesla would accept Bitcoin for cars, but axed the plan
- Now he is facing negative headlines about Cybertruck production delays
The meme-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin is surging after Elon Musk said in a tweet that it can now be used to buy Tesla merchandise such as the 'Giga Texas' belt buckle and mini models of electric vehicles.
The move, which sent Dogecoin prices as much as 20 percent higher on Friday morning, comes a month after Musk said Tesla would test out the digital token as a payment option.
Musk, a vocal proponent of cryptocurrencies, has heavily influenced prices of Dogecoin and Bitcoin, and at one point had said the company would accept Bitcoin for purchasing its cars before axing plans.
Tesla's merchandise, which also include the recently launched 'Cyberwhistle' and 'Cyberquad for Kids', are a hit with its fans, and usually sell out within a few hours of listing.
The meme-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin is surging after Elon Musk said in a tweet on Friday that it can now be used to buy Tesla merchandise
A one-week view of Dogecoin prices shows the surge on Friday following Musk's tweet
On Friday morning, only some items in Tesla's online merch shop were available to purchase with Dogecoin.
The Giga Texas belt buckle, for instance, was listed for 835 Doge, or about $160 dollars at the current exchange rate.
'Some have noted that goods for Doge are selling out even faster than for dollars. This news is a good illustration of crypto's continued penetration of corporate culture,' said Alex Kuptsikevich, senior financial analyst at FxPro.
Musk's frequent tweets on Dogecoin, including the one where he called it the 'people's crypto', have turned the once-obscure digital currency, which began as a social media joke, into a speculator's dream.
The token's price surged by about 4,000 percent in 2021, after Musk posted a flurry of memes promoting the joke currency.
The mania peaked shortly before he appeared as guest host of Saturday Night Live in May.
The Giga Texas belt buckle was listed for 835 Doge on Tesla's online store, or about $160 dollars at the current exchange rate
Tesla is selling its 'Cyberwhistle' for 300 Doge, or about $57 at Friday's exchange rates. The 'premium collectable' parody item originally listed for $50 USD
Tesla disclosed last year it had bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, and Musk has also said he owns some Bitcoin and Dogecoin.
Tesla is facing intense competition as legacy automakers such as Ford, as well as startups including Rivian Automotive are set to launch their electric cars this year.
Tesla's much-awaited Cybertruck will begin production in the first quarter of 2023, pushing back its plan to start production in late 2022, Reuters reported.
Musk, who unveiled the futuristic vehicle in 2019, had already delayed its production from late 2021 to late 2022.
Musk has said he will provide an updated product road map on Tesla's Jan. 26 earnings call.
'Oh man, this year has been such a supply chain nightmare & it's not over!,' he tweeted in late November, when asked about the Cybertruck.
Tesla's is again delaying production on its much-awaited Cybertruck, and will begin production in the first quarter of 2023 instead of 2022
Since the start of the year, Tesla shares are down 14 percent
Tesla, the world's top electric car maker, makes electric sedans and sport utility vehicles but has missed out on the pickup truck segment, which is profitable and hugely popular in America.
Ford and Rivian are now well ahead of Tesla in launching electric pickups.
Ford said early this month it will nearly double annual production capacity for its red-hot F-150 Lightning electric pickup to 150,000 vehicles ahead of its arrival this spring at U.S. dealers.
Ford's market value breached $100 billion for the first time on Thursday, when Tesla shares fell 6.7 percent and Rivian slumped 7.1 percent.
Since the start of the year, Tesla shares are down 14 percent.