The CEO of Twitter and Tesla has been accused of insider trading and manipulating the price of Dogecoin in a proposed class action lawsuit.
According to Reuters, investors are claiming(opens in a new tab) that Musk used his influence on Twitter, TV appearances, and paid online influencers to trade profitably at the expense of other investors.
Musk has been very vocal about Dogecoin for years now, often causing spikes in Dogecoin’s price. For example, in 2019 he said Dogecoin was his favorite currency. He also spoke favorably about Dogecoin on SNL, he said he would launch a satellite named Doge-1 to the moon, and at one point he considered allowing customers to buy Tesla cars using Doge (you can buy certain items in Tesla’s online store with Doge(opens in a new tab)).
Saying and doing all that is one thing, but using his massive online influence to pump Doge and then actually profit from it, which is what the lawsuit claims, is another.
A Wednesday night filing in Manhattan federal court claims that Musk, for example, sold roughly $124 million worth of Dogecoin in April after he replaced Twitter’s logo with Dogecoin’s logo, which led to a 30 percent increase in Dogecoin’s price. According to the filling, Musk went on a “deliberate course of carnival barking, market manipulation and insider trading” in order to defraud investors. In all, the complaint claims Musk had intentionally driven the price of Dogecoin up by over 36,000 percent over several years, and then let it crash.
This is, in fact, the third amendment of the lawsuit against Musk, originally filed(opens in a new tab) last June. Musk is being sued for a total of $258 in damages. Musk’s lawyers, who have not yet commented on the new amendment, have previously said the lawsuit was a “fanciful work of fiction.”
Originally launched in 2013 by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer as a fork (crypto lingo for copy) of another cryptocurrency called Litecoin, Dogecoin started as a joke but garnered a devoted following over the years. It’s currently the ninth largest cryptocurrency according to CoinGecko(opens in a new tab), with a market cap of just over $10 billion.