The price of dogecoin has shot up after technology billionaire Elon Musk referred to himself as “The Dogefather”.
The meme-inspired cryptocurrency rose from $0.25 to $0.30 in less than 15 minutes on Wednesday morning, pushing it back towards the record highs that it experienced earlier this month.
Elon Musk, who counts SpaceX and Tesla among his business ventures, hinted that he would speak about dogecoin during his upcoming appearance on Saturday Night Live.
“The Dogefather,” he tweeted to his 52 million followers. “SNL May 8.”
Previous mentions of dogecoin by Mr Musk have caused similar price spikes, leading to speculation that he is under investigation by US regulators for potential market manipulation.
But despite purchasing $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin earlier this year through Tesla, it is understood that he does not have any significant holdings of dogecoin – beyond an unspecified amount that he bought for his infant son “so he can be a toddler hodler”.
Mr Musk has even criticised large holders of the cryptocurrency, claiming that people who hoard large stockpiles of dogecoin are preventing it from becoming a mainstream currency.
In February, he offered to buy out so-called dogecoin whales in order to help transform it into the “currency of the internet” with a more stable value.
“If major dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support,” he tweeted.
“Too much concentration is the only real issue imo. I will literally pay actual $ if they just void their accounts.”
Dogecoin has seen enormous gains in recent months, rising from less than half a cent at the start of the year to a peak above $0.40 on 20 April.
This price rally has at least in part been spurred on by Mr Musk, who frequently shares memes featuring the Shiba Inu dog that inspired the cryptocurrency’s creation.
When asked by one of his Twitter followers earlier this year why he tweeted so much about it, he replied: “I love dogs and memes.”