A new lawsuit alleges Musk contributed to its downfall after calling the altcoin a "hustle" on Saturday Night Live — with this episode airing on the day of the all-time high.
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Elon Musk — as well as Tesla and SpaceX — are being sued for $258 billion amid allegations they all played an instrumental role in running a "Dogecoin pyramid scheme."
The billionaire was a vocal enthusiast about DOGE during its bull run early last year — and tweeted about the memecoin regularly.
Dogecoin surged from as little as $0.005 on Jan. 1, 2021 to highs of $0.73 just four months later… gains of over 18,000%.
Fast forward to now, and DOGE has fallen by 92% from this all-time high… performing markedly worse than other cryptocurrencies. Court documents filed in New York say:
"Musk used his pedestal as the world's richest man to operate and manipulate the Dogecoin pyramid scheme for profit, exposure and amusement."
The Tesla CEO is being sued by a man called Keith Johnson, who is described as an American investor who was "defrauded out of money" as a result of his actions.
Johnson says he wants to represent everyone who invested in DOGE as part of a class action lawsuit. Beyond damages, other goals include stopping Musk from ever promoting the altcoin again, and securing a declaration that trading this cryptocurrency is tantamount to gambling.
His lawyers have included public statements from the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that question whether digital assets have any value at all. The filing adds:
"Defendant Musk is the self-appointed 'Dogefather,' 'former CEO of Dogecoin,' partner, developer, spokesperson, publicist, salesman, marketer, and promoter of Dogecoin, who assembled the DOGE Army' including his corporations and various billionaires, influencers, and celebrities to increase the price, market cap and trading volume of Dogecoin."
Awkwardly, Tesla began accepting DOGE as a payment method for merchandise earlier this year.
'Stupid as F***'
As you might expect, news of the lawsuit hasn't gone down well in the crypto world.
While Dogecoin co-founder Billy Markus conceded that crypto trading is quite similar to gambling, he added:
"The lawsuit is obviously stupid as f***."
Elon Musk is yet to respond publicly to the lawsuit, but we can probably guess what his reaction would be.