It came as a surprise to most when Twitter changed its logo from the familiar blue bird to a strange yellow dog for a few days this past week. The new dog logo appeared to be an image of popular cryptocurrency, dogecoin.
Dogecoin was widely considered the world’s first “joke coin” when it was created in 2013. The alternative cryptocurrency was launched as a response to more mainstream cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. It was designed to be, as its website dogecoin.com claims, the “people’s currency” made for individuals reluctant or without the means to purchase more standard and highly valued cryptocurrencies. For reference, at the time of the writing of this article, Dogecoin is worth less than a dime.
The interesting temporary logo change for the social media giant came two days after April Fool’s day and what seems like eons after Elon Musk allegedly commented on the idea of changing Twitter’s logo to a dog prior to his acquisition. The sudden shift in Twitter tradition comes amid the new owner’s request to dismiss a $258 billion lawsuit filed against him for racketeering on the grounds that Musk used his fame and social media followers to artificially inflate the price of Dogecoin. The lawsuit, which was filed in early in 2022, was recently called by Musk attorneys as a “fanciful work of fiction.” The alarming amount of damages, which exceeds Musk’s current net worth of around $180 billion, seems puzzling considering that Dogecoin’s own market cap(total amount invested into the coin) is less than $12 billion. The lawsuit further claimed that Musk engaged in a pyramid scheme with Dogecoin with the aim of enriching early investors such as himself at the expense of later investors.
A pyramid scheme is an illegal investing ploy in which securities entice investors to invest and promise growth on the condition that investors bring in new investors. The pyramid scheme, which is distinct albeit similar to the Ponzi scheme for two reasons: First, the schemes never work long-term and are unsustainable due to the finite number of people, or for the purposes of this scenario, number of willing investors, in the world. In other words, these illegal schemes fail because it is impossible to maintain a constant flow of new investors over long period of times. Second, they do not generate any economic value and therefore have no earnings to back the price.
Dogecoin’s promotion on Twitter received tremendous confusion and media attention. The short-lived belated April Fools prank perhaps can be regarded as this year’s most high-profile joke.