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Over recent months, the shiba inu-themed cryptocurrency has become one of the world’s most prominent and fastest growing.
That prominence has been particularly boosted by Elon Musk, who has referred to the cryptocurrency a number of times, including referring to himself as the “Dogefather” and committing to use it to fund a SpaceX Moon mission known as Doge-1.
Mr Musk’s endorsement meant that dogecoin was dragged into the fallout of Mr Musk’s announcement that Tesla would stop taking bitcoin as payment, as a result of the climate costs underpinning the cryptocurrency.
He did not mention dogecoin in his announcement – which has no institutional support from Tesla – but it led to questions about whether Mr Musk would revoke his support for that cryptocurrency too, given that it relies on many of the same principles.
The comments from Billy Markus, one of the people who helped create dogecoin in the first place, when it was intended partly as a joke, came in response to a tweet from Elon Musk. Mr Musk had been attempting to clarify his position on cryptocurrency generally, in the wake of his statement about Tesla.
“To be clear, I strongly believe in crypto, but it can’t drive a massive increase in fossil fuel use, especially coal,” Mr Musk had written.
In response, Mr Markus sent a crying face emoji, which he later clarified he had meant to indicate “aw man, you right, environment stuff”.
In reply to that, Mr Markus was asked whether he had considered energy usage when creating the cryptocurrency.
“i made doge in like 2 hours i didn’t consider anything,” he wrote.
Dogecoin was created in 2013, in reference to the meme and to poke fun at the vast numbers of cryptocurrencies that had been launched. But Mr Markus helped build the technical foundations that allow it to practically work, too.
Like bitcoin, dogecoin requires miners to undertake complex cryptographical puzzles to create new bitcoins. That system, known as proof-of-work, relies on large amounts of computing power that use considerable amounts of energy, much of which is generated from fossil fuels.