Dogecoin tumbles after Elon Musk jokes about it on ‘SNL’

Investors bet right: Elon Musk mentioned dogecoin on “Saturday Night Live” during his opening monologue. Well, actually, his mom did.

Maye Musk appeared at the end of her Tesla CEO son’s SNL monologue to ask what he got her for Mother’s Day.

“I’m excited for my Mother’s Day gift,” Maye Musk said. “I just hope it’s not dogecoin!”

“It is,” Elon Musk said. “It sure is.”

After pumping up the value of the cryptocurrency in the lead-up to Musk’s SNL appearance, investors sold off dogecoin sharply after the Musks talked about it on the show. Dogecoin was down 40%, trading as low as 44 cents early Sunday. The cryptocurrency started Saturday trading at around 70 cents and was selling for about 66 cents just before SNL went on the air at 11:30 pm ET.

Cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile, and dogecoin has been on an absolute tear this year. It’s up more than 12,000% since January and has gained 800% this month alone.

Musk has been the loudest and most prominent supporter of dogecoin. He frequently tweets about the cryptocurrency, and just one of his bizarre tweets to his 50 million followers can send dogecoin surging. That’s what happened in April, when Musk tweeted “Doge Barking at the moon” and shared a photo of a painting by Spanish artist Joan MirĂ³, which is titled “Dog Barking at the Moon.”

Dogecoin started in 2013 as a joke — a nod to the “doge” meme that was all over the internet at the time. But it’s no longer a joke: It’s the fifth-largest cryptocurrency in the world, with a market value just south of $70 billion, according to Coinbase.

Both dogecoin and Tesla had been trading higher in anticipation of Musk’s SNL appearance. Tesla futures weren’t trading Saturday night during the show.

It’s unclear what was driving the dogecoin selloff. Perhaps investors wanted Musk to say something more supportive of the cryptocurrency. But more likely, there was some “buy the rumor / sell the news” strategy, trying to capitalize on investors’ predictions coming true by selling high.

Dogecoin traded so actively that Robinhood announced early Sunday morning it was having issues processing crypto trades and was working to resolve the problem.