In the latest round of Elon Musk’s complicated relationship with cryptocurrency, he has proposed a plan for making Dogecoin transactions as streamlined as payments made using credit cards like Visa. Following Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision for Bitcoin (okay, IGNORE Craig Wright!), he suggested steadily increasing block sizes and frequency to match available bandwidth.
He also suggested that exchanges could act as a de facto second layer in lieu of attempts to create second layer protocols like the Lightning Network. He criticized both Bitcoin and Ethereum for neglecting their base layer, which caused transactions to be slow and come with high fees. Bitcoin’s recent critics, some of which are longtime cryptocurrency insiders, say that much of the fault lies with organizations like Blockstream, which advocated for keeping blocks small and moving away from development on the blockchain layer in favor of secondary protocols like the Lightning Network.
Of course, some people didn’t miss their chance to plug their favorite altcoins, including the Craig Wright-backed BSV, Nano, Cardano, and Nimiq. Outside of the BSV community, Craig Wright is not very well-liked in the cryptocurrency community due to his claims to be the original creator of Bitcoin, who used the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, and his increasingly frequent lawsuits against other cryptocurrency heavy hitters.
Most recently, Craig Wright forced the current owner of the Bitcoin.org domain to take down the Bitcoin whitepaper with a copyright claim in court. The whitepaper is, fortunately, safe on other platforms including the city of Miami’s official website and embedded on the Bitcoin Blockchain. (You can see the PDF of the whitepaper on Miami’s website here.)
Despite the fact that Musk has jokingly referred to himself as the CEO of Dogecoin in the past, taking his suggestions will be up to Dogecoin’s actual developers and cryptocurrency miners will get a say on if they want to support an upgrade with their hashrate. His ability to influence cryptocurrency prices seems to be waning since his appearance on SNL, when the price of Dogecoin went sharply down. The Dogecoin community does seem to be getting a little disillusioned with him, often saying that he’s had too much influence on the markets as it is.
It doesn’t help that there have been frequent cryptocurrency-related scams coming from people posing at him. One teenager who hacked the Twitter accounts of Musk and a few other billionaires and politicians to conduct a scam in which he made off with at least $100,000 worth of cryptocurrency was recently arrested in Florida. Another scammer used Musk’s likeness and somehow slipped past YouTube’s advertising controls in order to make their scam look legitimate.
Despite the issues, Elon Musk is not eager to give up on Dogecoin and SpaceX has even accepted it as payment for the launch of “DOGE-1”, a satellite destined for the Moon. In the wake of Tesla’s decision to remove Bitcoin as a payment option for electric vehicles, the addition of Dogecoin was one popular suggestion for an alternative that might be a little more environmentally friendly than Bitcoin is. Such a thing could be a way for Elon Musk to do more than publish tweets to support the Dogecoin community.