According to SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, SpaceX will soon begin accepting Dogecoin for SpaceX-themed swag in its online shop. Tesla already accepts Dogecoin for its merchandise after a brief foray into accepting Bitcoin for its electric vehicles that ended because Musk didn’t like Bitcoin’s environmental impact.
Musk is still a fan of cryptocurrency and says Tesla might start accepting Bitcoin again if it can address energy usage that is high enough to earn frequent criticism from politicians and environmental activists. His meeting with North American Bitcoin miners led to the creation of the Bitcoin Mining Council.
Regulatory filings indicate that both SpaceX and Tesla hold Bitcoin. SpaceX notably accepted payment in Dogecoin for the “DOGE-1” mission, which is scheduled to launch a small satellite into lunar orbit in June 2022.
Musk also hinted that customers could pay for their Starlink subscriptions in Dogecoin at some point in the future.
If Starlink accepts Dogecoin payments, it could provide a meaningful alternative for the 1.7 billion adults that the World Bank says lack access to mainstream financial services. These people are also less likely to have reliable access to the Internet “Unbanked” people often own mobile phones that can be used for mobile banking services and even to download a crypto wallet that they can use for everyday purchases like obtaining access to the Internet.
Selling points for crypto often includes relatively low fees for sending money across international borders and the ability for anyone to use it even if they don’t have a bank account. They would just need a mobile phone capable of storing a crypto wallet and an Internet connection.
400,000 people around the world already subscribe to Starlink’s satellite Internet service. A high percentage of Starlink’s target audience reside in remote communities that lack affordable options for access to high-speed Internet. According to SpaceX president Gwynn Shotwell, the potential demand for Starlink could be high enough to help fund research and development for future crewed missions to Mars.
Elon Musk plugged Dogecoin while hosting SNL last year to a mixed reception. Some SNL cast members refused to make an appearance with him purely because they didn’t want to be associated with the wealthiest man on Earth. Some viewers said that Musk was funnier than the regular cast of professional comedians.
Despite his promotion, Dogecoin’s price reportedly fell by 40% during his appearance. Dogecoin hit an all-time high of $0.74 per DOGE in May 2021, likely boosted by Elon Musk’s heavy promotion of it. It is currently trading around $0.08.
Elon Musk does not seem to be discouraged by high volatility in the crypto markets, however. Neither do Dogecoin investors, who bought enough Tesla Cyberwhistles for 645 DOGE apiece for the Tesla shop to sell out.