Elon Musk, Tesla, and SpaceX are being sued for an astounding $258 billion—not a typo, that is billion—for operating a pyramid scheme by the Dogecoin cryptocurrency. In keeping with a Reuters (opens in new tab) report, the swimsuit was filed by Dogecoin investor Keith Johnson, who accused Musk of utilizing his wealth and place as CEO of the 2 corporations to advertise Dogecoin to drive up its value, earlier than finally letting it fall.
“Defendants have been conscious since 2019 that Dogecoin had no worth but promoted Dogecoin to revenue from its buying and selling,” the criticism says. “Musk used his pedestal as World’s Richest man to function and manipulate the Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme for revenue, publicity and amusement.”
Dogecoin was launched in 2013 primarily as a joke, however there isn’t any such factor as satire underneath capitalism, and in very brief order it turned the primary meme coin, and a official (comparable to they’re) cryptocurrency. Its worth was flatlined close to zero for years till Musk tweeted about it (opens in new tab) in late 2020, which induced a pointy bounce in value. Subsequent tweets in 2021 pushed it even increased; it peaked in Could 2021 at $0.74 however has since come crashing down, shedding more than 90% of its price (opens in new tab), and presently sits at roughly $0.06.
Mockingly, the swimsuit claims that the Dogecoin dump started when Musk hosted Saturday Evening Stay, which additionally occurred in Could 2021: Throughout a Weekend Replace phase, Musk appeared as a cryptocurrency professional, however after attempting and failing a number of instances to clarify what Dogecoin is, he finally agreed with the host that the entire thing is “a hustle.”
Johnson needs Musk and his corporations prohibited from selling Dogecoin, and for buying and selling Dogecoin to be declared playing underneath federal and state legal guidelines. He additionally needs, once more, $258 billion: $86 billion in precise damages, representing the lack of Dogecoin worth since Could 2021, plus a declare for treble damages. It looks as if an extended shot—submitting a lawsuit is a good distance from profitable one (and even having it heard) and even when Johnson comes out on prime, Musk is wealthy however he isn’t that wealthy—however I suppose if you are going to take a shot, you would possibly as effectively purpose excessive.
Musk is not the one rich individual to run into bother for selling Dogecoin. Former anti-virus guru John McAfee was charged with fraud (opens in new tab) in 2021 for operating schemes involving a number of cryptocurrencies together with Dogecoin. Shortly earlier than McAfee was scheduled to be extradited to the US to face costs, he was found dead (opens in new tab) in a Spanish jail cell.