Dogecoin surges another 20% and is now approaching 70 cents per coin

An illustration of dogecoin is seen on the bonnet of Ford during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 on May 2, 2014.

Chris Graythen | Getty Images

Dogecoin was soaring again on Wednesday morning, surging 20% as the cryptocurrency continued to benefit from speculative trading.

The digital coin based on a Shiba Inu meme was trading at about 67 cents, up about 21% for the day. It broke above 50 cents per share for the first time on Tuesday.

This week’s surge comes ahead of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s planned appearance on NBC”s “Saturday Night Live.” Musk is a fan of Dogecoin, and the potential for him to talk about the currency on national television could be driving more demand.

Dogecoin was started as a joke in 2013, at a time when the cryptocurrency boom was in its infancy and there was a flood of small, primitive coins entering the market. Doge has regained popularity, apparently boosted by attention from billionaires like Musk and Mark Cuban and easy access through free-trading app Robinhood.

“I worry that, once the enthusiasm rolls out, there’s no developers on it, there’s no institutions coming in. But it’s got this moniker of the people’s coin right now,” Galaxy Digital’s Michael Novogratz said on “Squawk Box.”

“When you think about the whole theory of what this crypto revolution is, there’s something pure about what dogecoin’s done,” Novogratz said. “It’s a little bit of a middle finger to the system.”

Crypto firm Coinbase lists dogecoin with a market cap of $87 billion, based on a simple multiplication of price and created coins. That is higher, on paper, than the publicly traded Coinbase’s market cap of about $56 billion.

The surge in dogecoin did not appear to be spilling over into the larger cryptocurrencies. The price of bitcoin was up about 2% in morning trading, while ether fell slightly.

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