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‘A total make-or-break for dogecoin,’ says one crypto investor as Elon Musk prepares to host ‘Saturday Night Live’

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Nikki Beesetti started investing in crypto back in 2017 and paid off her final semester at Purdue University with proceeds from the sale of a single bitcoin that she bought on a whim, which had surged to nearly $20,000.

Now, the product manager for a startup in New York is dabbling in dogecoin
DOGEUSD,
+6.32%
,
and sees this weekend as a possible make-or-break moment for the parody coin that has seen a stratospheric, nearly 13,000% rise in 2021.

“This Saturday is going to be a total make-or-break for dogecoin,” Beesetti told MarketWatch in a phone interview.

“If he can really get the messaging right, dogecoin can really take off…or it’s going to crash to wherever it’s going to crash to,” she said.

The 25-year-old investor is one of a number of relatively young traders who are piling into speculative altcoins like dogecoin as the so-called joke asset mints millionaires and draws some concerns about a bubble forming in the nascent crypto complex.

Musk will host NBC’s late-night live television comedy sketch show, “Saturday Night Live,” this weekend and his coming appearance has already drawn cheers and jeers.

Musk has been one of the biggest cheerleaders for dogecoin and crypto broadly. The self-appointed “Technoking” of Tesla
TSLA,
+0.93%

 has been mostly using his massive social media following to pump up the price of doge, tweeting back on April 1 that he would use his SpaceX rockets to put a physical Doge coin on the literal moon, echoing the social media goal of taking the coin’s price “to the moon.”

Beesetti said that she first got involved in dogecoin — she also invests in technology stocks and exchange-traded funds — at the prompting of Musk’s social-media missives from last summer.

She bought dogecoin when it was trading at 3/10ths of a penny and she kept dollar-cost averaging her position in the digital asset created in 2013 even as it hit around 1 cent last August.

Musk has become a rallying point for dogecoin holders on sites like Reddit and his coming appearance on “SNL” is a hotly anticipated moment inside and outside crypto markets, which had largely been centered on bitcoin
BTCUSD,
+3.51%

and Ethereum
ETHUSD,
+1.80%
,
the two largest cryptos in the world.

Dogecoin has long held the reputation as a joke currency in the digital-asset realm but it is hard to deny that its surging value has gripped Main Street and Wall Street’s attention — at least momentarily.

Former “SNL” cast member and comedian David Spade on Thursday tweeted that he wondered if Musk’s appearance on the sketch show would equate to a 90-minute infomercial for doge, adding, perhaps tongue in cheek that he was buying dogecoin.

Oddsmakers at betting platform SportsBettingDime.com have established a number of prop bets about Musk’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” including which if any crypto he mentions first on the show.

Which cryptocurrency does Musk mention first:
1.      Bitcoin: -200
2.      Dogecoin: +600
3.      FIELD: +450
4.      Does Not Mention Bitcoin: +400

Beesetti said that she sold about $8,000 worth of dogecoin recently to buy a pair of Gucci shoes, an iPhone and upped her position in Ether thar runs on the Ethereum protocol but has otherwise been a steady holder of doge.

The investor wouldn’t offer specific figures but said that her holdings currently range from 50,000 to 100,000 dogecoin.

Perhaps unlike some investors in doge, she is under no illusion that it has utility but submits to the possibility that momentum could build in a parody asset to such an extent that it forges its own legitimacy.

“Doge doesn’t have intrinsic value,” Beesetti said. “The value becomes real if you and a collective group of people believe in it. And in this case, there are more groups and people than before who believe.”

That said, reality could hit meme coin holders hard come Sunday morning, at least one analyst said.

“Post-SNL, some crypto traders could abandon short-term Dogecoin bets once it becomes clear that it is not skyrocketing to the moon or at the heavily eyed $1 level,” wrote Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a research note.

The analyst also notes that strong conviction of dogecoin investors, known as hodlers in the crypto world, could defy logic and keep prices buoyant.

“The retail-army of traders that have been committed to Doge might remain stubbornly hodlers, so we shouldn’t be surprised if a sell the event reaction does not happen,” the Oanda strategist said.  

How it all plays out for dogecoin is anyone’s guess.

“It’s just a meme currency but sometimes the most entertaining outcome becomes the reality,” Beesetti said.   

That meme currency has enjoyed a spectacular ride compared against most other assets. Gold futures
GC00,
+0.83%

are down 3% so far this year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.58%

and the S&P 500 index
SPX,
+0.69%

are up by nearly 13% in 2021, while the Nasdaq Composite Index
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+0.85%

 has gained about over 6% so far this year.