Elon Musk has said the founder of ethereum – the world’s second most valuable cryptocurrency – is fearful of its “joke” rival, dogecoin.
The SpaceX and Tesla CEO was responding to a blog post on Sunday written by Vitalik Buterin, who founded ethereum in 2015. In the post, Mr Buterin countered Mr Musk’s previous claims that dogecoin could be scaled to a level that it could function as a mainstream form of currency.
“As it turns out, there are important and quite subtle technical factors that limit blockchain scaling,” Mr Buterin wrote. “In many cases there are solutions, but even with the solutions there are limits.”
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Mr Musk responded to the comments via Twitter, claiming that Mr Buterin “fears the Doge”, together with a meme of a Shiba Inu dog mocked up in the style of the poster for the 1975 classic movie Jaws.
The technology billionaire also reiterated his support for cryptocurrencies in general over traditional fiat currencies.
“The true battle is between fiat and crypto,” he tweeted. “On balance, I support the latter.”
It is difficult to attribute market movements to specific events or comments but Mr Musk’s influence in the space has been notable ever since he announced a $1.5 billion bitcoin investment through Tesla’ earlier this year.
After falling below $32,000 on Sunday, bitcoin has since bounced back above $37,000, prompting a market-wide recovery.
The latest dogecoin endorsement on Monday resulted in an immediate price spurt of around $0.01, though this was relatively modest considering its value has swung between $0.25 and $0.34 over the last 24 hours.
Mr Buterin’s criticism of dogecoin’s ambitions come less than a week after fellow ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson posted a video offering advice to Mr Musk on how to radically upgrade the cryptocurrency.
“If Elon is actually serious about rebuilding Doge with his elite ninja engineers over at Tesla, which I have no doubt he has great programmers there, here’s how you do it,” Mr Hoskinson said, before outlining a not-so-simple 11-step program that would take years to implement.
“Thank you truly for entering our space and thank you truly for telling everybody that you’re going to take custody of that cryptocurrency and make sure it gets where it needs to go, and I look forward to the great innovations you guys come out with in a year or two.”