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 way of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency. According to a Reuters report, the go well with was filed by Dogecoin investor Keith Johnson, who accused Musk of utilizing his wealth and place as CEO of the 2 firms to advertise Dogecoin to drive up its value, earlier than finally letting it fall.

“Defendants were aware since 2019 that Dogecoin had no value yet promoted Dogecoin to profit from its trading,” the grievance says. “Musk used his pedestal as World’s Richest man to operate and manipulate the Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme for profit, exposure and amusement.”

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Dogecoin was launched in 2013 primarily as a joke, however there isn’t a such factor as satire beneath capitalism, and in very brief order it grew to become the primary meme coin, and a reliable (comparable to they’re) cryptocurrency. Its worth was flatlined close to zero for years till Musk tweeted about it in late 2020, which triggered a pointy leap in value. Subsequent tweets in 2021 pushed it even larger; it peaked in May 2021 at $0.74 however has since come crashing down, shedding greater than 90% of its value, and at present sits at roughly $0.06.

Ironically, the go well with claims that the Dogecoin dump started when Musk hosted Saturday Night Live, which additionally occurred in May 2021: During a Weekend Update section, Musk appeared as a cryptocurrency professional, however after making an attempt 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 firms prohibited from selling Dogecoin, and for buying and selling Dogecoin to be declared playing beneath federal and state legal guidelines. He additionally needs, once more, $258 billion: $86 billion in precise damages, representing the lack of Dogecoin worth since May 2021, plus a declare for treble damages. It looks as if a protracted shot—submitting a lawsuit is a great 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 assume if you are going to take a shot, you would possibly as nicely goal 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 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 fees, he was discovered useless in a Spanish jail cell.

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