Mark Cuban has Dogecoin traders barking.
The cult cryptocurrency’s price jumped Monday after the billionaire “Shark Tank” investor claimed his Dallas Mavericks NBA team could help push it up to $1.
Cuban took to Twitter over the weekend to reveal that the Mavericks had handled more than 20,000 Dogecoins — or about $1,109 — in transactions within two days of announcing that the team would accept the coin as payment for tickets and merchandise.
That made the Mavericks “the LARGEST #DOGECOIN MERCHANT IN THE WORLD!” Cuban crowed in a Saturday tweet.
The 62-year-old entrepreneur added that the meme-inspired currency’s price “will DEFINITELY HIT $1” if Mavericks fans buy another 6.5 billion Dogecoin worth of merchandise. That would be equivalent to roughly 5 percent of all the Dogecoin currently in circulation, according to CoinDesk data.
Dogecoin was still a long way off from the $1 mark even after its early-morning spike. The coin — which was started as a joke in 2013 — was trading at about 5.5 cents as of 7:22 a.m., 7.6 percent higher than a day earlier but roughly 36 percent below the all-time peak of 8.7 cents it reached last month.
Cuban wasn’t the only person online talking up Dogecoin, whose price movements are often influenced by social media chatter.
“#DogecoinRise” became a trending topic on Twitter Monday morning as the coin’s price bounced following a week of muted trading.
The buzz came after eccentric software entrepreneur John McAfee claimed Dogecoin had played a role in the federal indictment prosecutors brought against him last week for allegedly running two cryptocurrency scams.
The feds accused McAfee of raking in about $2 million by selling his holdings of so-called altcoins after artificially inflating their prices by tweeting about them. McAfee argued on Sunday that Dogecoin’s recent rally proved his previous tweet about it was “not a pump and dump.”
“For a few days in 2017 I chose coins I believed had value. One of them was Doge – now being touted years later by Elon Musk,” McAfee said on Twitter, referring to the billionaire Tesla chief who has driven up Dogecoin’s price with his own tweets. “The coin has increased well over 1000% since I chose it.”