On Wednesday, Bloomberg released a piece hypothesizing that Robinhood may be the proprietor of a cache of Dogecoins worth some $2 billion, citing blockchain tracking entity Elliptic. “It almost certainly belongs to Robinhood,” Tom Robinson, chief scientist and co-founder of Elliptic, said. The report comes as The Wall Street Journal also on Wednesday reported on the stack of coins, representing about 28% of all of the Dogecoin in circulation.
Pinning down the anonymous owner of the coins has become a bit of a monopoly board in crypto trading circles and comes as the crypto asset, which was pioneered in 2013 and was satirically associated with the shiba inu dog, has experienced an astronomical gain since the start of 2021.
Dogecoin is up around 900% since the start of 2021. By comparison, Bitcoin is up by about 80% over the same period, Gold prices are down more than 6% and the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 are up 2.5% and 3.8%, respectively.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty unlikely we’ll be able to identify the hodler, as such assets are designed by programmers to support anonymity, which is one major indictment of the nascent sector. However, it is possible to track the addresses and follow transactions on the blockchain and make inferences, which is just what the crypto community has been doing.
The WSJ article asserts that Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the technologist who has been one of the bigger spark plugs for Dogecoins recent upswing, could be the owner of the $2 billion block of Dogecoin, suggesting that the address associated with the trades “has on multiple occasions received 28.061971 dogecoins. Mr. Musk’s birthday is on June 28, 1971.”
Musk is credited by some for helping light a fire under the cryptocurrency after a series of seemingly bullish tweets, like this one from late December: “One word: Doge.” In early February, he inspired another hefty rally with a spate of tweets in which he referred to dogecoin as “the people’s crypto” and shared a picture of a rocket to the moon with one word.
Despite that, Elon has referred to talk of the Dogecoin whale as representing a “disturbing concentration” in the asset and has recommended that owners sell their stakesto help the greater Dogecoin community. Meanwhile, Elliptic’s Robinson makes the case that the large stake in Dogecoin coincides with the creation of a storage account and the subsequent decision by Robinhood to offer Dogecoin trading to its customers in 2018.
In response to questions about the validity of this claim, Robinhood on Thursday referred MarketWatch to its exchange via Twitter, saying that it fully intends “to provide the ability to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies, including DOGE,” at some point.
“Robinhood Crypto does NOT currently invest in cryptocurrency or use any customer cryptocurrency for our own benefit,” the brokerage wrote. What’s more, the company added that “cryptocurrencies purchased and owned by our customers are held and custodied in our wallets for the benefit of our customers.”