Grifters Gonna Grift

Even Dogecoin's creator isn't falling for Elon Musk's grifts

“He’s just really good at pretending he knows.”

Dogecoin co-creator Jackson Palmer


Elon Musk loves Dogecoin, but it turns out Dogecoin doesn’t really feel the same in return. One of the altcoin’s creators, Jackson Palmer, said explicitly that Musk is a “grifter” in a recent interview with Australia’s Crikey.

“He sells a vision in hopes that he can one day deliver what he’s promising, but he doesn’t know that,” Palmer said. “He’s just really good at pretending he knows. That’s very evident with the Tesla full self-driving promise.”

Palmer also recounted a brief — but ultimately quite telling — anecdote in which Musk couldn’t figure out how to complete a basic computing function. Palmer had written a script that would auto-detect whether or not your Twitter account had been targeted by a cryptocurrency scam, a project he worked on with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

Musk wanted to try the script out for himself, but, as Palmer tells it, it “became apparent very quickly” that coding was not one of Musk’s fortes. He couldn’t even figure out how to run the Python script, Palmer says. That’s when Palmer’s trust in Musk began to falter.

Musk responds — Elon has apparently read Palmer’s interview; as such, he took to Twitter in an attempt to retaliate. First, he responded to Crikey’s interview about the piece suggesting Palmer release the code publicly if it’s so good. Then he did the typical Musk thing and resorted to name-calling.

The Twitter grift — Much of Palmer’s interview focuses on grifters in general — hence the introduction of the Musk conversation. The many, many crypto grifters on Twitter inspired his new podcast, Griftonomics, wherein Palmer explores the rise of internet grifters.

The extensive, complex nature of Musk’s attempted Twitter takeover leads Palmer to believe his initial impression of Musk was correct:

“Do you really think the guy wants to buy Twitter? If so, why is he engaging in this? His play is either to dismantle all trust, or maybe he’s delusional enough to build an alternative. The other alternative is he wants to drive it into the ground at a much lower price, and I think that’s what he’s doing.”

Musk’s many promises — Musk is a Dogecoin fanboy. He’s tweeted about the cryptocurrency so many times that it’s actually become one of the most valuable currencies available.

As is the case with many of Musk’s obsessions, his love of Dogecoin stems from the currency’s basis in internet meme culture. Dogecoin’s logo includes the infamous Shiba Inu meme (the “doge” in question) and was introduced to the market as a joke. Of course Elon loves it.

Palmer points to Tesla’s autonomous driving promises as a prime example of Musk’s grifter status. And for good reason: Tesla has been promising a fully functional Autopilot system for years now, and all we have to show for it is a bunch of videos where the Full Self-Driving beta puts drivers in life-threatening situations.

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