Elon Musk is being sued for $258bn (£209bn) over accusations he ran a pyramid scheme to advertise a cryptocurrency known as Dogecoin.
The virtual asset used to be introduced as a funny story in 2013 and used to be designed to mock Bitcoin.
However the cryptocurrency – often referred to as DOGE – hit the headlines after surging dramatically closing yr.
In slightly over 4 months, Dogecoin rallied from $0.004 to $0.73 – a achieve of greater than 18,000%.
Musk frequently tweeted about DOGE all the way through this era, and at the day the coin started to fall, he described it as a “hustle” on the USA comedy display Saturday Night time Are living.
Dogecoin has fallen dramatically during the last yr – and on the time of writing, it has fallen 92% from the document prime noticed closing Would possibly.
The sector’s richest guy – along Tesla and SpaceX, the corporations he’s CEO of – are accused of “selling Dogecoin to take advantage of its buying and selling”.
A criticism filed in a New York courtroom provides: “Musk used his pedestal as the sector’s richest guy to function and manipulate the Dogecoin pyramid scheme for benefit, publicity and amusement.”
Musk is being sued by way of an American guy known as Keith Johnson, who alleges he used to be “defrauded out of cash” on account of the entrepreneur’s endorsements.
Mr Johnson’s attorneys assert that the cryptocurrency “has no worth in any respect” – and courtroom filings characteristic quotes from billionaires Invoice Gates and Warren Buffett, who’ve each puzzled the worth of such virtual belongings.
The plaintiff needs to constitute those that have misplaced cash via Dogecoin since 2019.
Past his calls for for $258bn in damages, he additionally needs Musk, Tesla and SpaceX to be banned from selling DOGE.
Previous this yr, Tesla started accepting Dogecoin as a fee way for products – however now not its electrical automobiles.
Elon Musk – who’s recently within the technique of taking on Twitter – is but to remark at the lawsuit.