Dogecoin co-creator Jackson Palmer said it irked him when the currency surged in the 2021 meme-trading frenzy.
Palmer told Insider he sees Elon Musk’s Dogecoin support as him “building an army” of misfit communities.
The engineer has traded jabs with the billionaire in the past.
In an interview with Insider, Palmer said he’s grown weary of being “dragged” into conversations around the currency he helped create over eight years ago. At the time, he saw Dogecoin as a “hobby’ — now he said it’s become a nuisance.
“It all kind of annoyed me because it was this thing that had my name tied to it. I don’t think people realize it, but I wish that when something happened with Dogecoin and Elon Musk and my Dogecoin cofounder Billy [Markus] that I didn’t get dragged back into it,” Palmer said.
“Even when I had completely deleted all social media it continued to follow me around like a bad smell,” he added.
The Adobe engineer told Insider he wasn’t surprised when Musk began promoting Dogecoin on Twitter as early as 2019.
The billionaire appears to be close friends with the other creator of Dogecoin, Billy Markus. Musk has said he’s worked with developers on the digital currency in the past and that he supports Dogecoin in an effort to be an ally to “people who are not that wealthy.”
In 2021, Musk was one of the currency’s biggest proponents — often sending Dogecoin’s price soaring with a single tweet. He even revealed plans to launch a crypto-themed satellite named “Doge-1” to the moon this year.
But, Palmer said he sees Musk’s interest in Dogecoin as a tactic, a means to “latch onto communities” in an effort to “absorb them into his cult of personality.”
“He does this on several topics. Look at how a lot of the free speech, right-wingers have all kind of become big Elon Musk supporters,” Palmer told Insider. “That’s beneficial to him because he’s kind of building his army, taking in the tribes of all these different kinds of misfit communities that are extremely dedicated and extremely passionate.”
A spokesperson for Musk did not respond to a request for comment from Insider ahead of publication.
It’s not the first time that Palmer has commented on the richest man in the world. Earlier this year, the Dogecoin co-creator called Musk a “grifter” and accused the Tesla CEO of being unable to run basic code, citing an instance several years ago when the billionaire allegedly didn’t know how to run a Python script that Palmer sent him.
The engineer told Insider he hasn’t communicated with Musk since, but the billionaire was quick to slam Palmer on Twitter over his comments. In a series of tweets, Musk said his kids could have written better code at the age of 12 and alleged Palmer “never wrote a single line of Dogecoin code.”
The Dogecoin creator said it was a sobering incident, as Musk fans descended on him.
“I’ve made a conscious effort since then to not talk about him because it’s not worth it. I can let them have their fantasies,” Palmer said.
“I used to be a lot more willing to get into the debates and have online debates. But, I don’t think they’re a very useful thing to do anymore. My approach is just to say what I’m thinking and try to be as objective as possible and just say, ‘This is what I believe in, take it or leave it,'” he added.
Palmer isn’t the only one who’s questioned Musk’s support of the meme currency. On Tuesday, seven new plaintiffs entered an ongoing $258 billion lawsuit against the billionaire. The lawsuit was originally filed in June, and alleges that Musk and his companies are promoting a “crypto pyramid scheme.”
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