Dogecoin began as something of a joke in 2013 but has since become a meaningful cryptocurrency in its own right. Its price has risen 1,250 per cent since the beginning of the year and it now has a market capitalisation of almost $10 billion.

It is up more than 20 per cent over the last day, after an already very dramatic increase over the last couple of weeks.

That rise came after the cryptocurrency was backed by people including Kiss star Gene Simmons and Snoop Dogg – who tweeted an image in which he joked he had been renamed after the cryptocurrency.

Mr Musk then tweeted to acknowledge the fact the two celebrities had joined him in boosting the cryptocurrency.

He then went on to make a number of extraordinary claims about dogecoin, including the suggestion that it could be the “future currency of Earth”. He had asked his followers to vote on whether that would be “Dogecoin to the Moooonn” or “all other crypto combined” – and when the former won, he tweeted again to say that “the people have spoken”.

Mr Musk’s Twitter was also host to a number of tweets in which he appeared to back the cryptocurrency. “Who let the Doge out”, and in another linked out to a video about the cryptocurrency.

Mr Musk has become particularly active in discussing both cryptocurrencies and traditional stocks in the time since the events around the GameStop share price.

He has in the past been criticised for using his Twitter account – and its 46 million followers – to influence the financial markets.