Elon Musk has announced that SpaceX will launch a mission next year that will be paid for with the cryptocurrency dogecoin.

The SpaceX boss said the satellite Doge-1 would be the “first crypto in space” and the “first meme in space”.

The announcement, which he made on Twitter late on Sunday, caused the price of dogecoin to immediately surge by more than 30 per cent.

It had previously crashed from an all-time high on Saturday, which it reached after Mr Musk referenced dogecoin during his appearance on Saturday Night Live, describing it as a “hustle”.

Earlier this year, Mr Musk said he would put “a literal dogecoin on the literal moon”, which also caused the price to briefly shoot up.

“Dogecoin, a currency based off the Shiba Inu meme from 2013, is now being used as a currency for space travel,” tweeted crypto portfolio app Blockfolio following the announcement. “That confirms it, we indeed live in a simulation.”

Mr Musk responded to this with laughing face emojis, having previously argued that there is an extremely high probability that we are living in a simulation. “There’s a billion to once chance we’re living in base reality,” he said during a computing conference in 2016.

Mr Musk’s Doge-1 mission is not the first time that someone has promised to fulfill the “to the Moon” mantra adopted by cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

Game and software developer Joe Frusetta plans to send a physical representation of a dogecoin to the moon later this year, in coordination with Google Lunar XPrize winner Astrobotic.

It is also not the first time that Mr Musk has sent something unusual into space, having previously launched his own Tesla car deep into space as a demonstration of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.

“Life cannot just be about solving one sad problem after another,” he said at the time.

“There need to be things that inspire you, that make you glad to wake up in the morning and be part of humanity. That is why we did it.”