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April 29, 2021

Is Dogecoin a joke? Yes. Is it the best investment in the world? No. But it’s at least better than a lottery ticket, in the opinion of billionaire Mark Cuban.

In an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” the owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team said the rise of the “meme” digital currency is the “craziest story ever” and tried to answer questions about the token represented by a smiling Shiba Inu.

“Overall, when someone brings up Dogecoin to you and asks you if it’s a good investment, I would say it’s not the world’s best investment but it’s a whole lot better than a lottery ticket, and it’s a great way to learn and start understanding cryptocurrencies,” Cuban said. “And you know what? It could go up. And the second part about it is if it doesn’t go up and you want to spend it, you can buy merchandise on the Mavericks store.”

Cuban has long praised the entertainment and educational value of Dogecoin. In March, he announced that Mavericks fans could buy tickets and merchandise using it. The team also accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies.

“Bitcoin is like a digital version of gold, Ethereum is a digital version of a currency and then you got Dogecoin, which is just fun,” Cuban said when DeGeneres asked him for his views on investing in cryptocurrencies.

After starting out as a joke between two programmers — a parody of a cryptocurrency that was meant to be worthless — Dogecoin’s market cap is now about $35 billion, down from more than $50 billion earlier this month. To its critics, it trivializes investing and creates risks that could hurt investors swept up in the hype. Crypto bull Mike Novogratz, for instance, isn’t a fan.

Nevertheless, Dogecoin’s price has rocketed up over the past year, driven by memes on the internet and even some encouragement from big names like Elon Musk. The cryptocurrency currently trades at less than 30 cents apiece — Bitcoin’s at around $55,000.