Dogecoin (DOGE-USD), the volatile joke token that has captured much media attention recently, represents "two fingers up to the establishment", a finance professor has said.
Dogecoin price surged as much as 20% on Wednesday after Tesla (TSLA) boss Elon Musk called himself the "Dogefather" on Twitter (TWTR). He was supported the crypto in the past as well, first tweeting about it in February.
And before that it was rallying because online supporters from reddit and Twitter celebrated 'dogeday 4/20' and tried to push the price up to as much as $1 (£0.72), though it only went as high as about $0.4073. At the time of writing the cryptocurrency was trading at $0.3074, up almost 3%.
"Right now, dogecoin’s price is boosted by its ‘retail-rebel-reddit’ following," said Carol Alexander, finance professor at the University of Sussex Business School.
"It costs so little, that retail investors can hold a lot of dogecoins; it has also taken over the `rebel’ role that bitcoin used to have (two fingers up to the establishment); and it has the backing of the same reddit forces that took on the big institutional investors with GameStop, who coordinate buying after Elon Musk blows the start whistle.
"Even high-risk junk bonds have virtually no returns now. The yield in capital markets has been over-farmed for too long. Yield-seeking investors need to turn elsewhere – and the opportunity for yield farming is just everywhere in crypto."
On Musk's support she said: "Musk is wrong to think that dogecoin is the currency of the internet. It cannot be that in any real sense."
This is even as dogecoin, which first started up as a joke in 2013, saw its market capitalisation briefly cross $50bn.
"I think dogecoin might continue a (very bumpy) rise in price and during this time I really hope it recovers its origins," said Alexander.
She said dogecoin's founders used the money they gained for "benevolent reasons" such as funding the Canadian bobsleigh team to compete in the Olympics and for a water project in Nigeria.
"If he [Musk] wants dogecoin to have any fundamental economic value, he needs to direct it back towards its benevolent grass roots."
And in her opinion, the "obvious king" in all cryptocurrencies is ethereum (ETH-USD).
"You see, anyone who wants to put anything on web 3.0 needs a smart contract on a blockchain, which requires fuel to run. Ether call this fuel ‘gas’ and gas is denominated in ether."
It also benefits from first-mover status and constant upgrades, she said.
WATCH: What are the risks of investing in cryptocurrency?