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Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Elon Musk says Tesla will experiment with accepting the cryptocurrency Dogecoin for merchandise — but he didn't mention cars.

Why it matters: Musk has 66.5 million Twitter followers, and his continuing embrace of crypto helps fuel alternative finance.

Musk tweeted: "Tesla will make some merch buyable with Doge & see how it goes."

Dogecoin (pronounced DOHJ-coin) raced up after the tweet, Reuters reports.

  • Musk's tweets on Dogecoin, which started as a joke, have helped the meme coin soar 5,859% over the past year, according to Coinbase data.

Backstory: Tesla said in February that it had invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, and reported $1.26 billion in "digital assets" at the end of Q3.

  • Tesla said in the February disclosure that it planned to begin accepting Bitcoin for products soon. But Musk tweeted in May that Tesla had "suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin," citing "increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions."

Go deeper

Jan 6, 2022 - Podcasts

One year after the Capitol insurrection

When rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Axios congressional reporter Alayna Treene was in the heart of it. Today, she reflects back.

  • Plus, why the era of easy money is probably over.
  • And, Tesla opens a showroom in a controversial region of China.
  • Guests: Axios' Alayna Treene, Neil Irwin and Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Julia Redpath, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Lydia McMullen-Laird, Sabeena Singhani and Alex Sugiura. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go deeper:

Starbucks drops worker vaccine mandate after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks announced in a memo to employees Tuesday that it has dropped plans to implement a vaccine mandate for all U.S. workers, AP reported on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

1 hour ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.