Elon Musk's appearance on Saturday Night Live over the weekend created a huge headache for the Robinhood trading app after the tech exec's comments on Dogecoin (DOGE 2.01%) caused the cryptocurrency to plunge in value and forced the brokerage to pause all cryptocurrency trading.
Just as occurred during the GameStop and AMC Entertainment trading frenzy in January, the investment platform was overwhelmed by too much activity.
Musk's appearance was largely successful as he deployed self-deprecating geek humor to good effect, and though not every joke landed, it was not the disaster some had thought possible. He even noted how some things he says get him into trouble, though it would be what he said about the cryptocurrency that would cause problems for Robinhood.
Playing "Dogefather" Lloyd Ostertag during the Weekend Update segment, Musk danced around numerous attempts to get an answer to the question, "What is Dogecoin?" Finally, he agreed, "Yeah, it's a hustle."
Dogecoin, which had at one point last week been valued over $0.70, and had been falling in value during most of Musk's appearance, ended up tumbling as low as $0.43, though it has recovered some since.
Perhaps sensing that Musk's appearance might set off trading triggers, Robinhood tweeted out it would have "all paws on deck, all weekend," but apparently ended up needing more "paws" than were available.
The deluge of traders piling into Robinhood was more than the platform could handle and caused it to pause all crypto trading, tweeting:
We are aware that customers may be seeing crypto orders display as "pending" for an extended period of time. We are experiencing a delay in order status updates and will provide an update here when the issue is resolved. For more details, check https://t.co/7RsUMRzNVI— Robinhood Help (@AskRobinhood) May 9, 2021
By Sunday, order had been restored, but for many, it was a repeat of the GameStop debacle, and Robinhood not doubt hopes Musk keeps his comedy to critiquing the Securities and Exchange Commission.