The price of cryptocurrency Dogecoin has climbed to a new record high after major exchanges opened up trading in the digital asset.
A single Dogecoin was trading for $0.69 (50p) on Wednesday, driven by increasing interest by investors.
Major exchanges Gemini and eToro both now offer Dogecoin trading, making it easier for traders to purchase the cryptocurrency, which was started as a joke.
The price of Dogecoin rose 44pc in overnight trading after it hit $0.48 late on Tuesday evening.
Dogecoin was started in 2013 by a pair of software engineers who designed it as a “tongue-in-cheek” cryptocurrency that would poke fun at more serious digital assets such as Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrency investors have also been increasing their stakes in Dogecoin in the hope that Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur Elon Musk will push its price higher during his appearance on Saturday Night Live on May 8.
Mr Musk’s Twitter posts have been a major driver of interest in the cryptocurrency in the past.
The entrepreneur has called for suggestions for sketch ideas for the show on Twitter and responded with “definitely” to one user who encouraged him to create a sketch about “The Dogefather”.
Much of the recent rise in interest for Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and ethereum has been driven by growing institutional interest in the digital assets.
Revolut, the British challenger bank, is preparing to allow subscribers to its premium metal card service to withdraw their Bitcoin to other wallets, making it more attractive to cryptocurrency investors.
Investors believe that the popularity of ethereum, which has also been trading at a record high this week, has been due to the increasing number of decentralised finance services (known as “DeFi”) that trade on its Blockchain.