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Elon Musk hit back after the co-creator of Dogecoin slammed Tesla’s billionaire boss as a “grifter” who “didn’t understand coding as well as he made out.”

Jackson Palmer, who co-created the canine-themed cryptocurrency that Musk has frequently promoted, told Australian news site Crikey that Musk is “just really good at pretending he knows.”

“He’s a grifter, he sells a vision in hopes that he can one day deliver what he’s promising, but he doesn’t know that,” Palmer said.

Musk hit back at Palmer, calling him a “tool” and tweeting on Tuesday: “My kids write better code when they were 12 than the nonsense script Jackson sent me.”

Palmer had said that in 2018 he gave Musk the coding script to a bot that he wrote to help Twitter detect if there was a cryptocurrency scam in users’ mentions.

“Elon reached out to me to get hold of that script and it became apparent very quickly that he didn’t understand coding as well as he made out,” Palmer told Crikey.

“He asked, ‘How do I run this Python script?’”

Palmer added: “After I gave him the script, I wasn’t a fan of him.”

Jackson Palmer, the co-creator of Dogecoin, said Musk couldn't read script of coding that he sent him in 2018.
Jackson Palmer, the co-creator of Dogecoin, said Musk couldn’t read script of coding that he sent him in 2018.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Tuesday, however, Musk shot back, “If it’s so great, he should share it with the world and make everyone’s experience with Twitter better.”

Musk also questioned the extent of Palmer’s involvement with Dogecoin.

“Palmer always forgets to mention that he never wrote a single line of Dogecoin code,” Musk tweeted.

Jackson Palmer created Dogecoin in 2013.
Jackson Palmer co-created Dogecoin in 2013.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Palmer asked Dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus to respond to Musk’s accusations, prompting Markus to tweet: “The people after us did exponentially more than either jackson or i did on the code base.”

“I think i wrote like 20 lines of code and copied the rest.”

Musk replied to Markus: “You’re humble bro. Billy’s sense of humor & irreverence is a big part of why people love Dogecoin.”

On his Twitter feed, Palmer posted a link to the code that he uploaded to GitHub.

He apparently conceded Musk’s point that the script was quite simple for the time it was introduced, though today it wouldn’t be effective since scammers have become more sophisticated.

“I never said it was super complex, but this simple script definitely worked in catching and reporting the less sophisticated phishing accounts circa 2018,” Palmer said on Twitter.

“They’ve since evolved their tactics. I shared it with a lot of people, and it worked for them.”

Last week, Musk sent the value of Dogecoin surging when he tweeted that his space exploration firm SpaceX would be accepting the digital currency as payment for merchandise.

His other firm, Tesla, has already accepted dogecoin in its online store since January.

Dogecoin was trading 0.71% higher on Wednesday afternoon even as other well-known cryptocurrencies plummeted. Bitcoin fell 1.61% to $31,136 and Ethereum fell 2.53% to $1,905.54, according to Coinbase data.


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