The cryptocurrency boom of the last 15-18 months has seen the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum increase in price and relevance, but there has also been another surprising beneficiary to this rally – Dogecoin. Dogecoin, which is based on the popular ‘doge’ meme that uses an image of a shiba inu dog, was created as a joke on the crazy valuations of cryptocurrencies, but it has become a part of this cycle, rising by several thousand percent in 2021 alone, and becoming a legitimate cryptocurrency investment according to many industry participants. Therefore, given the success of Dogecoin, it is perhaps no surprise that there have been quite a few copycats released in recent months as well, looking to capitalize on the popularity of the coin, and one such coin which is being called the ‘Dogecoin Killer’ is the Shiba Inu coin (SHIB).
The Shiba Inu coin was launched in August 2020, with its creator unknown and only going by the name of Ryoshi. Its value is only around $0.00003 or so, but it has already seen surges in trading, especially after being added to the crypto trading platforms OKEx and Binance. The bulk of this demand is coming from Chinese cryptocurrency traders, with the Chinese crypto exchange Huobi handling the bulk of SHIB’s trading volume. Its rise is quite notable, given that it has hit daily trading volumes of as high as $500 million on occasion, with a market cap of around $10 billion, having had a trading volume lower than $1 as recently as January 2021. In fact, the token is up by more than 2 million percent from its launch price back in August 2020, a rise that is not matched by any other crypto token during the same period of time. According to experts, SHIB reflects the growing trend of new crypto traders latching onto new and affordable coins in a bid to increase their value exponentially in a short span of time, and this is also in line with the founder’s stated aim of outpacing Dogecoin by using a more ‘community-driven’ approach. It is notable that the Shiba Inu token runs on the Ethereum network, and so does not have a blockchain of its own.
The refreshing thing about the Shiba Inu coin is that it embraces the fact that it is based on a meme, rather than trying to be something more serious and claiming that it can actually change the crypto industry or anything outside of it, which the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum actually can. The overall movement around meme coins is to reject formal authority and structures and embrace a lighter approach, and the Shiba Inu token uses this approach perfectly. In a bid to try and increase the value of the token, half of the total tokens minted were sent to Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum. This amounted to around 505 trillion tokens, with 1 quadrillion SHIB having been mined, and these tokens were considered ‘burned’ or taken off the market, although Buterin had access to his holdings. The tokens also made the news subsequently when Buterin donated the majority of his holdings to the India Crypto COVID Relief Fund.
The Chinese venture capital billionaire Charles Xue Biquin, also known as Xue Manzi, has been one of the biggest supporters of the token, regularly posting about it on his social media platforms, in a similar manner to how the likes of Elon Musk have posted about Dogecoin. This can also help explain the attention that this token has received in China, while the token is also available for purchase on the Robinhood trading app in the United States that made waves earlier this year during the Gamestop phenomenon and the associated increase in the price of Dogecoin. In fact, Dogecoin’s rise has been one of the major factors behind Shiba Inu’s success as well, as it has drawn attention to meme-based coins in general, while many investors have jumped to SHIB following Dogecoin’s recent fall in value.
Overall, having reached a pretty high market cap, it will probably be difficult to replicate the gains that it has made so far, but there is still potential for some decent returns, provided you get in at the right time.