A Shiba Inu is a Japanese hunting dog. It’s also the symbol of the Ethereum-based altcoin, SHIB. Shiba Inu (SHIB) was created in August 2020 and promoted as a Dogecoin alternative, dubbing itself as the “Dogecoin killer.” Shiba Inu and Dogecoin are both meme coins – cryptocurrencies that are inspired by popular social media memes, jokes and current events – and while Dogecoin was established in December 2013, it was only in 2020 that Shiba Inu came to the fore.
Shiba Inu’s value increased more than tenfold in October 2021. Reaching a market capitalization of $35 billion (as of October 31), it was tenth among all cryptocurrencies for that metric. The meme coin’s price increase was sparked by a tweet from Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk on October 4th, 2021, where he displayed a photo of his new Shiba Inu dog, Floki. As one of the most high-profile proponents of Dogecoin and the self-proclaimed “Dogefather,” Musk’s cryptic tweets typically result in increased volatility in the cryptocurrency market.
Shiba Inu’s price spike in October 2021 almost caught up with Dogecoin’s market value of $36.9 billion. It remains to be seen whether Shiba Inu can fulfill the expectations of its expanding network of supporters (the “SHIBArmy”) to become “the Dogecoin killer.”
Shiba Inu’s guiding principles are documented in a “woof paper” (almost certainly a pun on “whitepaper”) which can be viewed on the ShibaToken.com website. Shiba Inu was founded in response to a simple question: “What would happen if a cryptocurrency project was managed entirely by its community?” According to its founder Ryoshi, it began as an “experiment in decentralized spontaneous community development.”
The SHIBArmy consists of nearly 500,000 members who support its fundamental principles, especially its spirit of producing something from nothing.
Shiba Inu is an ERC-20 token based on Ethereum, meaning that the currency is created and stored on Ethereum’s blockchain. According to Ryoshi, Ethereum was chosen to develop the Shiba Inu ecosystem because it was already well-established and relatively safe, and it enabled the project to remain decentralized.
Shiba Inu’s ecosystem is made up of three separate tokens.
Shiba Inu (SHIB). This is the project’s primary currency. Starting with a supply of one quadrillion (1,000 trillion), Ryoshi deposited half in Uniswap (for liquidity) and half in Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin’s hands for protection. When India was hit by the Delta variant of COVID-19 in May 2021, Buterin contributed more than 50 trillion Shiba Inu coins, valued at over $1 billion at the time, to a COVID-19 relief fund in India. Buterin also “burned” — or permanently withdrew from circulation — 40% of Shiba Inu’s entire supply to a “dead wallet” shortly after.
Leash (LEASH). Shiba Inu’s second token in the ecosystem is Leash. At the other end of the circulation supply spectrum, Leash has a total supply of just 107,646 tokens.
Bone (BONE). Bone falls somewhere between SHIB and LEASH in terms of its circulation supply, with a total number of 250,000,000 tokens. BONE is envisioned as a governance token, allowing the SHIBArmy to vote on forthcoming proposals.
ShibaSwap. ShibaSwap is a DeFi platform that creates a secure environment for cryptocurrency trading while staying decentralized. ShibaSwap is the best site for buying and selling SHIB and LEASH.
Shiba Inu Incubator. The incubator attempts to find ways in which to reward creativity and inventiveness beyond popular artistic genres such as painting and photography. Artists’ work will be displayed, sold and auctioned on ShibaSwap.
Shiboshis. Shiboshis are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) created by Shiba Inu and published on the Ethereum blockchain. Each Shiboshi has various characteristics that make it unique and valuable.
The procedure to purchase SHIB or LEASH is described on the ‘Quick Start Guide’ at ShibaToken.com. In summary:
1) Create a wallet with MetaMask.
2) Send ETH to your wallet.
3) Connect your wallet to ShibaSwap.
4) Swap ETH for SHIB, LEASH, or BONE tokens.
Shiba Inu was dubbed “the Dogecoin killer” by its founder Ryoshi because its value is “primed and ready to eclipse the value of Dogecoin.” Even if SHIB never reaches $0.01, Ryoshi believes it will be valued proportionally higher than Dogecoin because of its publicity and usability.
In October 2021, SHIB increased by more than tenfold, placing it in the top ten cryptocurrencies for market capitalization. As a result, it sparked curiosity among traders and received a heavy dose of media coverage. In addition, in the first week of October, Tesla creator Elon Musk posted a photo of his new Shiba Inu dog Floki, generating a huge retail investment in the meme coin. And finally, the release of Shiba Inu NFTs, on top of unverified claims that SHIB was to be listed on the popular stock and crypto trading app Robinhood, enthralled crypto investors.
Yes, Shiba Inu is a high-risk, high-reward investment. Cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile, and SHIB’s recent advancement in the market puts it at risk of a major crash. Shiba Inu has relatively limited functionality, and its value is for the most part dependent on a speculative frenzy generated by social media.