What is Shiba Inu (SHIB)?
If, in January 2020, anyone would have claimed that yet another satirical cryptocurrency using a Shiba Inu dog as its symbol could gain traction, they would have been laughed at. However, in August 2020, an anonymous individual or group known only as ‘Ryoshi’ launched Shiba Inu on the Ethereum blockchain.
Initially, most people assumed it was nothing more than a pump-and-dump scheme. This is when an asset is artificially hyped to inflate the price, before the creators cash in by selling their tokens, and then abandon the project to die. But, much to everyone’s surprise, SHIB clung on in there.
However, a closer look at the ideas in Shiba Inus ‘Woof Paper’ suggests the project was never intended to be a pump and dump at all. You see, Ryoshi actually sent 50% of the total supply to the wallet of none other than Vitalik Buterin – Co-founder of Ethereum. The logic behind the move being that unless Buterin was going to do a rug pull on SHIB, the project would grow and survive. Needless to say, Buterin didn’t pull the rug, and actually donated over 50 trillion SHIB, worth more than US$1 billion at the time, to the India COVID-Crypto Relief Fund in May 2021.
Although SHIB did spike and then collapse in value during 2021, by October 2022, according to CoinGecko, it had become the world’s 12th biggest crypto by market capitalisation – sitting just behind Polkadot, but ahead of Dai, Polygon, and TRON. Not bad for a joke coin inspired by another joke coin (Dogecoin)!
|Did you know?
Vitalik Buterin’s May 2021 $1,000,000,000 Shiba Inu donation to the India Covid Relief fund was the largest ever crypto charity donation.
Shiba Inu (SHIB) Basics
Shiba Inu Blockchain
As previously mentioned, Shiba Inu is based on the Ethereum blockchain. According to the Shiba Inu Woof Paper, this was to ensure the project could remain truly decentralised and independent. Ethereum was also a good foundation for the ShibaSwap decentralised exchange, which is also part of the Shiba Inu crypto ecosystem.
SHIB Mining & Staking
All the Shiba Inu that will ever be available were instamined at launch (when 50% were sent to Vitaliki Buterin’s wallet to safeguard the project).
The supply of Shiba Inu was set at 1 quadrillion. Yep, you read that right, that’s 1 followed by 24 zeros! As previously mentioned, half were sent to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who donated one billion USD worth of them to charity in May 2021. A week after the donation, Buterin burned another 410.24 trillion SHIB (around 40% of the total supply). That left just shy of 590 trillion SHIB in existence.
Shiba Inu Adoption & Usability
Considering Shiba has never taken itself too seriously, and is a fairly young altcoin, it has spawned a very dedicated global community. Thanks to this, SHIB undoubtedly has an impressive market capitalisation. However, it isn’t widely accepted by retailers or service providers, and most of those holding SHIB are probably doing so in the hope of it becoming a long term investment. On the flip side, most major exchanges and plenty of popular wallets now support SHIB. Coupled with the low unit price, this makes it a very accessible crypto.
Shiba Inu Fees & Speed
Because it is based on the Ethereum blockchain, Shiba Inu can suffer from the usual network congestion and associated transaction delays and fees. However, as Ethereum 2 fully rolls out, following the successful Merge, these issues should be addressed.
|Did you know?
Just like rival Dogecoin, Shiba Inu has attracted its fair share of celebrity fans. In 2021, these included bodybuilder and Stranger Things actor Kai Greene, Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys fame, rapper and actor Ice-T, and NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Source: Yahoo! Finance
Shiba Inu Security and Safety
As an ERC-20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain, Shiba Inu is using tried and trusted technology when it comes to the security and safety of the network. But, as with all cryptos, third-party platforms can be weak points.
Security and safety tips:
- Don’t leave your SHIB on exchanges. Use exchanges for buying and selling only. Always transfer your crypto to a local wallet for short-term storage.
- For long-term storage, keep your crypto in a hard wallet.
- Always keep your wallet keys in multiple safe places – they cannot be recovered.
- Never tell anyone about your crypto holdings. No matter how secure your storage is, if you or your loved ones are physically threatened, you’ll probably hand over your personal keys.
Shiba Inu Volatility
Out of all the crypto altcoins of the last few years, SHIB saw one of the most spectacular spikes. According to data from CoinGecko, on 1 January 2021, SHIB was trading at US$0.000000000073, but by 28 October had reached $0.00008616. That means, if you’d have spent around a dollar on SHIB in January, and sold it at the end of October, you’d have literally become a millionaire. But, like other cryptos, the price crashed during the crypto winter of 2022. By early October of that year, SHIB was trading around $0.0001083.
Final Word on Shiba Inu (SHIB)
There’s no doubt that Shiba Inu is an interesting cryptocurrency project – and it still remains so cheap that many people have bought some on the off chance that it does pull a repeat of its 2021 performance. But, in all truth, it’s hard to see how it will make progress in its current form – which doesn’t offer anything special in terms of utility or efficiency.
However, Shib Inu’s project leader, Shytoshi Kusama, is said to be working on the Shibarium – a layer-2 blockchain project with the potential to reduce fees, improve speed, and make scaling more efficient, among other things. So, if the Shibarium comes to fruition, all bets are off.
Similar Cryptos to SHIB
In many superficial ways, SHIB is similar to Dogecoin (DOGE). They are both meme coins that started as satire, both feature a Shibu Inu on the logo, both were unexpected hits, and both have little current utility beyond payments or investment. However, in technical terms, SHIB is very different, as an ERC-20 token based on the proof-of-stake Ethereum blockchain, while DOGE is built on its own Litecoin-derived blockchain.
Of course, there’s always a bunch of new crypto projects looking to emulate the success of Shiba Inu, and some of them are incorporating NFT tech from the get-go. One potential candidate to be the next SHIB could be Big Eyes Coin. Yes, it’s another animal coin – this time a cat with, well, big eyes. Hey, it’s not investment advice, so don’t do anything daft!