Dogecoin (DOGE) was the original meme coin , but since it ascended, countless doggie-themed cryptocurrencies have emerged to take its majesty, including doge cash (DOGEC), akita inu (AKITA) and dogelon mars (ELON).
The leader of the pack is shiba inu (SHIB) , who exploded in 2022, battling dogecoin for the position of main puppy.
Since its inception in August 2020, SHIB has rocketed through the rankings from a low of $0.000000000056 in November 2020 to a record high of $0.00008616 in October 2022, generating an increase of more than 150,000,000 %.
This is a big adventure for a coin that apparently came out of nowhere.
What is SHIB?
At the most basic level, SHIB is a counterpart to dogecoin, developed at Ethereum . Unlike dogecoin, it is a token (a cryptocurrency that operates on another blockchain infrastructure) rather than a currency, which exists in its own blockchain.
Also, dogecoin is a fork of luckycoin (LKY) which in turn is a fork of litecoin (LTC) which is a fork of bitcoin (BTC) . SHIB is a standard ERC-20 token that operates on the Ethereum blockchain.
Like dogecoin, SHIB is a meme asset: a cryptocurrency that is inspired by internet memes and forms communities of enthusiasts.
Meme coin price movements are often linked to sentiment around recent news and influencer activity on social media.
SHIB itself is named after the canine breed, which became the face of the “doge” meme that inspired the creation of dogecoin.
What is the story behind SHIB?
According to its official website, SHIB was created as a “spontaneous experiment in building decentralized communities” by anonymous developer Ryoshi (which in Japanese means “fisherman”).
Ryoshi believes they are “nobodies” and “replaceable”: “With Shiba, we made it clear from the start that no one is in charge. There is no culprit, responsible person or entity who holds the keys of the kingdom.” In May, Ryoshi added that "to this day, I have 0 SHIB".
The shiba inu “woofpaper ” (“whitepaper”) poses the following question: “What would happen if a cryptocurrency project were 100% owned by its community?”.
Along with SHIB, Ryoshi also created the “Dogecoin killer” LEASH token, albeit in small quantities, while BONE was released alongside decentralized brokerage (DEX) ShibaSwap .
A total of one quadrillion SHIB was issued and the anonymous developers behind the shiba inu sent about half of the total supply (a little over 505 trillion) to the address of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.
The logic, according to Ryoshi , was that "there is no greatness without a point of vulnerability and as long as [Buterin] doesn't give us a rug tug, then SHIBA will grow and survive."
After a while, Buterin burned 410.24 trillion SHIB (90% of his assets) and donated the rest to charity , arguing that doing something with the tokens he earned would generate unnecessary speculation.
If you believe this is ridiculous, you are probably not alone. But Dogecoin was considered a cryptocurrency of “mess” before becoming the great 2022 coin and the subject of fans like Mark Cuban and Elon Musk .
SHIB is already on a similar trajectory. At times, cryptocurrency made it to the top 10 of ranked currencies by market capitalization and even passed dogecoin, boosted by listings at major crypto brokers such as Binance and Coinbase .
Where to buy SHIB?
SHIB can be purchased from brokers such as Coinbase, Binance, Huobi Global and OKEx . It can also be traded on DEXs like Uniswap, 1inch and 0x.
At Coinbase, you can buy SHIB directly with Dollars; other brokers offer trading pairs with tether (USDT) , USD binance (BUSD) or wrapped ether (WETH).
In May 2022, SHIB's price skyrocketed shortly after its listing on Coinbase due to an apparent and immense demand from users.
At the time, Changpeng Zhao (or CZ) , CEO of Binance, tweeted that the brokerage “runs out of ETH deposit addresses on account of SHIB” and this “has never happened before with any other ERC-20 currency”.
However, he also warned that he was not "promoting" it and that he considered it a "super high risk".
The future of Shiba Inu
SHIB's meteoric rise has made many people rich. One portfolio saw its investments soar from about $8,000 to more than $5 billion in 400 days.
However, beyond that, it remains a “token of fun” driven by retail investor sentiment.
It's a phenomenon similar to the WallStreetBets movement that has Reddit traders buying stocks like Gamestop and AMC for fun or Crypto Twitter snapping up shares of tungsten cubes .
Meanwhile, institutional investors don't want to have anything to do with meme coins and meme tokens; an executive working with institutional custody of crypto told Decrypt that “zero” clients are looking to allocate a portion of their portfolios in SHIB.
But that may not matter if the new wave of meme-driven retail investment is the future of finance and not (as some claim) a herd bubble like the tulip fever of the 16th century.
"If people care enough about a joke," said the executive, "it becomes real."
*Translated and edited by Daniela Pereira do Nascimento with permission from Decrypt.co .
The post What is the Shiba Inu cryptocurrency (SHIB) and why it exploded first appeared in Bitcoin Portal .