Meme coin enthusiasts are rejoicing and seasoned investors are rolling their eyes this morning as the self-proclaimed “Dogecoin killer” SHIB has rallied over 50% to reach a new 2022 high. At the time of writing (8th of February) SHIB is trading at $0.00003279 ($0.00004602 AUD).
SHIB’s recent gain comes off the back of a broader “crypto spring”, which has seen Bitcoin (BTC) gain 14% and Ethereum (ETH) gain 17% over the last 7 days, signaling a potential reversal away from the expected gloom of a “crypto winter”.
However, SHIB’s particularly wild rally isn’t just The result of a broader market rebound, there are a few price-driving factors that have been sitting just below the surface for some time. On January 25th this year, the official SHIB twitter account posted an image, touting the release of a new project called the #shibverse. Then, on February 3rd the community behind SHIB released an announcement that they had partnered with an Italian fast-food chain called Welly’s.
The cult-like following that SHIB has attracted is one of the fundamental driving forces behind the current rally. Even though the SHIB Twitter Page flexes an impressive 2.7 million followers, the “community” behind SHIB aren’t the only ones driving the price action of a $17.8 billion ($25.1 billion AUD) market cap memecoin. Ultimately, the enormous surge in price comes from other large players knowing that even relatively small spikes in the value of memecoins can trigger massive rallies, leading to extremely risky, yet enormous returns for those willing to gamble large sums of money on speculative crypto plays .
But before we get into why Shiba Inu is blowing up, and whether it’s too late to buy, first: what the hell is Shiba Inu?
Shiba Inu is one of a few new ‘meme coins’ on the block, which appears to have been inspired by Dogecoin’s heroic spikes (which began in Jan/Feb), when people started looking for the next Dogecoin (one they could get in early on this time).
Shiba Inu is far from the only one – plenty of developers have tried to riff off it (with catchy names and the likes). Shiba Inu, however, is arguably the catchiest spinoff right now (Shiba Inu being the name of the breed of dog the Dogecoin meme is based on).
Shina Inu’s origin story goes as follows: Russian-Canadian programmer and writer (and co-founder of Ethereum) Vitalik Buterin was, without his permission, gifted 50% of Shiba Inu’s coins by its anonymous founder (who goes by the pseudonym Ryoshi), according to SHIB’s white paper.
Buterin is a respected figure in the crypto space. However, this gave him the power to rug pull at any time. Which he promptly did – but not quite in the way you might expect. Buterin donated a huge number of Shiba Inu (as well as a couple other of his other coins) to help support India’s Covid relief cause.
This caused panic among investors and saw Shiba Inu’s price plummet drastically soon after its inception. Its price dropped from just over 0.00004 to around $0.00001, and has hovered around the 0.00001 range for months. After a couple of mini price hikes in September, however, Shiba Inu’s value has started soaring in October. It hit an all-time high of $0.00008841 on October the 7th – well above and beyond what it was before Buterin’s charitable rug pull.
That week Shiba Inu holders woke up to see 50% price increases – and then 70% price increases – and then even more astonishing price increases (depending on when they first bought Shiba Inu). Happy days for some indeed.
Those rises came after billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk posted a photo of his new Shiba Inu puppy with the caption, “Floki Frunkpuppy” on Twitter on the 4th of October.
Floki Frankpuppy pic.twitter.com/xAr8T0Jfdf
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 4, 2021
Elon has a history of playing with the crypto market, and many users seek further clarification on his cryptic message (or non-message, depending on how you view it).
Hello, it is floki coin or shiba inu ?
— KShop (@KogiShopp) October 4, 2021
Many supporters and holders of Shiba Inu, with a vested interest in seeing its price skyrocket, took this chance to generate hype and FOMO (as did fans of every coin which could conceivably be linked in any way to the Tweet).
Naturally, the price has shot up, with Shiba Inu making it into CoinSpot’s #1 ‘gainer’ spot at certain points during October.
Since its all-time high Shiba Inu has dropped to $0.00004474 (at its lowest point since then), but has generally hung around the $0.00006 mark. Generally, it trended down with a couple of bounces (whether they are dead cat bounces or not remains to be seen). At the time of writing, it has come back up from the low of 0.00004474 and is now sitting at $0.000055659. The market for Shiba at present, however, continues to be dominated by bears, even as Bitcoin and Ethereum are very bullish.
So: is Shiba Inu’s growth sustainable? Or – perhaps more pertinently – is there going to be another massive spike?
Take this as a compliment or an insult (take your pick), but Shiba Inu is sustainable in much the same way Dogecoin is sustainable – it will last so long as there are people buying more of it. As long as there is hype and cult-like belief.
Although figures like Mark Cuban and Elon Musk like to pontificate about the potential real uses of meme coins (see video below, where Elon Musk calls Dogecoin the best medium of exchange), and though it is true that Dogecoin, for instance, has quicker transaction speeds than Bitcoin, there is already a more serious segment of the crypto market dedicated to solving that problem and becoming the next Ethereum (see: Cardano). At this stage, there’s nothing more than random Elon Musk tweets that suggest meme coins like Dogecoin – which was originally built to be unusable – are practical enough to go down that route.
Elon Musk & Mark Cuban talk about the potential ‘real life’ applications of meme coins – beyond just cash.
That said, Dogecoin saw some ridiculous highs earlier this year based on what some call idiocy, and what others call groupthink. And the same phenomenon could now be at play with Shiba Inu. So if you are happy to risk your money (and know you might not get it back) then Shiba Inu could be worth a flutter (much like a trip to the casino) and it could keep on booming for a bit, with potentially bigger spikes around the corner. Or it could just totally die off again and never see another spike after this one. Who knows.
So – to answer the question, ‘is it too late to buy?’, that really depends on whether the hype grows, or whether those that have just made serious money breathe a sigh of relief and cash out, and leave you holding the bag .
How to buy Shiba Inu
You can buy Shiba Inu a variety of ways, much like you can any other cryptocurrency. Generally speaking, you need a wallet – an online app – in which to store your crypto money (some stock trading apps also let you trade crypto too). The best crypto wallets are Coinbase, Coinspot, Mycelium, Ledger Nano X, Exodus, Trustwallet, Robinhood, Gemini, Kraken and Binance. If you are a beginner then Coinspot or Coinbase are good picks. Also be warned that while Trust Wallet via pancake swap will allow you to buy a greater variety of new, obscure and up and coming coins, it is more complicated to use, so not ideal for beginners. Beyond that, you buy Shiba Inu like any other coin. Shiba Inu is able to be bought on Binance, Coinspot and Coinbase much more easily than on Trust Wallet. You download your wallet/app (ensuring it is a legitimate one), go through the verification process, follow the instructions to load your account with the money you wish to spend, and buy Shiba Inu.
Shiba Inu price prediction
No one really knows what price Shiba Inu will hit, as – like Dogecoin – it is essentially a groupthink experiment. While some believe the hype around crypto will only lead to greater and greater gains for these kinds of pyramid schemes, others reckon Dogecoin had more legitimate hype around it, as it was the first huge meme coin, and actually had a bit of a satirical purpose behind it (to mock the serious cryptocurrencies). While Shiba Inu doesn’t have quite the same mission statement (it aims, instead to be the Dogecoin killer), the mob “let’s all make money” mentality certainly seems to still be here for Shiba Inu to draw from.
This all in mind: different people have different price predictions for Shiba Inu. Youtuber The Moving Average has predicted Shiba Inu will go up 25,000%.
Crypto website Wallet Investor, for its part, “expects Shiba to be valued at $0.0000040 in a year’s time,” The Sun reports. The Sun also reported on October the 24th, “Coin Price Forecast predicts Shiba will be $0.00005349 by the end of 2021 and $0.00006438 by the middle of next year.”
Will Shiba Inu Coin reach $1?
There are varying perspectives on this. Jordan McCreery, founding partner of Ingrained Media, has told The Sun: “I believe Shiba has some real potential to grow from its fraction of a cent amount to $0.01 or greater. Don Guo, however, the CEO of Broctagon, told The Express it is impossible for Shiba Inu to ever reach $1. “In order for SHIB to reach a dollar, it requires a market capitalisation of one quadrillion US dollars.”
“In comparison, the entirety of the US National Debt is $23.3 trillion – and even that staggering sum constitutes less than 3 per cent of the amount required for SHIB to reach that price point. Given current trends, it is more likely that Shiba will remain within its ballpark of less than a fraction of a cent.”
Never invest more than you can afford to lose into any crypto, and take any price prediction with a pinch of salt – those making such predictions could have a vested increase in increasing hype.