If “shitcoin” describes an altcoin that diminishes in value to the point of worthlessness, then the term may not accurately describe Shiba Inu, the dog-themed meme coin that started as a joke, increased 777 percent in value in the last 30 days and now ranks No. 10 on CoinMarketCap.
Less than six weeks after its debut on the Binance.US crypto exchange and seven weeks after getting listed on Coinbase Pro, Shiba already has $37 billion worth of credibility in its market capitalization. It’s worth more than some of the world’s biggest companies including HP, Nokia and General Mills.
Shiba hit an all-time high Wednesday amid talk that Robinhood might be considering listing it. But that doesn’t change the fact that a SHIB is trading at $0.00007837 as of this writing, intensifying the hype around it and raising the question, is it a shitcoin?
While Shiba is a hugely speculative coin, “many see it as a lucrative investment,” Anjali Jain wrote for AMBCrypto.
“The hype around meme coins such as Shiba…is not a financial, but a social phenomenon,” said Ben Caselin, head of research and strategy at cryptocurrency exchange AAX, in a Fortune report.
Redditt user u/Disguustang describes Shiba as “a dangerous pyramid scheme” and can attest to the social phenomenon, writing on the Redditt board r/CryptoCurrency about what happens when Shiba is critiqued: ” … (for) any manner of criticism the general consensus is ‘how dare you talk about my precious baby like that, it’s great!’ But they can’t give you any solid reasoning behind it, they then follow up by downvoting you to oblivion or stalking your post history for anything they can use against you.”
If the dog-themed Shiba Inu has a use case, it’s that it has positioned itself as a “Dogecoin killer”, becoming an Ethereum-based alternative to its popular rival meme coin Doge. Shiba’s creator, known as Ryoshi, claims that SHIB’s technology is more community-driven than Doge. “And Ryoshi has heralded its minuscule worth. ‘We have the ability to outpace the value of Dogecoin, exponentially, without ever crossing the $0.01 mark,’ the founder wrote in a SHIB ‘woofpaper,’ better known as a white paper,” Grady McGregor and Yvonne Lau wrote for Fortune.
Not everyone is buying the use-case argument.
“While you think (it) may have a use-case in the real world, and (it has) your best interests at heart (it doesn’t). You and your money are the only one being used,” wrote Redditt user u/Disguustang. “This ‘the people’s coin’ mantra that some of these shitcoins use is really stupid and I wish people would invest in projects that actually have purpose like ETH, ADA, Algo, VET or Matic. People are defending these scams here like their life depends on it and it’s sad. Please research what you are getting into. The people who invest in this stuff remind me of some badly played out The Office sketch.”
So will Shiba’s 700-percent-in-a-month parabolic rally that just happened last?
If you compare it to Dogecoin‘s gains so far in October (arount 8 percent) — maybe not, according to Yashua Gola writing for Cointelegraph. But Shiba Inu’s 726-percent gain in October makes it the fifth-highest grossing cryptocurrency going into the fourth quarter of 2021.
Dogecoin is now used as payments by sports teams, AMC theaters and as a speculative investment vehicle thanks to superfan Elon Musk, who is credited with pumping its price with his Twitter endorsements. The price of Doge rose more than 15,000 percent in its first five month as retail investors voted with their pocketbooks.
However, after reaching its record high of $0.76 on May 8, Doge has since corrected to trade around $0.33 as of this writing. So maybe Shiba’s rally won’t last.
Twitter user Quoth the Raven @QTRResearch predicts carnage ahead. “There will be real pain when crypto tanks. A troll coin of a troll coin has a $30 bil cap. All cryptos, backed by nothing but psychological buy-in, are “worth” trillions. Even if the “asset class” lives, the damage will be severe. It’s a bigger deal than ppl think. It’s systemic.”
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 74: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin returns for a new season of the GHOGH podcast to discuss Bitcoin, bubbles, and Biden. He talks about the risk factors for Bitcoin as an investment asset including origin risk, speculative market structure, regulatory, and environment. Are broader financial markets in a massive speculative bubble?