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Shiba Inu: Fad or worthy of your attention?

Shiba Inu cryptocurrency logo displayed on a phone screen and representation of cryptocurrencies.
Shiba Inu has been one of the most talked-about meme coins of 2021. (Source: Getty)

Shiba Inu is one of the newest additions to the seemingly ceaseless surge of meme cryptos this year.

The meme coin, which is not to be confused with its cute animal counterpart, has gained lots of media coverage thanks to its dramatic percentage gains.

After a chaotic October and November, Shiba has taken a hit that has continued into December.

Early trading on 3 December saw a 10 per cent rise, however the coin had been struggling to hang on to that growth.

Shiba was listed on the Kraken exchange and was appointed by gaming veteran William Volk.

Additionally, it's worth noting that Shiba Inu’s price fell substantially during the first week of November.

While typical market volatility definitely played a role in this decline, the fall is predominantly being blamed on a mysterious billionaire.

What is Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu (SHIB-USD) is an Ethereum-based altcoin that features the shiba inu (a Japanese breed of hunting dog). It is widely considered to be an alternative to Dogecoin.

In actual fact, advocates of Shiba Inu praise it as "the Dogecoin killer".

Shiba Inu and Dogecoin are meme coins, which are cryptocurrencies that are associated with a coin theme, but are often launched as a parody or inside joke rather than as a digital product that actually has some applicability.

A photo of a phone showing Shiba Inu commemorative coins for sale on ebay.
There is a finite amount of Shiba Inu coins available. (Source: Associated Press)

Shiba Inu was created in August 2020 by an anonymous individual or group referring to themselves as Ryoshi.

What’s special about Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu's value rose more than tenfold in October 2021, giving it a market value of US$35 billion (as of October 31, 2021), ranking it 10th among cryptocurrencies.

A tweet from Tesla founder Elon Musk on 4 October, 2021, featuring a picture of his new Shiba Inu puppy, Floki, provided the introductory incentive for the meme coin's price surge.

Because Musk is arguably the most high-profile supporter of Dogecoin and the self-proclaimed "Dogefather", his cryptic tweets often result in incredible volatility in the cryptocurrency space.

Perhaps Shiba Inu is most well known for having short-term dips and rises, allowing investors to 'pump and dump' their assets for potential earnings.

This is why experts have often called the Shiba coin market volatile and high risk — it moves fast.

Is it worth buying?

Shiba Inu is by no means a sure or safe investment. However, it has demonstrated that it can surprise investors with astonishing returns such as during its 2,500 per cent run in May this year.

The truth is that investing in Shiba Inu is exceptionally risky. However, with the right amount of luck and liquidity, it could very well catapult again.

That said, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin’s US$1 billion donation to the India COVID-Crypto Relief Fund and the recent cryptocurrency market crash lower the chances of another similar move anytime soon.

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin speaks during a conference.
The founding father of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin. (Source: Getty)

The India Relief Fund has already relocated approximately 20 trillion Shiba out of its main wallet, though it is challenging to estimate exactly how much has been sold.

Nobody knows exactly which charity the remaining 50 trillion Shiba donation went to.

The majority of the other half of Shiba’s supply that was locked into Uniswap hasn’t been minted yet, and this will influence the price of the token even more.

The bottom line

The majority of Shiba Inu’s popularity is based on hype. If you are familiar with the term ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out), then you may be tempted to invest in it too.

But the risk-reward profile of Ethereum, Bitcoin and bigger altcoins, such as Solana, have been more feasible than Shiba Inu.

If you want to buy a few coins for fun, go and do that. But, at this time, it’s not advisable to invest heavily into Shiba Inu because it may not be worth much in the future.

Remember, as with all financial investments, it pays to do your research.

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