Introduction to Shiba Inu (SHIB)

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by Tokoni Uti · 9 min read
Introduction to Shiba Inu (SHIB)
Photo: Depositphotos

The guide deals with the Shiba Inu coin. This Shiba Inu dog-themed meme token started as an experiment and aims to become a Dogecoin killer.

Shiba Inu has risen to become one of the most recognizable meme coins in the industry, having been derived from a meme of a Shiba Inu dog. The SHIB token is one of the top dog-themed coins and like others of the genre, it has seen both success and harsh criticism.

What Is Shiba Inu Meme Coin?

The Shiba Inu meme coin is a Shiba Inu dog-themed token born out of internet culture. It was founded in August 2020, with the founders being unknown and going simply by the pseudonym ‘Ryoshi’.

Ryoshi, in official communication, said that they designed the token to explore the concept of true decentralization, meaning that they would have the same chances of owning a token as everyone else. On top of this, the token was created to be a direct competitor to Dogecoin (see DOGE price data), arguably the most famous meme coin in the market. This has earned the SHIB token the title of ‘Dogecoin killer’ and has led to endless comparisons between the two.

At the same time, there are a few factors that help to set the Shiba Inu meme coin apart. Firstly, it is based on the Ethereum (see ETH price data) blockchain, making it an ERC-20 token. The reason for this, according to its founder, was the aim to ensure security and protect its decentralization goals.

Secondly, what makes the Shiba Inu ecosystem unique is that it has multiple tokens besides the SHIB token such as the BONE and LEASH tokens.

The Shiba Inu ecosystem also has ShibaSwap, a dedicated decentralized exchange (DEX) where users may trade their tokens, and an NFT collection Shiboshis.

Additionally, community members can engage on SHIB the metaverse, a virtual world where they can engage with others, earn rewards, and create different projects.

Shiba Inu: Roadmap

Shiba Inu has had a number of notable moments over the years:

  • August 2020: Shiba Inu token is founded by Royshi, an anonymous creator.
  • May 16, 2021: Vitalik Buterin burns $6 billion worth of SHIB given to him by its creators.
  • July 2021: ShibaSwap is launched; eToro lists SHIB.
  • October 2021: Shiboshi is launched; SHIB hits 1 million followers on X (formerly known as Twitter).
  • November 2021: SHIB surpasses Ethereum in X followers.
  • May 2022: Royshi abandons SHIB.
  • April 2022: SHIB is listed on Robinhood.
  • May 2023: SHIB reaches 3.7 million followers on X platform.
  • March 2024: The Shiba Inu community (SHIBARMY) launches a petition to Grayscale Investments to explore a SHIB ETF; the SHIBARMY subreddit hits 500,000 members.
  • May 24, 2024: Kabosu, the dog that inspired the token, dies.

How Shiba Inu Works

As we’ve said, Shiba Inu is based on the Ethereum blockchain, which means that it can be used to deploy smart contracts and decentralized applications. This gives it a leg up above many other meme coins and makes the ecosystem more robust. The Shiba Inu meme coin is not ‘mined’ via mathematical puzzles the way that proof-of-work tokens like Bitcoin (see BTC price data) are. Instead, users have to mine another token like Ether and then swap it for SHIB.

There are also mining pools like UnMineable that mine other tokens and automatically swap them for SHIB. Transactions within the ecosystem are validated using a proof-of-stake consensus and those who choose to act as validators receive LEASH tokens.

Shiba Inu Ecosystem

Shiba Inu is renowned for its robust ecosystem that touches on virtually every application of blockchain technology, from crypto to NFTs.

One of the important parts of this ecosystem is its BONE, LEASH, and SHIB tokens.

There is the BONE token, which is a governance token of the ecosystem and is used by participants to vote on various resolutions. There is also the LEASH token which is given to validators as staking rewards. The SHIB token is used as a utility token and is the ‘spendable’ token of the ecosystem. The SHIB token, BONE token, and LEASH token have a maximum supply of 999.98 trillion, 250,000,000, and 107,550 respectively.

There is also its DEX ShibaSwap, its NFT collection Shiboshis, and its virtual world SHIB the metaverse. ShibaSwap has acted as a means of cultivating the Shiba Inu community and making it easier for users to trade SHIB for other tokens. Siboshis is an NFT collection with 10,000 assets stored on the Ethereum blockchain that can also be traded on ShibaSwap. Additionally, community members can engage on SHIB the metaverse, a virtual world where they can engage with others, earn rewards, and create different projects.

The Shiba Inu incubator is another arm of the ecosystem where creative projects such as paintings, digital art, and photography are supported. These artistic renderings are turned into NFTs and Shiboshis was one of the Shiba Inu incubator’s first projects to come to fruition.

SHIB Token

SHIB is the utility token of the Shiba Inu ecosystem and is the one that is most widely used. An ERC-20 token, it has become the face of the ecosystem. When the token was first rolled out, it had a total supply of 1 quadrillion tokens. However, the anonymous creator Royshi gave about half of this supply (505 trillion SHIB tokens) to Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum. Vitalik then went on to burn 90% of his supply by transferring them to a dead address on May 16, 2021. At the time, those tokens were worth about $6 billion and Buterin stated that he didn’t want to have undue influence on the project. The other 10% was donated.

This action contributed to the token seeing a price spike and lent some credence to suspicions that the Ethereum team is somehow involved with the Shiba Inu meme coin. The other 50% of the SHIB supply was locked by Royshi in Uniswap’s liquidity pool. SHIB operates using a deflationary model, which means that its supply is routinely burned, which increases the value of its circulating supply.

Benefits & Concerns

Having operated in the market for a few years, SHIB offers the following benefits to investors:

  • Deflationary model. SHIB operates under a deflationary model that burns off some of the token supply. This means that the circulating tokens go up in value and investors can profit.
  • Availability of a DEX. By providing a dedicated DEX, the Shiba Inu ecosystem offers convenience and a vetted platform for its users to take advantage of. This also makes Shiba Inu unique compared to other tokens in the industry.
  • Ethereum foundation. SHIB is based on the Ethereum network, which means that it has access to all the benefits that come with it. These include flexible fee structures, security, and compatibility with a wide range of decentralized apps and can be used to deploy smart contracts.
  • Anonymous founder. Some tokens see negative effects due to the public perception of their creators. However, SHIB’s founder Royshi remains anonymous, so this will not be an issue.
  • Incubator and metaverse. The Shiba Inu ecosystem is very robust as it has both an incubator for the launch of various NFT collections and a metaverse for users to connect with.
  • Alternative token. SHIB offers an alternative to other meme coins like Dogecoin, which gives investors more choice.

Despite all of this, there are still some concerns regarding SHIB, some of which are as follows:

  • Lack of transparency. While having an anonymous founder means that their personal issues will not impact the token, it also means that there is a lack of transparency around its leadership. Royshi does not communicate with the community, unlike some other crypto founders, especially since they left, which could pose an issue.
  • Low adoption. SHIB has seen lower adoption rates compared to other tokens like Dogecoin and it is unclear if it can catch up to the first dog token.
  • Confusion around tokenomics. While the BONE token is to be used as a governance token, it is also given out as a reward on ShibaSwap and has a limited supply. The way some see it, this makes it inefficient.
  • Scalability. Being based on the Ethereum network means that SHIB suffers from its flaws, including scalability issues.

Buying SHIB

While SHIB cannot be mined in the ‘traditional’ way, there are venues to buy it if you’d like to use it as an investment. First, there are centralized exchanges such as Coinbase, Binance, and Gemini that offer SHIB trading pairs. If you want to get it via a DEX, ShibaSwap is the most obvious option. However, other DEXs such as Uniswap also have it available. Finally, peer-to-peer platforms are also an option for those looking to buy SHIB.

As the token spends more time in the market, more places will likely list it for trading.

Influencers’ Opinion

SHIB has proven to be a big hit on social media, amassing millions of followers on X/Twitter and tens of thousands of users on its official Telegram. Supporters of the Shiba Inu token refer to themselves as ShibArmy online and are a very engaged community.

It has also gained a lot of attention from influential figures such as Elon Musk, who tweeted multiple times about Shiba Inu.

In May 2024, Elon Musk tweeted about the passing of Kabosu, the dog that inspired the tokens, and shared a picture of the iconic Shiba Inu dog.

Cryptocurrency influencer and founder of Gokhshtein Media David Gokhshtein also tweeted back in 2022 that he was buying the token.

Others included Duncan Gray, who was even acknowledged by the SHIB team, and top crypto educator Davinci Jeremie.

Several influencers consider themselves a part of the ShibArmy such as SHIB HODLER and SHIB Informer who have hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter/X.

Bottom Line

SHIB might have started out as a ‘Dogecoin Killer’ but it is carving out a niche for itself as one of the most dynamic meme coins on the market. While it deals with controversy like other meme coins, it has made a big mark in a short time.



What is Shiba Inu?

 Shiba Inu is an Ethereum-based meme coin launched in 2020. 

Who created Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu was created by an anonymous developer simply known as Royshi.

How does Shiba Inu work?

Shiba Inu tokens are swapped for other tokens and can be used for smart contracts and decentralized apps.

How are SHIB tokens mined?

Shiba Inu tokens are already in a fixed supply and are not mined. Instead, users may exchange them for other tokens they have mined. 

Why does Shiba Inu have three tokens?

The Shiba Inu ecosystem is very robust and has tokens for various purposes. These include SHIB for utility, BONE for voting, and LEASH for staking.

How to buy Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu can be bought in a variety of centralized and decentralized exchanges as well as on peer-to-peer platforms.

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