A User’s Guide To Shiba Inu (SHIB)

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Robert has reported for a variety of international publications including the Associated Press, The Guardian, Vice, and Decrypt. Current areas of interest include the political economy of technology, cryptocurrencies, and privacy. Robert has a Bachelor of Science from UCL, and a Master's degree from the University of Oxford's Internet Institute.


Zaid-Ul-Haq is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in blockchain, robotics, IoT, and other emerging technologies. He currently writes about cryptocurrencies for Wealthsimple as well as having written for Analytics Insight and Crypto Briefing. Zaid has a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Comsats University, Pakistan.

Shiba Inu is a kind of cryptocurrency called a “meme coin” because it’s inspired by an Internet meme of a dog breed—the same one that inspired Dogecoin. Meme coins tend to start out as, well, jokes. But Shiba Inu is seriously popular—and the ecosystem around it keeps expanding. Since we believe that understanding what you’re investing in is an important first step to investing, we put together this guide to everything you need to know about Shiba Inu.

What is Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu is a meme coin, partly inspired by its predecessor and competitor, Dogecoin. Though Shiba Inu was created in 2020, seven years after Doge, both coins reference a very popular Internet meme based on the dog breed, Shiba Inu—and both have similarly grown to prominence by being shared widely online. (In the memes, a chubby Shiba Inu charmingly misspells words—including “dog” as “doge.”)

SHIB is one of dozens of Dogecoin spinoffs, among them Baby Dogecoin, Dogelon, and FLOKI, a token named after Elon Musk’s pet Shiba Inu. SHIB started with a token supply of one quadrillion. The SHIB creator locked 50% in a decentralized crypto trading platform called Uniswap and handed the other 50% to Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum.

The project claimed that handing the tokens to Buterin was akin to “burning” them, or removing them from circulation, since Buterin wasn’t likely to notice yet another worthless cryptocurrency project in his wallet. However, when the token took off, Buterin donated a chunk of his tokens to charitable causes before burning a large portion of them.

Although it’s a doge spinoff, shiba inu has a particularly important difference from Dogecoin: DOGE has its own blockchain, while SHIB is built on the very popular Ethereum blockchain, which has far more functions and capabilities than Dogecoin’s does. The Ethereum blockchain is also, as Shiba Inu’s whitepaper put it, “already secure and well-established.” This has let Shiba Inu create a far more diverse ecosystem around the coin.

The Shiba Inu Ecosystem

Building on the Ethereum blockchain has enabled the Shiba Inu community to expand its offerings beyond the SHIB coins to include other tokens, like LEASH, which is similar to SHIB but has a far smaller supply (a little over 100,000 compared to SHIB’s initial supply of one quadrillion), and BONE, which is a “governance token” that allows people who hold it to vote on proposals for how to improve the Shiba Inu network.

The Shiba Inu ecosystem also includes ShibaSwap, which is an exchange in which users can use those three coins to contribute to the community in several different ways, and earn crypto for doing so. Users can “dig” by adding to the platform’s liquidity pool; in return, they earn special tokens, which they can then cash out—or “woof”—and receive BONE coins in return. They can also “bury” by staking SHIB, LEASH, and BONE coins and receive yields paid out in BONE. On Shibaswap, users can also trade unique NFTs of cartoons of Shiba Inus. Or they can simply track the returns they earned from “digging” and “burying” in their “Bonefolio.”

How to Buy Shiba Inu

Beyond ShibaSwap, SHIB (and LEASH and BONE) can be bought on crypto trading platforms and brokerages. Our favorite, no surprise, is Wealthsimple.

To buy Shiba Inu from a centralized crypto trading platform, you’ll need to create an account, verify your identity, and then buy your SHIB with a cryptocurrency, a stablecoin, or a fiat currency, like the U.S. dollar. (To buy SHIB from a decentralized platform, like ShibaSwap, you’ll have to send Ethereum-based cryptocurrency to a browser-based Ethereum wallet, then connect your wallet to the decentralized crypto trading platform through its website.)

Yes, we’re biased, but we think a crypto brokerage like Wealthsimple Crypto tends to be easier to use than a crypto trading platform, especially for investors new to crypto. It is also regulated, and insured, and it allows users to purchase Shiba Inu directly with fiat currency.

What’s next for Shiba Inu

The Shibarium Layer-2 is one of the most anticipated upgrades to the SHIB platform. According to developers, Shibarium Layer-2 will eliminate the high transaction costs associated with transactions on Ethereum. The release date hasn’t been set yet, but some rumors say it could launch in 2022.

ShibaNet is another possible future development. Shiba’s volunteer project lead, Shytoshi Kusama, says “ShibaNet is a new way for any business, or person to sell products.” Using the SHI stablecoin, users will be able to buy and sell products and services on ShibaNet. To get the SHI stablecoin, you have to use ShibaSwap to swap other tokens to SHI.

Then there’s gaming. Playside and Shiba Inu Games have signed a strategic work-for-hire contract. According to the highlights of the agreement, Playside Studios, Australia’s largest publicly listed video games developer, and William Volk will make a multiplayer collectible card game which is planned to be released in around July 2022. There will be two versions of the game, classic mobile game will bring in more casual players, while the blockchain game will have 1,000 SHIB-themed cards that will add value to the Shiboshi NFTs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before purchasing Shiba Inu coin or any other cryptocurrency, understand that the crypto is highly volatile and often unregulated. The SHIB coin, as compared to other top cryptocurrencies, has relatively few developers working on it and is mostly driven by its community, known as the “Shib Army.” Price surges mostly tend to occur due to being listed on a crypto trading platform. Like all crypto, SHIB is a highly risky asset.

Shiba Inu runs on a blockchain (a digital ledger of transactions distributed across a network of computers). Specifically, it utilizes the Ethereum blockchain, which enables it to use smart contracts and work with decentralized applications. SHIB coins can be bought, traded, and sold on crypto trading platforms or brokerages, like Wealthsimple.

No matter where you bought your SHIB tokens, you can easily sell them. If you’ve kept your SHIB tokens in a wallet, you’ll need to create an account on a crypto trading platform that supports Shiba Inu to be able to sell the coins. If your Shiba Inu coins are in a crypto brokerage like Wealthsimple, you can immediately sell them and, if you wish, cash out.

Shiba Inu cannot be mined. While Shiba Inu was inspired by Dogecoin, which users can mine on the Dogecoin blockchain, Shiba Inu is built on the Ethereum blockchain, which does not make mining possible. However, there are some mining pools that allow you to mine coins like Ethereum and in turn reward you with SHIB coins.

The easiest way to short Shiba Inu coin is through margin trading. As this trading option is quite risky, only a few cryptocurrency trading platforms allow short selling. To start shorting Shiba Inu, open a margin account, provide some collateral for your short positions, borrow some coins from the trading platform, and start short-selling it. Keep in mind that shorting SHIB or any other cryptocurrency is highly risky.

As of June 22, 2022, the price of Shiba Inu (SHIB) is $0.00001023 and it has a market cap of over $5.6 billion.

Last Updated June 23, 2022

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