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Shiba Inu came out of nowhere during fall 2021 and made many early investors very wealthy with its community-focused meme coins, but is it any good?
Meme coins have been a surprisingly successful niche in cryptocurrency, and one token that caused a tidal wave of interest was Shiba Inu (SHIB). Meme cryptocurrency history began with Dogecoin (DOGE) in 2013 with former Google engineer Jackson Palmer. Bitcoin had recently undergone its first halving event and was experiencing a massive wave of speculative interest. This resulted in dozens of alternative cryptocurrency blockchains being developed from Bitcoin's source code to solve all the world's problems, though most of these applications of cryptocurrency were ridiculous and doomed to fail (i.e. using Potcoin for marijuana purchases is absurd when cash is easier, safer, and less volatile).
This was the first cryptocurrency altcoin season, and due to the ridiculousness and self-seriousness of the projects at that time, Palmer decided to release a cryptocurrency that was absurd, ridiculous, useless, and a (supposedly) terrible speculative investment: Dogecoin. To everyone's surprise, DOGE has survived the crypto-crucible and remains relevant today, and no other meme coin has been able to overtake it.
Related: Will Dogecoin Ever Reach $1?
However, Shiba Inu seemingly came out of nowhere in 2021 and presented itself as a serious challenger to Dogecoin, even going so far as calling itself the "Dogecoin Killer". The Shiba Inu 'Woofpaper' discusses the three-token ecosystem of SHIB, LEASH, and BONE tokens, which can be locked in the ShibaSwap decentralized exchange (DEX) to earn crypto rewards, but other than BONE's use as a governance token there doesn't appear to be any other use for these tokens. Investopedia points out that while Shiba Inu claims to be capable of overtaking Dogecoin in market share, and even though it actually accomplished this for a very brief moment in 2021, it still lacks any compelling use cases that would give it a long-term edge over DOGE. SHIB mostly became popular due to its controversial launch of delivering 50 percent of its total token supply to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who proceeded to burn 45 percent and donated the remaining 5 percent to charity, which gave tremendous visibility to Shiba Inu.
DOGE provides even less alleged utility than SHIB at this time, but meme coins have never been about utility and have always been about speculative hype-waves and memes, and nothing memes harder than Elon Musk's Twitter effect on meme coins. Regardless, Shiba Inu has spent the past year pivoting its image towards more utility for its community, but hasn't manifested anything substantial as of yet. The ShibaSwap Blog reported in March 2022 about the development of a SHIB metaverse, and Shiba Inu has an official NFT collection that can be bought on OpenSea, but still offers little for its users that could drive demand for the token.
SHIB was built on Ethereum and can be used in Ethereum's blockchain smart contracts, but this also restricts SHIB's usefulness to Ethereum's jaw-droppingly awful blockchain gas fees. Otherwise, SHIB is just another doge-themed cryptocurrency riding on DOGE's coattails, and like all other dog-coins sees major pumps and dumps in response to Elon Musk's Twitter activity.
While Shiba Inu goes several extra miles in replacing common crypto terminology with fun dog-themed terminology and is even building a metaverse for its fanatical community, there isn't much at this time to indicate that SHIB will ever overtake DOGE again. Expensive JPEGs, yield-farming capabilities, and promises of a doge-themed metaverse can't overtake the Elon Musk effect, and unless Shiba Inu can drastically reinvent itself it may not be able to overtake the 'Dogefather's' support for DOGE.
Next: Why Did Elon Musk's Takeover Of Twitter Cause Dogecoin To Double In Price?
Source: ShibaToken, Investopedia, ShibaSwap Blog
Phoenix is a blockchain enthusiast, aspiring smart contract developer, and a student of computer science. Joining Screen Rant's Tech team in 2022 and leveraging his own technical understanding of the subjects, he reports on the most interesting events and advancements of the fast-paced world of the blockchain industry, Web3, and the emerging Metaverse.

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