Shiba Inu (SHIB) is an Ethereum-based ERC-20 token, called by its founder Ryoshi “an experiment in decentralized spontaneous community building”. Launched as a meme token in 2020, it started generating a lot of hype in the spring of 2021.
What Is SHIBA INU?
Shiba Inu (SHIB) is an Ethereum-based ERC-20 token, called by its founder Ryoshi “an experiment in decentralized spontaneous community building”. Launched as a meme token in 2020, it started generating a lot of hype in the spring of 2021. Such a jump in popularity has been caused in part by the growing awareness about the existence of the meme coins, of which Dogecoin is the most widely known (SHIB is dubbed “Dogecoin killer”) and in large part by Elon Musk’s tweets. Its team is also inspired by the WallStreetBets subreddit going up against the Wall Street giants as an example of the decentralized collective effort. The principles on which SHIB was founded are: building something from zero, forging a community without preexisting connections, and, of course, the love of Shiba Inu dogs.
SHIB is a part of the growing ecosystem being developed by the same team. At the moment of writing, LEASH token has been issued within the same ecosystem and BONE token is coming soon (and more tokens are in the works); the team is also preparing to launch a decentralized exchange called ShibaSwap where those tokens will be listed. Another known project is the Shiba Artist Incubator, which encourages artists in the community to create NFTs. There are also other far-reaching plans, such as building the ecosystem’s own blockchain and organizing cons.
1 quadrillion tokens were minted at launch. Half of the SHIB’s supply was locked into Uniswap as it was issued, another half was given by the founders to the Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin – either for safekeeping or as an experiment, as Ryoshi claimed (Buterin eventually donated a large number of his tokens to India COVID Relief, which prompted a price dip and some panic in the community; Buterin later burned most of the remaining supply). The decision to give the whole supply away ensured that the developers didn’t have a “private stash” or team tokens, which put them in the same position as everyone else in the community. This community is collectively known as SHIBArmy, which at the time of writing includes more than 150,000 people and keeps growing; besides just investing or trading SHIB, people are encouraged to become volunteers and help with the project.
Pros and Cons of SHIBA INU
At the heart of this project’s ideology is the strong commitment to decentralization: as mentioned before, the team doesn’t get special privileges; its founder is anonymous, known only as Ryoshi. The project is claimed to be made from scratch with no investments; the team strongly recommends Uniswap as an exchange because of its decentralized nature. This is appealing to many people who share the same convictions.
The ambitious plan to develop the whole ecosystem, including an upcoming exchange launch, is promising too, as its realization should help the project gain further momentum, grow and engage the community. Shiba Artist Incubator is an interesting example of the ecosystem’s potential use. The community itself - SHIBArmy - is also something to consider: since SHIB is an experiment in community building, having one that is so vibrant and committed is a definite success, and the speed with which it grows keeps the excitement levels high. It’s also worth mentioning that in an effort to become truly decentralized, the project’s team supports people working on improvements so anyone can potentially become a part of the team.
There are plans to launch SHIB’s own level 2 blockchain Shibarium, which in the long run should help with potential scalability issues.
One other positive aspect of SHIB and the community is its support for Shiba Inu dogs: besides the obvious use of memes, SHIB publicly supports Shiba Inu Rescue Association by encouraging members to donate to this charity using Amazon Smile.
SHIB doesn’t have any unique use cases, besides transferring funds, same as many other tokens. Also, as a meme token, SHIB is potentially even more volatile than more traditional crypto projects. The meme tokens by definition stay afloat due to their viral popularity, so their value depends on the social media influencers’ opinions and attitudes, and there is an open question of what becomes to the meme token when the meme itself gets retired, as they tend to.
There is also a big controversy surrounding Vitalik Buterin’s decision to donate his tokens to charity. Whatever their feelings about the decision itself may be, many members of community, more importantly, expressed their concern about the way the initial transfer to Buterin was presented to the public: on the project’s website it is said those tokens were “burned”, which at the moment led many to believe that they were permanently taken away from circulation. The fact that these tokens were actually still in circulation raised questions whether this was just a poor choice of words on the founder’s part or intentional misrepresentation and if it’s the latter – whether anything else the founder says can be trusted.
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