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Chapter 2:  Cryptocurrencies

Shiba Inu: the Dogecoin Killer

Interesting Fact:
Did you know that Elon Musk's tweets about his Shiba Inu dog resulted in the Shiba Inu coin surging in price by nearly 300%?
10 minutes

In this section, we’re going to cover what is the infamous Shiba Inu coin! While there are literally thousands of cryptocurrencies that could have sections of their own, Shiba Inu is one of the more-popular assets on the market, and thus, it definitely deserves a separate section.

If you’ve been following crypto trends, you’ve likely seen Dogecoin in the news. It’s a crypto that’s constantly being mentioned in various circles of people, is tweeted about by Elon Musk, and is a very well-known memecoin, in general.

Dogecoin inspired many other dog-themed coins. Most of them were one-day jokes, though, and never became anything more. However, one project skyrocketed towards success - it’s the so-called Shiba Inu coin. 

In this section, we are talking about the Shiba Inu coin. I’ll explain to you what the Shiba Inu coin is, and how it’s different from Dogecoin, and we will also try to unravel what made this crypto project as popular as it is!

Let’s get to it!

What is Shiba Inu Coin? (Explained with Animations)

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Video Explainer: Shiba Inu: the Dogecoin Killer

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What is Shiba Inu Coin? (Explained with Animations)

What is Shiba Inu Coin? (Explained with Animations) What is Shiba Inu Coin? (Explained with Animations)

What is the Shiba Inu Coin / How is It Different From DOGE?

In order to better understand what is Shiba Inu coin, the very first thing that you need to understand is the difference between crypto coins and tokens.

If you want a thorough explanation, I highly recommend going and reading the section about coins and tokens. If you’re in the mood to exclusively learn about the Shiba Inu coin, however, let’s have a quick rundown.

What is a Shiba Inu coin: Token vs coin.

Each blockchain has a coin that’s unique to it. Ethereum has ETH, Bitcoin has BTC, and so on. However, while coins DO have dedicated blockchains of their own, tokens DO NOT - instead, a token is built on a blockchain that supports token development.

Shiba Inu and Dogecoin are the perfect examples of this, too! Dogecoin has a blockchain of its own - hence, it’s considered to be a coin. Shiba Inu, on the other hand, is built on the Ethereum blockchain, and is thus an Ethereum token.

What difference does that make to you? Well, to be frank - none, really. Except, you will now know that calling the project “Shiba Inu COIN” is actually incorrect, speaking strictly in crypto terms. Since everyone is referring to it as a coin, though, I’ll also be doing the same in this section, so as to keep things simple!

Same as Dogecoin, the Shiba Inu coin was actually created as kind of a joke cryptocurrency. Its creator is anonymous, only known as their online pseudonym - Ryoshi.

What is a Shiba Inu coin: Shiba Inu coin vs Dogecoin.

When it was first created, the Shiba Inu coin had but a single goal - to act as an experiment on how a community could decide on project governance. A bit later, it positioned itself as something called a “Dogecoin killer”. Put simply, the community behind the Shiba Inu coin wanted their project to surpass Dogecoin.

One of the strongest arguments for Shiba Inu being a superior crypto project to Dogecoin is the fact that Shiba Inu supports smart contracts. Without getting into too much detail, this basically means that the Shiba Inu coin can have a huge array of uses and functionalities, thanks to it being based on Ethereum.

The Dogecoin blockchain, on the other hand, is similar to Bitcoin’s. With BTC being somewhat of an outdated blockchain network, it has no “smart” functionality, and you can’t really do any advanced stuff with it.

Think of this as two cars - one that was made in, say, 2002, and another that’s modern, made last year. Both cars can get you from point A to point B. However, the first car is going to make a lot of fishy noises along the way, and might even break down a couple of times, if you’re unlucky! While the latter car could also break down, sure, the chance for that to happen is much smaller, and there are heated seats, as well as cruise control, too - that’s a much more comfortable way to travel!

The same is true with Dogecoin and Shiba Inu. While Doge is the OG dog-themed project, Shiba Inu offers much more flexibility and features. You can lend it, stake it, earn interest on it, and more - this is why the Shiba community is so adamant about de-throning DOGE, as the king of animal-themed coins!

What Made the Shiba Inu Coin so Popular?

Getting back to the inception of the Shiba Inu coin, when it was first created back in August of 2020, the project didn’t have anything spectacular to offer to the crypto world - it was mostly viewed as a memecoin. However, more than half a year later, Shiba Inu had a stroke of luck.

Remember when, in the introduction of this section, I said that Elon Musk tends to tweet about Dogecoin? Well, Musk’s tweets are actually accredited as some of the main reasons for the Dogecoin price surge of 2021, too! Coincidentally, Elon had something to do with Shiba Inu’s rise in popularity, as well.

Around half a year after Shiba Inu was created, Elon Musk tweeted that he got a Shiba Inu dog. The crypto markets went crazy - as you can expect, after Elon’s fans saw that there’s an actual coin called “Shiba Inu”, they quickly started buying in. This resulted in the token surging in price by nearly 300%!

What is the Shiba Inu coin: What made the Shiba Inu coin so popular.

This was only the beginning of success for the community behind Shiba Inu. The developers of the token appeared to come up with a genius marketing strategy, whether intentionally or not.

A couple of months after the initial price surge that Shiba Inu saw after Elon’s tweet, the developers of the token decided to send half of the total Shiba Inu token supply to a man named Vitalik Buterin.

Does that name sound familiar? Well, Vitalik Buterin is one of the original founders of Ethereum - the only original founder that is still working on the project, to this day! Many people see Vitalik as “the face of ETH”, even though Ethereum is a decentralized network.

The hypothesis here is that developers of the Shiba Inu coin decided on sending an astonishing amount of tokens to Vitalik, hoping that they could then say - “oh, look guys, even VITALIK believes in our project, and has bought in!”. The fact of the matter is that Vitalik's ETH wallet address is public, so anyone can send him any and all Ethereum-based tokens.

Instead of playing along with this shameless attempt at self-promotion, Vitalik did something unexpected - he donated a small portion of the funds that he got to charity, and then burned the rest of the tokens - in other words, sent them to an inaccessible wallet. The total worth of the burned tokens, at that time, was close to $7 billion.

What is the Shiba Inu coin: Vitalik Buterin.

As you can probably imagine, something like this doesn’t happen without anyone noticing. Ironically, this ended up being the best promotion for the Shiba Inu token - even mainstream news outlets picked up on the story! Also, with fewer tokens now being present in the market, this only further increased the price of the Shiba Inu coin - it was the perfect scenario, really!

After a period of silence, the Shiba Inu coin had once again exploded in price in October of 2021, reaching its all-time high. This huge surge in price was the result of multiple different variables, coming together - the crypto market being super-bullish, Musk continuously tweeting about DOGE, and the general success of Dogecoin, altogether. As Dogecoin increased in popularity, so did the next big dog-themed coin - Shiba Inu.

The Main Features of the Shiba Inu Coin

Now that you have a pretty good idea of what the Shiba Inu coin is and how it became as popular as it has, let’s also take a look at the features that this project offers to its community. After all, Shiba Inu came a long way since its inception, and the passionate fans of the token have come up with various features that could be added to the project!

Currently, one of the main missions of the ShibaArmy (this is what the community behind the Shiba Inu coin is called) is to contribute to the rescue of Shiba Inu dogs around the world. One of the biggest ways to do so is to link your Amazon purchases to the Shiba Inu Rescue Association, via Amazon Smiles.

What is the Shiba Inu coin: The main features of the Shiba Inu coin.

The team behind the Shiba Inu coin endorses this on the official website of the project! It’s a noble cause, and the community can truly help Shiba Inu dogs in need.

Then, you have the Shiba Inu Incubator. That sounds a bit off, but it’s not what you think. Instead, it’s a project proposed by the Shiba community, and oriented around the artists in that very same community.

Specifically, you can apply to become an official Shiba Inu coin artist, by contributing to the cause - in other words, creating artwork that revolves around the project. I’ll admit, the actual details surrounding this initiative are rather scarce, and the Shiba Inu coin official website doesn’t really do much to elaborate on it. Suffice to say that it’s a decentralized NFT project being developed by the team, in relation to the Shiba Inu coin.

What is the Shiba Inu coin: Shiba Inu incubator.

Don’t know what NFTs are? Well, there is a section on this "Bitdegree Crypto 101 Handbook" as well, explaining the concept, thoroughly - here!

Moving on, the developers behind the Shiba Inu coin have even created an entire decentralized exchange, called ShibaSwap! This exchange can be used to trade, exchange, and swap your SHIB tokens. There are also other, supporting tokens involved, as well - tokens that are called LEASH and BONE.

These names really do work in keeping up with the dog theme! Essentially, users of ShibaSwap will be able to not only trade their SHIB tokens on the platform, but also provide liquidity, and even stake tokens in order to earn passive returns.

Liquidity, staking - there are sections on all of these topics in this "Bitdegree Crypto 101 Handbook". So, if there’s something you’re not exactly familiar with, make sure to check them out!

What is the Shiba Inu coin: Trade, exchange, swap.

As you stake your SHIB tokens, and provide liquidity to the project, you will earn the earlier-mentioned BONE tokens. These tokens are called governance tokens - essentially, you could either sell them immediately for a profit, or keep them, and use them to vote on future changes and updates to the Shiba Inu coin project.


As for me writing this section, the Shiba Inu coin project is healthy and strong, and the community behind it is active and inclusive. However, a single look at the price charts of the SHIB token will show you that the price is very far from the all-time high that it reached back in October of 2021.

As you can expect, many people are hoping and waiting for the SHIB token price to rise again. There are even hopes that, one day, the Shiba Inu coin will reach $0,01! However, in order for that to happen, the Shiba project must be worth more than all of the cryptocurrencies currently in existence, combined!

With that, I hope that you’ve learned a lot from this section! If you would like to dive deeper into the world of crypto, make sure to check out other sections such as - "What are NFTs?"