Shiba Inu (SHIB) is one of the most popular tokens in the cryptocurrency market. While some people (such as Bitcoin maximalists) may continue to turn up their noses at the three-year-old meme token, it continues to attract the interest of investors who hope it still has many big rallies to come. In fact, Google Trends data shows that it often ranks higher for searches than many other top-100 altcoins, while WhaleStats currently lists it as the most traded and most held ERC-20 token (in terms of dollar value of
total investments) among large investors.
Yes, SHIB was launched in 2020 as a sort of plagiarized copy of Dogecoin, and yet it shows no sign of disappearing (at least not yet). It also has a couple of important launches to look forward to this year, with the upcoming launch of the Shibarium level two network that promises to make using SHIB and apps in the Shiba Inu ecosystem easier and cheaper. In addition to this, there is also the promise of SHIB: The Metaverse, a planned virtual world that will satisfy both individual users and companies, generating greater
demand for SHIB.
These new launches make it credible to say that Shiba Inu’s days of being a trendy meme symbol are numbered. However, is there really a demand for faster Shiba Inu transactions that Shibarium will satisfy? And is there an equally big demand for a Shiba Inu branded metaverse, which will help SHIB offer big rallies in the future?
Shibarium Mainnet promises to boost the Shiba Inu ecosystem
Last month marked the beta launch of Shibarium, a long-awaited tier two network for Shiba Inu transactions that aims to stimulate the growth of the ecosystem surrounding the meme token.
Running on the Ethereum blockchain (which Shiba Inu currently uses), Shibarium will allow “faster, cheaper and more private transactions to be processed off-chain, while relying on the security of the underlying blockchain,” as explained in the official introductory blog published in January.
Interestingly, it will also introduce a basic commission burning mechanism, which means that “all transactions on the network will have an implicit amount of burn.” Although this amount has not yet been specified, it could result in a significant reduction in the amount of SHIB in circulation, something that in turn could increase the price of the altcoin
However, as promising as Shibarium may seem in theory, its beta launch hasn’t been without its incidents. First, it emerged soon after the beta was published that its developers had taken part of its code from another new chain (called Rinia), with some observers claiming that the entire Shibarium source code had been stolen from the lesser-known
While the Shibarium developers quickly responded with the explanation that only the ID of the level two chain (and not its entire code) had been taken from Rinia, the mini-scandal nonetheless had the effect of silencing SHIB’s response to the launch of the beta. In fact, the price of SHIB fell when the above rumors surfaced on March 16, while the coin has only increased by 7% since the beta launched on March 11, with questions about the Shibarium code still lingering. By contrast, bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETC) increased by 40% and 30%, respectively, over the same period of time
More generally, it’s also worth pointing out that there is currently only one significant app in the Shiba Inu ecosystem. This is the decentralized exchange ShibaSwap, which currently has a 24-hour trading volume of between $2.5 million and $2.8 million (depending on whether you ask CoinGecko or CoinMarketCap). This makes it only the 54th largest DEX on the market, while it would rank around 95th if it were a centralized spot exchange..
In other words, there isn’t much of a Shiba Inu ecosystem currently, and it’s entirely questionable that this has very little to do with the lack of a level two focused on Shiba Inu. Why can’t apps that want to use SHIB in some way or be Shiba Inu themed not be able to use one of the two existing (and tried and tested) levels, such as Polygon, Arbitrum
Apart from this skepticism, the official Shibarium launchpad states that “more than 7,000” applications have been sent from projects that want to create apps on the level two network. Of course, those claims haven’t come with anything in the way of independent testing or confirmation, but the data suggests that the contributors are at least using the Shibarium testnet. Therefore, the possibility remains that over time it will lead to a growth in apps and, by extension, to an increase in the SHIB price
A pinch of salt
That there is interest in building on Shibarium is supported by the fact mentioned above that Shiba Inu remains a popular cryptocurrency among the general public and the cryptocurrency community. That said, it must be remembered that Shiba Inu may not be as popular as some would have you believe
Recently, some cryptocurrency outlets published the news that the coin was the most searched token on Google in the United States in March, a statement that was widely regurgitated on Twitter. This is completely false, as revealed by a cursory look at the real data. For example, Shiba Inu is nowhere near as popular as Bitcoin, as the chart below
makes abundantly clear.
Yes, Shiba Inu occasionally ranks higher than other altcoins (like Dogecoin and Ethereum), but it’s only marginally higher, and not always. Therefore, claims about its apparent popularity and/or success must be viewed with a certain degree of caution. In fact, since these are cryptocurrencies, they could be little more than attempts to pump up the price of the coin
However, Shiba Inu has other things to expect besides Shibarium, including SHIB: The Metaverse. The details of this Shiba Inu themed digital world are rather scarce, with its official announcement (published in March 2022) stating that it will consist of 100,595 plots of land, which will be divided into four districts (Growth, Defense, Technology and Currencies). Most of these pieces of land will be purchasable as NFTs, while they will also be classified into four levels based on desirability and utility
That is all. SHIB: The Metaverse will use SHIB, LEASH and BONE as native tokens, something that will increase demand for each of these native Shiba Inu tokens. Not long after this has been heard since last year, although it has updated its official website and released an alpha preview of one of its areas..
As with Shibarium (on which it will work), SHIB: The Metaverse is a superficial good idea, but it remains to be seen if it can actually take off. Despite the hype, no metaverse has yet gained real traction, making it an unproven concept (at least for now). Meta has poured billions into its vision of the metaverse, with only losses to show for it. And despite SHIB: The Metaverse’s aspirations to become “the future of entertainment, business, and gaming,” will real companies queue up to sign partnerships
At this point, it’s hard to imagine that they will, just as it’s hard to imagine Shiba Inu escaping its reputation as “just a meme token” anytime soon. A cynic might even argue that the planned launches of Shibarium and SHIB: The Metaverse are just a way to keep the Shiba Inu hype train moving for
a little longer.
However, even with these doubts, Shiba Inu continues to attract the attention and interest of various parts of the cryptocurrency community and the general public. So while it seems unlikely that it will become a major and serious cryptocurrency in the near future, it would be unwise to rule out
such a scenario completely.