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What is Shiba Inu (SHIB)?

Floating shiba Inu coins with floating bones in front of orange background

Until recently, most people believed that memes were funny but had no monetary value or real-world utility. With the rise of meme coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, some in the crypto market have begun to change their minds. This guide will explain what Shiba Inu is and how it differs from other meme coins such as Dogecoin. It will also explore the Shiba Inu ecosystem and look at why this coin is so popular.

What is Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu (SHIB) is a meme coin that is billed as the “Dogecoin killer”. Shiba Inu gets its name from the Japanese breed of dog, which was originally bred for hunting. Shiba Inu dogs are known for their good nature. They are incidentally the same breed of dog that inspired the original Doge meme.

Who created SHIB?

SHIB was created in August 2020 by a developer known only as Ryoshi. The identity of Shiba Inu’s creator is as mysterious as Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. Through a blog post on Medium, Ryoshi – which means “fisherman” in Japanese – said: “I’ve said from the start, I’m nobody, I’m not important. (Anyone who) attempts to dismantle my identity, even if successful, (it) will be disappointing. I’m just a non-consequential guy typing on a keyboard and I’m replaceable. I’m Ryoshi.”

Did You Know?

The creator of Shiba Inu, Ryoshi, doesn’t own any Shiba Inu coins! If he did, he would most certainly be a billionaire. But he claims that if he owned SHIB tokens, he wouldn’t be able to be what he is today (presumably this means anonymous).

What are meme coins?

Meme coins are cryptocurrencies based on popular internet memes. Dogecoin (DOGE), released in 2013, was the original meme coin, based on the once-popular Doge meme. Since then, hundreds of meme coins have been created, many of which are dog-themed cryptocurrencies. Shiba Inu is perhaps the most successful attempt so far, at least in terms of brand awareness and market capitalization.

Generally speaking, meme coins have limited use cases or utility. Because of this, their lifespan is likely shorter than mainstream cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. As a result, most meme coins are only tradeable on small or niche trading platforms. Shiba Inu’s price is often very low. This is because most meme coins have a huge circulating supply of coins.

Meme coins have been incredibly profitable for crypto investors in recent times. For instance, from the start of 2021 until its all-time high in May, DOGE increased by over 20,000%. Astonishingly, SHIB has performed even better, with a 27,000,000% percent increase since the start of 2021 through to its all-time high in October 2021. But meme coins are also extremely volatile, and when they dump, they dump hard and fast.

Important to Remember

Always be cautious of who you take financial advice from and only invest what you can afford to lose. This is great advice for all cryptocurrency investments, but it is especially important when it comes to meme coins. This is because although they can skyrocket in a short amount of time, they can also crash just as quickly.

Shiba Inu vs Dogecoin: What’s the difference?


DOGE runs on its own blockchain, which is based on a fork of Litecoin called Luckycoin. In terms of code, it is quite similar to Bitcoin, and functions as a cheap and efficient payment method with vendors that accept it as payment. In contrast, SHIB is an ERC20 token, based on the Ethereum network. This means that, unlike DOGE, SHIB can utilise the power of smart contracts, which is exactly what ShibaSwap does. More on that later.


DOGE originally launched with a supply limit of 100 billion coins. Two years after its launch, however, all of the coins had been mined. At that point, the developers changed the code so that five billion DOGE could be mined every year. Therefore, DOGE is an inflationary currency.

SHIB has a very different supply system. SHIB launched with a total supply of one quadrillion coins. Upon launch, the creator locked half of the total supply in Uniswap, one of the leaders in decentralized finance (DeFi), in order to provide trading liquidity. The other five hundred trillion SHIB were sent to Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, who chose to burn 90% of the tokens and donate the rest to charity. This means that the total supply of SHIB is just below six hundred trillion. Because there will only ever be this amount in circulation and more cannot be mined, SHIB is a deflationary asset.

How did SHIB rise to fame?

Shiba Inu was relatively unknown until Tesla CEO Elon Musk and other influential personalities began to take interest in Dogecoin. In the build-up to Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live in May, he hinted that he would mention DOGE on the show. This fuelled a strong DOGE rally, which peaked with a market cap of almost $90 billion USD. The Shiba Inu price received a boost as well. This is around the time when SHIB began to be listed on the bigger cryptocurrency exchanges, which promoted further brand awareness and SHIB price growth.

Important to Remember

Meme coins are especially susceptible to price manipulation. The tweets of Elon Musk have proven this. Several meme coins have pumped because of a few words, or a photo posted by Musk. They have also dumped in reactions to his tweets as well. Be careful who you take investment advice from.

The Shiba Inu ecosystem

Shiba Inu has an ever-expanding ecosystem, which is documented on the Shiba Inu website. The SHIB ecosystem includes an exchange, an artist incubator, and a series of NFTs.


ShibaSwap is a decentralized exchange (DEX), where you can trade SHIB and various other cryptocurrencies. The exchange is peppered with canine terminology, as one might expect from a joke currency. Besides the main swap functionality of the exchange, users can use features like “dig” (provide liquidity) to earn BONE tokens or “bury” (staking) to earn staking rewards.

Besides SHIB, there are two tokens that are integral to the ShibaSwap platform. BONE is a governance token. In the future, it will enable holders to vote on community proposals and upgrades to ShibaSwap using a governance platform known as Doggy DAO. Users can also earn LEASH tokens, which don’t appear to have any utility outside of being used for staking on the ShibaSwap platform.

Shiba artist incubator  

The Shiba Inu community has proposed a non-fungible token (NFT) art incubator known as the Shiba Artist Incubator. It encourages fellow dog-inspired artists from all over the world to introduce their Shiba Inus to the NFT market. According to the proposal, the incubator would feature photographs, paintings, and digital compositions.


In October 2021, the SHIB team released a series of 10,000 NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain called “Shiboshis”. Each NFT is a unique pixel art portrait of a Shiba Inu dog. The team also announced an upcoming NFT game called the Shiboshi Game. The SHIB team claims that the NFTs will be used in the game for “strategic gameplay”.

How to buy Shiba Inu coin

You can buy SHIB from most big digital currency exchanges. Swyftx is a popular crypto exchange across Australia and New Zealand where users can buy and sell Shiba Inu with low fees and spreads, store it in their own secure digital wallet, and perform all of their other crypto trading.


Shiba Inu is a popular meme token. It was founded as a joke currency and is largely an imitation of Dogecoin. Despite this, SHIB has a decent ecosystem that is ever-expanding. This piece explored what Shiba Inu is and how it is different from other meme coins such as Dogecoin. It has also looked at the Shiba ecosystem and explained why this coin is so popular. If you would like to learn more about cryptocurrency or memes coins such as DOGE, Swyftx Learn has plenty of great content.

Disclaimer: The information on Swyftx Learn is for general educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice, personal recommendation, or an offer of, or solicitation to, buy or sell any assets. It has been prepared without regard to any particular investment objectives or financial situation and does not purport to cover any legal or regulatory requirements. Customers are encouraged to do their own independent research and seek professional advice. Swyftx makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content. Any references to past performance are not, and should not be taken as a reliable indicator of future results. Make sure you understand the risks involved in trading before committing any capital. Never risk more than you are prepared to lose. Consider our Terms of Use and Risk Disclosure Statement for more details.