In the heady crypto days of summer 2020, Shiba Inu was born. The Ethereum-based meme token wasn’t good for much, but it was cute and charming, and Elon Musk liked it.
Now, the dog-themed “Doge-killer” is working to shed its old image, adding new functionality and gaining wider acceptance. Among its new development projects, the Shibarium Layer-2 solution is the most significant. It’s set to launch later this year, possibly by the end of June.
At the same time, the recent disappearance of Shiba Inu’s founder has some worried about its long-term future.
A strange beginning
Shiba Inu has a unique and curious history. The SHIB token was launched in 2020 with 1 quadrillion tokens, each having an infinitesimal value of about one hundred-millionth of a penny. Its anonymous creator, “Ryoshi,” locked 50% of the supply in the Uniswap DEX. The other half was sent to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who in May 2021 burned 90% and donated the remainder to the India COVID-19 Relief Fund.
In May 2021, soon after its adversary, Dogecoin, shot up into the crypto stratosphere, SHIB’s value suddenly surged over 6 million percent in a month, becoming a top-10 coin by market capitalization. This growth reflected the rampant, wild speculation of last year’s boom, since the token had no practical use case. Any applications wanting to utilize it would be hampered by the speed and costs of its underlying Ethereum platform.
What the dog-themed token does have is a very enthusiastic (some might say fanatical) community. In late 2021, a development team led by Shytoshi Kusama and supported by venture capital firm Xfund began working on a Layer-2 solution, Shibarium, that would enable development of a variety of Shiba Inu-based projects.
Shibarium is claimed to closely resemble Polygon in operation and performance, with transactions “approved in seconds for pennies,” According to Shytoshi’s May 11 ShibaSwap blog post, it will use the BONE token already in service as the governance token for the ShibaSwap decentralized exchange.
SHI will be its official stablecoin, pegged at US$0.01. Shytoshi confirmed in the post that SHI development is also nearing completion. However, he refused to provide a release date, saying only that testing would begin shortly.
He also mentioned the launch of the Shibarium Financial Ecosystem (ShibFE), saying that it’s being developed in tandem with SHI. Quoting a since-deleted Medium article by Ryoshi, he posted:
“... we expect a multitude of Forks of the financial basis onto the Shibarium, this includes AAVE, CURVE, COMPOUND, and of course ShibaSwap to name a few.”
A dark cloud…
Amid all the new development, Shiba Inu founder Ryoshi recently vanished, after deleting all of his tweets and blog posts but, curiously, keeping his accounts open. His disappearance triggered concern bordering on panic among the faithful. The SHIB burn rate temporarily sank to 64%, a sign of less activity and lower confidence.
Skytoshi dismissed fears about his disappearance, saying the rest of the development team would “actualize Ryoshi’s vision and plan for this grand experiment.”
... and silver linings
Meanwhile, acceptance of SHIB grows. São Paulo FC announced this week it has begun accepting crypto payments via the Bitso platform, including SHIB. The new payment option will be available for all São Paulo home games, exclusively to São Paulo FC fanclub members.
According to Bitso Marketing Director Antônio Mota, “Being able to make this service available for the first time in Brazil represents an important step in Bitso’s mission to make cryptocurrencies more accessible and useful in people’s daily lives, promoting more freedom and financial inclusion for Brazilians.”
Also this week, Bitstamp said it would finally list SHIB for trading against US dollars and euros, saying it was compelled by the growing number of customer requests.Whatever the future holds, SHIB can be safely stored in Exodus, along with over 100 other cryptocurrencies.
This content is for informational purposes only and is not investment advice. You should consult a qualified licensed advisor before engaging in any transaction.