What is Shiba Inu (SHIB)?

The dog-themed cryptocurrency is now available on Coinbase

Illustration including SHIB logo



Definition: Shiba Inu (or SHIB) is a token designed  to be an Ethereum-compatible alternative to Dogecoin (DOGE). Like DOGE, SHIB is intentionally abundant — with an initial circulating supply of one quadrillion coins. The Shiba Inu ecosystem also supports projects such as an NFT art incubator and a decentralized exchange called Shibaswap.

One of the biggest crypto stories of 2021 was the rise of Dogecoin (DOGE) — which an avid online community (and fans including Elon Musk and Mark Cuban) helped grow from an meme-based joke into a household name with a market cap in the tens of billions of dollars.

Like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Dogecoin runs on its own distinct blockchain — limiting its ability to interact with other kinds of protocols. The creators of the DOGE-inspired Shiba Inu token (or SHIB) saw potential in that limitation, and launched a new dog-themed memecoin that runs on the Ethereum blockchain in August 2020.

Because SHIB is issued as an Ethereum token, it’s compatible with the vast Ethereum ecosystem. Advantages include compatibility with Ethereum wallets like Coinbase Wallet or Metamask, availability on decentralized exchanges (or DEXs) like UniSwap, the potential for SHIB to be incorporated into ETH-based DeFi applications like lending and savings products and NFT marketplaces.

Who created SHIB?

An anonymous developer named Ryoshi launched SHIB in August 2020. The project began  with a total supply of one quadrillion tokens — a truly vast number.

What is SHIB's current price?

Check SHIB’s current price (and read the latest headlines about the token).

How did SHIB begin to catch on?

As part of the initial distribution, Ryoshi sent 50 percent of the token supply to Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin’s wallet and used the other 50 percent to create liquidity on Uniswap’s decentralized exchange — from there, the tokens began to make their way into wider circulation. 

But why did Ryoshi give half of all Shib to Buterin? 

  • Ryoshi hoped that having a major holder with maximum credibility in the crypto community would be beneficial to the project. As Ryoshi said at the time: “There is no greatness without a vulnerable point and as long as VB doesn’t rug us [or dump his supply, tanking values], then SHIBA will grow and survive.”

  • The donation became news around the world, hugely raising SHIB’s profile. After the donation, perhaps as a gesture of goodwill to the SHIB community, Vitalik “burned” another 410 trillion SHIB tokens (40% of the total supply) — permanently removing them from circulation.

What makes SHIB different from DOGE?

SHIB, unlike DOGE, is compatible with the Ethereum ecosystem — which has allowed the community to create crypto apps like ShibaSwap, a DEX that allows users to trade and stake tokens without an intermediary. 

In the future, the Shiba community plans to release an NFT platform and DAO-based governance system for the Shiba ecosystem (called “DoggyDAO”). You can check out the project’s “Woof Paper” if you’d like to see these and many other proposed ideas. Only time will tell if they’ll come to fruition, however.