Shiba Inu (SHIB) cryptocurrency is an evolution of the “doge” meme that has been persistently popular among crypto enthusiasts. While SHIB shares some inspiration with Dogecoin, it operates using a different framework that can support more complex transactions.
You can buy Shiba Inu on many of the popular cryptocurrency platforms, and it is also available on decentralized exchanges where you can trade SHIB for other cryptocurrencies.
SHIB can also be acquired through a process known as staking (though this requires you to have some of this cryptocurrency, to begin with). And theoretically, you could receive Shiba Inu as payment for goods or services.
Before deciding whether to invest in Shiba Inu, it’s helpful to have at least a basic understanding of how it works.
What is Shiba Inu?
Shiba Inu launched late in 2020, but it was relatively lightly traded before the spring of 2021, when the crypto market was on an upward swing, bringing many digital assets to all-time highs. Such as with other cryptocurrencies in 2022, SHIB’s shine has faded as investors flee risky investments.
Like crypto stalwart Dogecoin, Shiba Inu was inspired by the popular “Doge” meme — a widely circulated picture of a shiba inu dog. And it’s one of the largest among several other crypto projects that have used the dog as a mascot.
Dogecoin vs. Shiba Inu
The main difference between Dogecoin and Shiba Inu is that SHIB is built using the Ethereum blockchain, enabling it to support more complex financial transactions than DOGE.
Shiba Inu is a proof-of-stake blockchain. This means it does not support crypto mining like Dogecoin, which is built on a proof-of-work blockchain similar to Bitcoin. While the technical details of this can be complex, the upshot for most everyday users is that you can “stake” SHIB and earn more tokens as a reward.
SHIB does not shy away from its meme heritage as it seeks to occupy the gap between utility and irreverence. For instance, SHIB’s “whitepaper,” which lays out its mechanics and economics, is called a “woofpaper.” When you stake Shiba Inu, you’re “burying” it. And when you lend it out to help power a decentralized exchange, you’re “digging.”
Shiba Inu’s economy also includes two companion tokens, “Leash” and “Bone,” which are comparatively rarer than SHIB and help incentivize people to keep its underlying network running.
You decide: Is SHIB a good investment?
SHIB has lost a substantial portion of its value in recent months. As a result, its total market capitalization, which exceeded $40 billion at its peak, was below $5 billion by mid-June of 2022. See the current SHIB price and its history below.
Cryptocurrency is famously volatile, and SHIB is no different. While its price has climbed rapidly in the past, it has also fallen precipitously.
If you decide to invest in SHIB, you’re betting that more people will be interested in using products built using its technology — driving up demand. You may also believe that SHIB’s community of users will attract people away from more buttoned-up cryptocurrencies. Neither of these scenarios is a sure bet.
If you decide to buy Shiba Inu, the process is similar to how you might purchase other cryptocurrencies.
How to buy SHIB
You can buy SHIB in four steps.
1. Decide where to buy SHIB
Shiba Inu is one of the more popular cryptocurrencies, and it is for sale on most centralized exchanges, such as Coinbase, Kraken and Gemini. If you don’t already own cryptocurrency, you’ll likely have to buy SHIB in cash through one of these exchanges.
If you own cryptocurrency, you’ll have more options for buying Shiba Inu. While some centralized exchanges allow trades involving SHIB and other cryptocurrencies, it is available through many decentralized exchanges such as Uniswap. Shiba Inu even has its own decentralized exchange, known as ShibaSwap.
Owners of Ethereum have many options if they want to acquire SHIB. For instance, the popular MetaMask wallet allows you to convert ETH to SHIB directly.
Whatever method you choose to buy Shiba Inu, be aware of the costs you’ll incur. While some cryptocurrency marketplaces can impose trading fees, decentralized exchanges require you to pay network fees on the Ethereum blockchain, which can sometimes be high.
2. Fund your account
If you’re using a centralized exchange, you’ll need to deposit fiat currency or another cryptocurrency into your account.
With fiat currency such as U.S. dollars, exchanges tend to offer bank transfers, debit card and credit card transactions. However, be careful using a credit card, as high-interest rates can worsen your losses in the event of a market downturn. Also, pay attention to the fees your exchange charges for moving money into your account.
If you want to use another cryptocurrency, check if your exchange offers conversion to SHIB from other digital assets you own. This is true for both centralized and decentralized exchanges. Not every exchange will provide the crypto-to-crypto trading pair you want to use.
3. Make your purchase
Once you decide on your purchase, you’ll have a chance to review how much SHIB you’re getting and at what price. This is similar on both centralized and decentralized platforms. You’ll also want to look over the transaction costs.
If everything looks good to you, you’ll be able to submit your transaction. Within a few minutes, the SHIB will be deposited into your account or your crypto wallet, and your payment will be deducted from your balance.
4. Store your SHIB safely
You have two main options when storing cryptocurrencies, such as SHIB. If you use an exchange, you can leave it there. Storing your crypto on an exchange can be convenient and easier for beginners, but crypto exchanges can also be targets for hackers because of the amount of value they hold.
You can also keep SHIB in your cryptocurrency wallet, where you control the information that enables you to spend or trade crypto. Wallets require slightly more technical expertise, but they place the security in your control. If you’re picking a wallet, use one that supports SHIB, as not all crypto wallets work with every cryptocurrency.
Disclosure: The author owned Shiba Inu, Dogecoin and Ethereum at the time of publication. The editor owned Ethereum at the time of publication.