Dogecoin, watch out!
Meme-based cryptocurrency Shiba Inu soared more than 45% over the last 24 hours, muscling its way into the top 10 largest digital tokens by market capitalization.
Shiba Inu is a spinoff of Dogecoin, itself born as a satire of a cryptocurrency frenzy in 2013, and has barely any practical use.
Yet its price has rocketed around 180% in the last seven days, according to CoinMarketCap, leapfrogging Dogecoin to become the eighth most valuable cryptocurrency with a total value of $42 billion.
However, trade is volatile – by 10:08 a.m. Eastern time Shiba Inu had given up around half its earlier gains but was still up by a quarter over the 24-hour period.
Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $1.2 trillion, was up a little over 4% on Thursday, but below the record high it hit last week.
Known as “shib” to a growing army of retail investors, Shiba Inu coins are worth a fraction of a cent. Its website calls it “a decentralized meme token that has evolved into a vibrant ecosystem.”
Driving the gains, analysts said, is the promise of quick gains – also a factor behind the broader explosion of cryptocurrencies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Others said crypto-specialist market makers were trading large volumes of the token. “People are always looking for ‘the next Bitcoin’,” said Mati Greenspan, founder of crypto analysis and advisory firm Quantum Economics. “Get rich quick is a very powerful motivator.”
Expectations of more mainstream acceptance was also driving gains with talk the meme-based cryptocurrency will be traded on more retail trading platforms.
“Shiba has posted incredible gains on speculation that it will rival or replace the concept of Dogecoin and its utility,” said Chris Kline, chief operating officer and co-founder at Bitcoin IRA.