Meme coin Shiba Inu was seeing its prices buoyed, at least briefly, after a mention by Tesla Inc.
CEO Elon Musk.
The crypto, a meme of a meme, was swinging in and out of positive territory Friday after Musk jokingly referenced the asset, another new coin based on a dog, but launched less than a year ago.
The China-based cryptocurrency, Shiba Inu, which was modeled as a “fun” crypto a la dogecoin
has been drawing increasing attention among crypto enthusiasts looking for the next buzzy asset to ride to the moon.
Shiba saw its value surge, along with dogecoin, back in the spring as investors sought new meme prospects, including Kisha Inu, which trades under the ticker KISHU and is marketed as “a community-focused, decentralized cryptocurrency with instant rewards for holders.
SHIB, which features the image of a Shiba Inu hunting dog, is now the 28th largest crypto in the world. Dogecoin stands as the sixth largest, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
At last check SHIB was trading about 1% higher, according to CoinMarketCap.com, while bitcoin prices
were down over 8%, changing hands at $32,192.43 on CoinDesk, as the broader crypto complex remained under pressure due to China’s ban on mining.
SHIB has no apparent utility but, similar to dogecoin, has attracted a rabid fan base, who are eager to help drive its value higher. Its creators refer to the token as the “dogecoin killer.“
Last month, one of the founders of Ether
and the Ethereum blockchain, Vitalik Buterin, said he donated some 50.7 trillion in Shiba Inu gifted to him to COVID-related charities in India; perhaps, unintentionally drawing more attention to the coin that Buterin may have wanted to distance himself from.
The enthusiasm for SHIB and other dogecoin copycats appears to be growing among those on the prowl for the next popular social-media inspired asset.
It is hard to know if Musk’s reference of the crypto on Friday was done purely in jest, but his social-media mentions have tended to have outsize influence on the price of digital assets.
Earlier this week, Coinbase Global
announced that it would list Amp, an Ethereum token, on its platform, which was met with a number of customers complaining that SHIB hadn’t been listed instead.
Meme assets that trade on social-media sentiment, rather than fundamentals, have been an unusual trend in markets. Assets like dogecoin, as well as stocks like GameStop Corp.
AMC Entertainment Holdings
and BlackBerry Ltd.
have seen stratospheric rises in value so far this year, but critics caution that such trends could end in tears for buyers recently jumping on the bandwagon. Dogecoin is up nearly 5,000% so far this year and SHIB had seen a similarly powerful percentage jump at its peak.
Traditional assets are rising too, in a climate of easy-money policies supported by the Federal Reserve to help the economy recover from the impact of the COVID pandemic, but are seeing more mundane gains.