What is Shiba Inu?

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Last updated Jan 04, 2024 | 02:21 PM UTC
By Alyx T.

A relatively recent project, Shiba Inu is a cryptocurrency created in 2020. 

Even though it’s still considered a newbie in the crypto world, Shiba Inu continues to cause quite a stir in the market, and keeps potential investors on their toes with its various USPs and diverse tokenomics.  

In our guide to Shiba Inu, we're going to explain everything you need to know about this currency, including: 

  • What is Shiba Inu crypto?
  • How does Shiba Inu work?
  • A brief Shiba Inu history
  • What is Shiba Inu coin used for?

We’ll also go into why this exciting token has been dubbed “the Dogecoin killer'', as well as look at the pros and cons of Shiba Inu and whether or not Shiba Inu is a good investment. 

So without further ado, let's get to it.

Shiba Inu Explained 

One of the most common questions we get asked is “what is the Shiba Inu coin?” 

The first thing you should know about Shiba Inu is that it is not a coin. Rather, it is a token that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. 

The great thing about tokens is that they have all the characteristics and benefits of a native coin, without the hassle of having to look after their own blockchain. 

This makes “alt coins” like Shiba Inu a very tantalizing prospect for investors, as it’s potentially more straightforward to use than other cryptocurrencies on the market. 

It also has many real-world applications, as we’ll see shortly. 

To fully understand how this token works, it's important to take a look at the history of Shiba Inu, along with some of the USPs that make it both very interesting, and a lot more dynamic than many of its competitors.

Shiba Inu History 

Also known as SHIB, the Shiba Inu token was created in August 2020. Who created Shiba Inu? Mysteriously, SHIB was created by a mononymous developer named Ryoshi and his anonymous friend. 

Shiba Inu History

Ryoshi, the Shiba Inu founder, wanted to test out the theory of “community governance” within the crypto world. This led him to create the Shiba Inu token with his friend, who also invested 10 Ethereum into the project. 

The elusive friend also set up an Ethereum/SHIB pairing on the Ethereum blockchain via a smart contract, meaning that people could sell Ethereum and buy SHIB with it. 

Shiba Inu All Time High

Fast forward to September 2021. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he wanted to get a Shiba Inu puppy, and this somehow sent the price of SHIB soaring, reaching the Shiba Inu all time high in October of the same year. 

This spike in price didn’t go unnoticed, and suddenly SHIB was the hot topic on everyone’s lips. 

Shiba Inu and Ethereum

Another interesting twist in the Shiba Inu history is that the creators took the decision to send half of all the tokens created to the Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. 

They knew his wallet address and decided to send him 50% of all SHIB tokens, in what many believe was a marketing ploy. 

Whether or not Buterin wanted or requested these tokens is irrelevant. But what is curious is that Buterin went on to sell around 10% of his new-found SHIB and donated his profits to charity. Then he took the remaining 90% and burned them.

Buterin’s odd decision to burn these tokens took around $6.7 billion of SHIB out of circulation in one fell swoop, which not only swayed the economics of this token, but also thrust it into the limelight once more. 

SHIB Price Going Down

Nowadays, like all other cryptocurrencies, the Shiba Inu price history shows many increases and decreases in value over time. 

But at the end of 2022, the Shiba Inu coin lowest price was around -76%. Not a great way to round off the year. 

But don’t fret; there’s plenty of life in the old dog yet! 

With so many features, an intricate and thoroughly organized ecosystem, and genuinely unique tokenomics, Shiba Inu is not just another meme coin. 

After all, a dog isn’t just for Christmas. 

How does Shiba Inu work? A Look at Shiba Inu for Beginners

So exactly how does Shiba Inu coin work? 

As mentioned, SHIB is a token, not a coin. Because of this, it doesn’t have to maintain its own blockchain, and is therefore able to offer more functions than a lot of the older coins, such as Dogecoin. 

Shiba Inu: “The Dogecoin Killer”

SHIB is on the Ethereum blockchain. Therefore, it benefits from all the upgrades associated with Ethereum, including the use of smart contracts where you can buy, sell, trade and lend your SHIB tokens. 

This variety of uses is why SHIB has been labeled the “Dogecoin Killer.” It is simply a far more flexible currency that offers a wider, and some would say better, range of functions. 

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at exactly what you can do with the Shiba Inu. 

Shiba Inu Functions  

What is Shiba Inu coin used for? The fact is, there are tons of ways to get the most out of this exciting token. 


The ShibaSwap exchange is where all the action happens! 

Rivaling other decentralized exchanges, like UniSwap and PancakeSwap, ShibaSwap offers four different reward features, making it a very worthwhile exchange for users to get involved in.  

Decentralized (DeFi) exchanges mean that there isn’t a single person or authority in charge of the operation. 

Instead, DeFi exchanges rely on the actions of the community to carry out and maintain the running of the exchange. 

Thus, you get rewarded for the upkeep of the exchange, through various incentives and rewards. 


This is the liquidity pool function on ShibaSwap. Here, you can create currency pairings without having to go through a third party, such as Binance. 

You also get rewarded for providing liquidity, which helps to stabilize the price of the currencies. 


“Bury” is the term that Shiba Inu uses for staking your tokens. 

Burying your coins is the process of locking up currency in order to earn interest, as well as other rewards, depending on the network. 

By burying your coins, you effectively aid with the verification of transactions, therefore maintaining the blockchain. 

Just like when you “dig” on ShibaSwap, burying your tokens will get you rewards, and is a great way for investors to make a passive income. 

Shiba Inu Functions


A great feature of ShibaSwap is the ability to swap tokens in an instant. 

This process is super simple, and ShibaSwap offers a huge range of tokens to exchange on the platform. 

Another fantastic addition is that the platform will also suggest the most common pairings when you select a token. This is a small but thoughtful feature, ideal for first-time swappers. 

NFTs (“Shiboshi”)

Relatively new to the Shiba Inu arsenal, “Shiboshis” are a unique set of 10,000 NFTs that launched on October 14, 2022. 

Shiboshis are exclusive to ShibaSwap. You can buy and trade them, as you can with other NFTs. But Shiboshis are special, in that they are also set to become part of the upcoming Shiboshi Game. 

Owners of these Shiboshi NFTs can use them for special gameplay features, and even join the Shiboshi Social Club, for extra perks and rewards. 


The Woof section of the platform is where you can redeem your rewards. 

Remember, you can earn interest and claim other benefits by providing liquidity and/or staking tokens.

Doggy DAO

DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. As we saw earlier, decentralized systems aren’t governed by one person or entity. Therefore, they rely on the entire community to keep them going. 

The Doggy DAO is Shiba Inu’s own system, whereby members of the community can make decisions by casting votes. 

Essentially, the Doggy DAO is the government of the Shib Inu community, and anyone can take part in its decision making. 

Shiba Tokens

Shiba Inu has three different tokens, each one with different functions. 

These three tokens work in harmony within the Shiba Inu ecosystem, and can provide liquidity and profit for those willing to invest.

To understand the question “what is Shiba Inu coin used for?” we must first understand each token and its individual functions. 


The SHIB token is the original token created by Ryoshi in 2020, and serves as the main currency offered on the ShibaSwap network. 

SHIB runs on the Ethereum blockchain and users can buy, swap and trade SHIB using ShibaSwap, as well as other exchanges on the market. 

Being on the Ethereum network also means that you can create smart contracts with SHIB, giving it more flexibility than many other coins out there. 

How  Many Shiba Inu Coins Are There? 

At its inception, there were 1 quadrillion coins created. But after Vitalik Buterin burned around 40% of them, it’s now believed that there are around 549 billion coins left in circulation. 


The LEASH token is an incentivized coin that is native to the Shiba Inu ecosystem. Users can buy and sell LEASH, as well as bury it, in order to earn rewards within the Shiba Inu community. 

When created, its primary purpose was to act as a rebase coin for DOGE.

Shiba Inu Tokens

Rebase coins are similar to stablecoins, in that their price is pegged to real-world fiat currencies, such as USD, and they use an algorithm that alters and regulates their supply. 

However, LEASH was eventually unpegged from DOGE and now has a fixed supply of just 107,647 tokens. This means that LEASH is far rarer than SHIB, and therefore more expensive. 


The BONE is Shiba Inu’s governance token, and owners of BONE have the ability to influence and change systems and protocols of the Shiba Inu community, through voting and other actions on the Doggy DAO. 

With around 250,000 million BONE in circulation, this token is more sought-after than SHIB, but not as rare as LEASH. 

Real-world Pros of Shiba Inu

  •  Its three coins in the Shiba Inu ecosystem, making it a diverse and exciting currency 
  • On the Ethereum blockchain 
  • Ability to create smart contracts
  • Opportunities for passive income through liquidity providing 
  • Potential for price spikes and quick profit 
  • Many real-world applications

Real-world Cons of Shiba Inu

  • Too many coins keep the price low
  • Possible limited potential for future growth

Where To Spend Shiba Inu 

Unlike many other cryptocurrencies, Shiba Inu can be used to make purchases online at many popular websites. 

Just some of the well-known businesses that accept SHIB as a payment method include:

  • Gamestop 
  • Whole Foods
  • Nordstrom
  • Bed, Bath, & Beyond 
  • PetCo
  • Ulta Beauty 

Where to Spend Shiba Inu

Aside from stores, you can use SHIB to pay for movie tickets at Regal Cinemas and AMC Theatres. 

You can also play games online, including at casino site Crashino and many other crypto casinos and sports betting sites. 

Finally, you can use SHIB to make donations to charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society, which accepts Shiba Inu and other cryptocurrencies. 

Is Shiba Inu a Good Investment in 2024?

With only a short 2-year history to reflect on, it’s difficult to predict the future success of Shiba Inu. 

Both the optimists and cynics of the crypto world have forecast their predictions for this coin in the coming years, with many saying it will remain an exciting investment opportunity, and others claiming it will never reach its full potential.

So what is the future of Shiba Inu?

A quick look at the Shiba Inu history sees the coin reaching its all-time high in October 2021, before Bitcoin crashed in November 2021, taking SHIB and the rest of the market down with it. 

Shiba Inu has since made a recovery, but the fact that there are so many tokens in circulation means that the value of SHIB isn’t likely to increase any time soon. 

That said, the Shiba Inu community is huge, and the ecosystem itself is dynamic and exciting. 

Plus, with Shiboshis and other products set to light the fires of the Shiba Inu project once more, this meme-coin’s story is far from over. 

Written by

Alyx is a sports writer, casino enthusiast and wannabe crypto queen! If she’s not writing about her beloved Arsenal, you’ll find her stalking Lewis Hamilton and other F1 drivers on social media and finding new ways to invest and bet with crypto.