Over the long term, the stock market is a seemingly unrivaled wealth creator. That S&P500 has delivered an average annual total return, including dividends paid, of around 10% for decades. But when viewed over a much shorter period of time, cryptocurrencies have been circling Wall Street.
The real potential for blockchain-based innovation has helped boost the combined value of all digital currencies from a coronavirus low of $141 billion to nearly $1.06 trillion earlier this week. For those of you scoring at home, that’s an amazing 649% increase in value in just 30 months.
But for the very popular meme cryptocurrency Shiba Inu (SCHIB 0.81%)a 649% gain would just be a good day at the office.
Shiba Inu’s performance in 2021 may never be duplicated
What Shiba Inu was able to accomplish in 2021 was nothing short of historic. According to data from CoinMarketCap.com, at midnight on January 1, 2021, investors had an opportunity to buy SHIB tokens for as little as $0.000000000073. Less than 10 months later, on October 27, Shiba Inu hit its all-time intraday high of $0.00008841 per coin.
For those of you scoring at home, we’re talking an increase of more than 121,000,000% from low to high in less than 10 months. This means that a $1 investment at midnight on January 1, 2021 would have made an investor a millionaire by October 27.
Although the Shiba Inu would lose a significant percentage of its value in the last two months of the year, it ultimately made a gain of around 46,000,000% in 2021. To put in context how incredible a return is, the benchmark S&P 500 has returned an impressive 30,209% over the 57 years between 1965 and 2021, including dividends paid. Shibu Inu tokens have delivered more than 1,500 times the 57-year total return of the S&P 500 in a single year.
But SHIB holders believe better days are yet to come. With Shiba Inu effectively doubling in value from its mid-June 2022 lows, the chatter on social media message boards is building again that the psychological price target of $0.001 could come into play — perhaps within the next two years.
What would have to happen for SHIB tokens to skyrocket by almost 7,800% by 2024? Let’s take a closer look.
What would have to happen for Shiba Inu to reach $0.001?
For the Shiba Inu to have any sort of repeat performance by 2021, three things would have to go his way.
Arguably the most important catalyst for SHIB is the anticipated launch of Shibarium, an in-house developed Layer 2 blockchain specifically designed to reduce transaction costs. Lower transaction costs would not only make SHIB more attractive from a merchant perspective, but more importantly, encourage non-fungible token (NFT)-based gambling and NFT marketplace transactions. Shiba Inu’s Metaverse ambitions hinge on lowering transaction costs.
Despite rumors that Shibarium would debut sometime in Q3, Shiba Inu developers have noted that no definitive timeline for a public beta launch has been established.
The second core catalyst that would be needed to achieve a nearly 7,800% return by 2024 is coin burning (and lots of it!). Coin Burn is very similar to a share buyback program, but for cryptocurrencies.
When a public company buys back its own stock, it makes each remaining share that much more valuable. The same idea applies to Coin Burn. Sending tokens to dead (i.e. unreachable) blockchain addresses reduces the remaining supply of tokens.
Last year, ether Founder Vitalik Buterin played a key role in the rise of Shiba Inu. After being gifted roughly half of SHIB’s 1 trillion token supply, Buterin sent more than 410 trillion tokens to a dead blockchain address. With a single click, Buterin reduced SHIB’s outstanding coin supply by 41%.
Finally, Shiba Inu will need even more social media buzz than it did during its monumental launch in 2021. According to Etherscan, as of September 12, 2022, there are 1.22 million unique wallets holding SHIB tokens. To reach $0.001, this hugely popular meme coin would have to use these folks full force to create buzz on social media.
That’s why Shiba Inu is just bark and no bite
Now that we’ve taken a closer look at what catalysts would be needed to send Shiba Inu significantly higher, let’s address the obvious question: Is $0.001 by 2024 a realistic goal?
While SHIB has previously done what was thought impossible, I see no way to reach $0.001 in the next two years. In reality, SHIB looks like just bark and no bite.
One of the biggest problems with the chatter about SHIB hitting $0.001 is that it would imply a valuation in excess of $500 billion. Few listed companies have higher market capitalizations. However, these companies generate tens of billions of dollars in annual operating cash flow and are at the forefront of innovation. None of these statements apply to Shiba Inu.
To build on this point, Shiba Inu offers no competitive advantage or real differentiation in the highly competitive cryptocurrency space. As an ERC-20 token based on the Ethereum network, Shiba Inu is nothing more than a hyped payment coin – and there is nothing special about using digital currencies as a means of payment.
What might be even more shocking is the little use SHIB sees as a real-world means of payment. According to online business directory Cryptwerk, only about 500 mostly obscure global merchants are willing to accept SHIB, excluding crypto services. Furthermore, this number has not changed for over three months, indicating the unwillingness of merchants to accept a digital token that is already down as much as 91% from its all-time high.
To make matters worse, virtually all payment coins that generated life-changing gains in a short period of time lost nearly all of their value in the two years following their peak. In other words, although SHIB has lost as much as 91% of its value since its Oct. 27, 2021 high, there is nothing stopping it from reaching more than 99%.
Finally, according to CoinMarketCap.com, with an estimated 549 trillion SHIB tokens still in circulation, there doesn’t seem to be nearly enough coin burn momentum to make a reasonable difference in Shiba Inu’s price per token.
The psychological goal of $0.001 might be fun on social media, but it’s not a realistic expectation for a project with no competitive advantages and lots of evidence.