Ever since the coin's anonymous founder ‘Ryoshi' first let the foxy-looking cryptocurrency Shiba Inu off its leash in August 2020, it has been hot on the heels of its rival, the original Shiba Inu-styled meme coin and long-time favorite of Elon Musk, Dogecoin.
Fashioned after the Japanese dog breed of the same name, cryptocurrency Shiba Inu is popping up in more and more search results the world over. The currency has seen the most significant increase in search queries of all cryptocurrencies on the world's leading search engine, according to a recent study of Google Trends by CasinoScores.
‘Shib' is topping the charts in 98 countries, a little over half of all analyzed by CasinoScores. The UK, Germany, Sweden, and India are some countries where Shiba Inu has seen the largest gains in search frequency.
Next in Line
The runner-up coin also has a Japanese name – Saitama. Though most know it as the prefecture directly west of Tokyo, according to the project's whitepaper, the cryptocurrency is named so due to a mysterious “ghost dog” that, according to legend, roams the mountains of Saitama and is considered a guardian against misfortune.
Saitama caters to the budding Gen-Z investor crowd. The project has a dedicated team that pushes out edutainment content to spread awareness about money management to their young demographic. Since being launched in May last year, Saitama has amassed around 360,000 holders. The coin tops CasinoScores' list in 15 countries, including France, the U.S., and New Zealand.
Tied at third are Bombcrypto and Binance Coin. The former is the native token of a Play-2-Earn game of the same name, while the latter is the utility token of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. Bombcrypto is highly searched after in places like the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, and Japan, while Binance Coin is getting traffic in Kosovo and Zambia.
Fifth is Chia, a peer-to-peer exchange network that claims to be an eco-friendly alternative to Bitcoin. This is due to its less energy-intensive “proof of space and time” verification method. The blockchain firm behind Chia, Chia Network, plans to publicly list on the stock market this year or merge with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Sixth is Ethereum, the world's second-largest token, while the original cryptocurrency – Bitcoin – is seventh.
Sharing the eighth rank are Bonfire and Dogelon Mars. Bonfire is a token that claims to offset crypto market volatility by offering its holders passive income. It does this through static rewards by charging a 10% tax on sellers of the currency, the sum of which is partially redirected to its holders. Dogelon Mars is another Dogecoin copy that plays up its interplanetary colonization theme in a not-so-subtle embrace of meme coin influencer Elon Musk.
“The data shows which currencies have seen the biggest increase in interest around the world,” a spokesperson from CasinoScores said of the results.
“Although Bitcoin is the most searched of all the digital currencies and still a go-to for many, it has plenty of competition around the world from newer coins like Shiba Inu, as well as more established competitors such as Ethereum,” they added.
However, the impact of search volume on Shiba Inu's value remains to be seen.
Up the Wrong Tree?
Shiba Inu has been busy recently. The project leaders try to make it into more than a meme coin by building new infrastructure for its vibrant community.
In April, it launched its own metaverse platform named “SHIB: The Metaverse.” Along with Ethereum, the Shiba Inu coin can now be used to mint virtual land in its customized metaverse. There are over 100,000 lots, divided into four categories, Silver Fur, Gold Tail, Platinum Paw, and Diamond Teeth, of varying types and prices.
April also saw the Shiba Inu team introduce a burn portal to help shrink coin supply. Through this mechanism, holders can voluntarily ‘burn' (forfeit) their coins in exchange for a substitute staking token. Developers were glad to report that 8 billion Shiba Inu coins went up in flames in the portal's first 24 hours.
On April 12, the popular stock trading app Robinhood also made Shiba Inu available for its users for the first time, making it more accessible.
The coin is making inroads into luxury markets too. Starting this month, Shib will also become accepted as payment at select Gucci stores around the country.
Yet, despite the new developments, Shiba Inu underperformed at the start of this month, rising by just 3.55% from May 4-5 amid a market-wide rally that saw the cryptocurrencies gain over 5% during 24 hours.
Investors should keep in mind that the link between search volume and price performance is difficult to quantify. For example, one 2017 study by Semrush found a high correlation between Bitcoin prices and the volume of Bitcoin-related Google searches. Yet it did not conclude that search volume predicts price movement itself.
The relationship between search and price for altcoins like Shiba Inu seems less clear. Could the token's price be consolidating while its developers deliver new tools for the community? Or could its recent surge in search volume pay off soon after those who just discovered the coin through Google for the first time come back and take the leap to purchase it in a few weeks?
It's hard to say. Shib-lovers dream of the day the token will soar to reach the heights of one-hundredth of a penny and, eventually, a whole cent. Sitting around $0.000015, that milestone is still a long way off.
Looking at the mixed reactions to its recent projects, Shiba Inu could have a rocky road ahead. Despite all the searching, this dog is still finding its way and will need to keep sniffing around to pick up that ‘one cent scent.'
This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay.
Liam Gibson is a journalist based in Taiwan who regularly publishes in Al Jazeera, Nikkei Asia Review, Straits Times, and other international outlets. He also runs Policy People, a podcast and online content platform for think tank experts.