What rhymes with bitcoin and could leave you broke? If you said shiba inu you’re getting warm…
If you are not already invested in bitcoin, avoid the coins that start with S-H-I
There’s a widely used cryptocurrency term that starts with the letters S, H and I. While it is not shiba inu coin, its meaning does encompass it. I won’t write the term here, because it contains a common profanity, but you can probably guess what it is. (Did I mention it rhymes with bitcoin?)
The shiba inu coin was created last year, and like most cryptocurrencies, it began as nearly worthless. Now coins in circulation are worth some US$30 billion. Featuring the Japanese dog breed that is its name, shiba inu was branded as a “killer” of doge coin, an earlier cryptocurrency based on a meme of that same canine type. These coins have exploded in value largely because they are funny.
I do not consider that S-H-I term to be an insult, since I see 90 per cent of cryptocurrencies to be such coins. I personally do find these canine coins humorous and their emblematic dogs cute. But this space is now awash with new investors that take such coins seriously and hitch onto them their fortunes. For many, it will not end well, for when you profit by the hype, you will also lose by the hype. Even social media will tell you that, if you look closely.
The greatest thing about cryptocurrency is its egalitarianism. The field is new, and thus its people are all themselves new to some degree. Anyone can create a coin. But the bad thing about that is also that anyone can create a coin. In crypto time, it’s a story old as the hills.
The most memorable of such joke coins, to me, is Coinye West, created in 2014 in honour of the controversial hip-hop artiste. Kanye did not appreciate the humour and sent legal threats, practically killing the project. Life had imitated art in that Kanye, as a character in the animated comedy South Park, similarly does not get a joke and kills the comedian responsible.
Doge was also born around that time. Then the hype went up in 2017 when the Ethereum platform took off, making it even easier for people to create their own digital assets. Those were the days of the ICO (initial-coin offering). Projects would mint their own coins to sell them to raise money. There were more than 1,000 coins at the time, and projects raised a collective US$5.5 billion. Retail investors entered in droves, hunting for the “next bitcoin” and taking their cues from influencers often receiving money to promote projects. Fortunes were made one night and lost the next.