Despite navigating its way through multiple bear markets since the beginning of the 20th century, the stock market has stood head and shoulders above all other asset classes over the long run.
But the dominance of equities has been seriously challenged over shorter time frames. For instance, a number of well-known cryptocurrencies have left the broad-based S&P 500 eating their dust over the past couple of years. Perhaps no digital currency embodies this move more than meme coin Shiba Inu ( SHIB -11.11% ).
Shiba Inu's short-term gains are jaw-dropping
To give you some idea of just how jaw-dropping Shiba Inu's return has been in such a short time frame, I thought it'd be fun to compare it to the S&P 500 over a long stretch. Between the beginning of 1965 and the end of 2020, the S&P 500, inclusive of dividends paid, returned more than 26,000%. Meanwhile, in the less than 15 months since Shiba Inu made its debut on Aug. 1, 2020, SHIB tokens are up by 7,047,058%. That's over 7 million percent!
How does a cryptocurrency gain over 7 million percent in such a short time span? To begin with, it's getting a lot of help from cryptocurrency exchanges. A number of key crypto exchanges have welcomed SHIB for listing, which has the potential to increase ownership and possibly boost real-world use/adoption.
To build on this point, most digital currencies don't have easily available derivatives that short-sellers can use to bet on future downside. In other words, whereas it's relatively easy for pessimists to place a bearish bet in the stock market, it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to do so with most cryptocurrencies, including SHIB. This creates a buy bias that tends to pump up digital currency valuations, leading to the "fear of missing out," or FOMO, that drives valuations to the moon.
Credit for these gains may also be partially due to the launch of ShibaSwap in July 2021. ShibaSwap is a decentralized exchange that allows SHIB holders to stake their coins to earn interest. More importantly, it'll encourage investors to hang on to their tokens for a longer period, which could minimize the likelihood of wild vacillations in the price of SHIB.
The top reason to sell Shiba Inu right now
Yet in spite of these gains, Shiba Inu may well be the next in a long line of pump-and-dump candidates in the crypto space. While some hyped tokens have more staying power than others, there is a laundry list of reasons for investors to dump SHIB right now.
To start with the obvious, assets don't gain 7,000,000% in under 15 months and hold on to those gains. Even tough Bitcoin has put together even higher gains over the past 11 years, it's important to note that the world's largest digital currency by market cap has undergone three corrections of at least 80% over the past decade. There's a good possibility a sizable correction awaits SHIB, too.
In addition, Shiba Inu isn't a coin that businesses are accepting. While enterprise adoption is climbing, online business directory Cryptwerk noted this past week that only 91 businesses in its database are accepting SHIB as a form of payment. For added context, there are over 32 million businesses in the U.S. and north of 500 million entrepreneurs worldwide. Removed from a cryptocurrency exchange, SHIB has no real-world use.
However, the single biggest reason to sell Shiba Inu right now is its lack of competitive advantages.
The goal of the cryptocurrency revolution has always been to develop solutions that'll speed up the payment process, lower transaction fees, and democratize payments for those who might not otherwise have access to basic banking solutions. The problem for Shiba Inu is that it doesn't do anything particularly well or stand out.
There are nearly 13,000 cryptocurrencies in existence, according to CoinMarketCap.com, and new financially focused blockchain projects are being launched each week. There's nothing unique about Shiba Inu's network with regard to transaction speed or fees. With a number of existing projects offering faster validation and settlement and/or cheaper transactions, there's nothing to suggest SHIB can become a preferred or mainstream payment option.
Shiba Inu isn't alone
If there's any solace I can offer SHIB investors, it's that you're not alone. Only a very small percentage of cryptocurrencies actually offer some form of competitive advantage.
On one hand, the world's No. 2 cryptocurrency by market value, Ethereum ( ETH -2.38% ), is the centerpiece of decentralized finance (DeFi). DeFi uses smart contracts on financially focused blockchains to complete payments. The key difference with DeFi is it's designed to work around the financial institutions that might otherwise slow or stop a payment from processing. In short, Ethereum offers tangible advantages.
On the other hand, Dogecoin ( DOGE -13.00% ) finds itself in a similar boat as Shiba Inu. Putting aside that both coins are driven by Elon Musk's tweets and based on the same Japanese dog breed, Dogecoin validates and settles payments slower than a number of other popular financially focused projects. What's more, Dogecoin's transactions fees are higher than many other popular cryptocurrencies. Dogecoin may be able to create social media buzz from time to time, but like SHIB offers nothing that allows it to truly stand out.
Though short-term price movements are unpredictable, I don't see anything that's going to save Shiba Inu from eventually falling off a cliff.