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Better Cryptocurrency: Ethereum or Shiba Inu?

By Keith Speights – Nov 18, 2021 at 5:52AM

Key Points

  • Ethereum is the second-biggest cryptocurrency based on market cap with a wide variety of uses.
  • Shiba Inu has the hottest momentum of any token with a strong online community of fans.
  • To be successful, Shiba Inu needs Ethereum but Ethereum doesn't need Shiba Inu.

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They're two of the most popular cryptocurrencies on the market. But one is the better pick right now.

Choices, choices. There are well over 13,500 cryptocurrencies. That number continues to grow. Most of these digital coins fly far below the radar for most investors.

But not Ethereum (ETH -2.30%) and Shiba Inu (SHIB -5.07%). They're two of the most popular cryptocurrencies on the planet. Both have been big winners so far this year. Which is the better crypto to buy now? Here's how Ethereum and Shiba Inu stack up against each other.

A person holding hand to face as if thinking while sitting in front of a laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

The case for Ethereum

Ethereum ranks as the second-biggest cryptocurrency in the world with a market cap of around $500 billion. It's up more than 800% over the past 12 months despite a pullback in recent days.

The popularity of Ethereum has soared since its launch in July 2015. Along the way, it's become the blockchain of choice for developing decentralized finance (DeFi) apps. 

Apps based on Ethereum use smart contracts that are automatically executed when prespecified terms are met. The parties involved with the contract don't have to meet. No intermediary is required.

Thus far, Ethereum has been used in a wide variety of ways, including crowdfunding, digital payments, and insurance purchases. It's also a cornerstone of some of the biggest marketplaces for buying and selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) -- data stored on blockchains that represent ownership of a digital asset.

The case for Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu has become a worldwide sensation since its release in August 2020. It's now the No. 11 biggest cryptocurrency with a market cap of close to $27 billion. Over the last 12 months, Shiba Inu has skyrocketed more than 77,890,000%. 

Many investors would probably say that Shiba Inu's momentum is the main reason they like the digital token. However, there are other reasons to consider buying Shiba Inu. One that especially stands out is that it has a strong community of proponents -- the SHIBArmy. A large and loyal base of supporters can make the difference between success and failure for a cryptocurrency.

Shiba Inu is built on the Ethereum platform. The creator of Shiba Inu, Ryoshi, liked Ethereum because "it's already secure and well-established" plus it will allow the token to remain decentralized.

This Ethereum underpinning gives several advantages to Shiba Inu. It can be used in Ethereum wallets. It can also be included in DeFi apps built using the Ethereum blockchain. For example, there are plans to release an NFT platform for Shiba Inu. 

The better cryptocurrency?

There's an old saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This adage kind of applies to cryptocurrencies. Some investors will like Ethereum more, while others will prefer Shiba Inu.

However, no one could disagree that Ethereum has greater real-world utility at this point than Shiba Inu does. That edge is likely to increase as developers build more apps on the already-popular blockchain.

It's important to recognize that to be successful Shiba Inu needs Ethereum, but Ethereum doesn't need Shiba Inu. This automatically makes Ethereum less risky relative to Shiba Inu.

Is it possible that Shiba Inu will continue to outperform Ethereum? Yes. But which cryptocurrency is in the stronger position to survive and thrive over the next five years and beyond? The better cryptocurrency to buy for long-term investors is Ethereum.

Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Ethereum. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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